Batman '89 Cape Help


New Member
Greetings all. I'm going to be '89 Batman at a con later this summer. I commissioned a cape and the cape is great. Really high quality and good workmanship. However, I'm not broad enough in the shoulders to fill out the cape. My height is 5' 8". You can see in the pic that it really hangs over the front too much (I think). It is an eight panel cape just like the movie. I measured between the sections and each section appears to be about 33" in length from scallop to scallop. It just doesn't drape as well as the movie cape. I'm wondering if the it's because the material is thicker? I just think if each section wasn't as wide at the bottom it would fit better. However, some of the patterns I've seen in the RPF have 40+" from scallop to scallop for each section (based on a 6' tall person). That seems insane to me based on my current cape measurements. Anyone have any advice in the event I decide to try and make my own cape? I have three months until my Con.


  • Batman.jpg
    443 KB · Views: 135
Your suit is looking great! As far as your cape concerns, I think I understand what you're saying - it does feel like it's closing a bit too much in the front. That or the whole thing is shifted too far forward - hard to tell. Do you have a photo with your arms at your side?

You mentioned your cape is 8 panel, but is its shape a full circle when laid out flat? If you imagine a circle divided into 9 sectors, the cape would be made up of 8 of them, with the 9th sector missing. The edges of the cape should only hang alongside the width of the chest emblem with no overlap behind it. To me your cape almost looks like it would close completely if laid out flat or allowed to hang with your arms down.


89 and Returns originals used a harness system to lock the cape and cowl to the suit and all in proper alignment with each other. The undershirt harness is worn under the suit, and fixes to the suit at the emblem, as do the cape closure plates and emblem flap on the cowl. There's a really great explainer and tips for a simple cape harness build here (click). The cape has tabs that extend into the missing sector under the emblem as seen on this Returns suit:

img1.jpg img8.jpg returns cowl  inside.JPG

This Propstore 89 suit has another style of cape (not sure if this is a stunt or lightweight version, or assembled from leftover unfinished parts?). It doesn't use a harness so this seems more like yours. No idea how the various parts of this example would have been fixed in place for the movie other than maybe glue, but note again how the cape closure is sized to keep the width of the opening equal to the width of the emblem.

53d54c8040fd9be184e22fe0fe1d3e56.jpg 415db4b16691bd70e12023bc189ac828.jpg d1c628f7a9c844889b5ea28bb3d019b5.jpg

If you can get your cape positioned around the emblem as above, I'm thinking that will improve the look of your suit - even if the cape ends up bunched in the back a little. Maybe add some velcro behind your cowl flap to hold that flat against the chest armor and cape? Not sure what's current best practice here for fanmade suits without the harness.

If you can't make it work out and want to make your own cape, a quick and relatively cheap way is to follow the diagram above, but instead of sewing triangular panels together, use a 132" round banquet tablecloth as your base. Using a polyester tablecloth, the cape ends up a little loud and rustle-y, but the polyester doesn't stretch and supports the latex coating well. I'm curious if a satin tablecloth base might be quieter and even lighter but I haven't tried it.

You'll need the tablecloth and some black liquid latex (a gallon is enough). Monster Makers Black Bat is great:

After ironing out any creases from it being folded, spread the tablecloth out in a large flat area (like a garage). Follow the diagram above and lay out your 9 radial points and scallops with chalk - you'll cut out the missing panel and neck hole, leave some extra fabric as a seam allowance and then use a sewing machine to hem the cut edges. If you are good with a sewing machine you might also want to sew in false panel seams along the radial lines to the points. I left a little room in my front vertical hem to hold removable fiberglass rods for cape spreading as in the opening scene.

Since you don't have a harness system, you might also use extra fabric to make and sew flaps above the emblem as a closure, similar to the 89 suit above. Maybe some velcro to hold the flaps together and aligned with the cowl/emblem?

Then spread it out flat again and use a paint roller to apply the black liquid latex. The texture will be a little bumpier than the inverse pleather texture of the original (IIRC originals were liquid latex sprayed onto pleather and backed with wool fabric, then peeled up), but it will work well enough in a pinch. Make a cardboard guide and use a rotary blade to cut the scallops; no need to hem as the latex coating will prevent fraying. Don't forget to dust the latex with baby powder to prevent it from sticking to itself and that's all!

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.