Monday, October 19, 2015

Purple Plaid Wool: In Modern Reversible Cape Form

While some of my sewing project are the result of weeks of planning, coming up with an idea, finding (or making) the perfect pattern, searching out the perfect fabrics, most aren't. Often I happen across something and think, I want to make that! Such was my "creative process" with this cape.

I happened across this cape on the So Zo. . . blog and immediately fell in love.

(image source: Oliver + S)

Even though I'd never thought of making myself a cape for everyday wear I knew I needed one like this. I already had the perfect fabric for it. My leftover purple plaid wool! So I followed some links to the company that makes the pattern for this cape, and discovered, hey, that's a pretty simple shape, I can come up with my own pattern! So I taped together a bunch of pink construction paper (what I had on hand that day) and got to work.

I started with Butterick B5265 (already in my stash) to get approximately the right dimensions.

I traced the Butterick pattern onto the construction paper, then changed the shape until I had the pattern I needed. Finally I cut the cape out of my purple plaid wool, then went to cut out the lining.

Now, I wanted this cape to be reversible, so I wanted another wool for the lining. Well, wool fabric is expensive, so I found this brown wool/cotton blend skirt at a thrift store. $3, approximately 2 yards of fabric, dreamily soft, perfect! Only I didn't realize exactly how big my pattern piece was going to be. Once I was ready to cut out the lining, some piecing was required.

At first the piecing was relatively easy, nice big pieces, only a couple of seams. Then I got to the last 2-4 inches, and all that was left was a pile of scrapes.

So little scrapes got sewn together, and finally I had a complete, very pieced together, lining for my cape. It even included the original skirt back pockets!

A little messy on the inside, but not half bad on the outside, if I do say so myself! 

Once the lining was done the cape went together quickly, and all that I had left to do was choosing some buttons for the closure.

A couple weeks ago I found about 800 (yes, eight hundred!) vintage buttons at a thrift store. So I snatched them all up, for only $4 (yep, four bucks!)! I'm slowly working on getting them all organised. I won't be needing any more buttons for a while!

After going through all my buttons I picked some out for the cape. A few mother-of-pearl buttons from the thrift store haul, and some rainbow/marbled ones left over from a previous project. I sewed the mother-of pearl buttons on the brown side of the cape, and the rainbow ones on the purple. One button on either side to keep the sides closed, and four down the front.

Then I had a cape, perfect for this nippy fall weather!

I anticipate this cape getting lots of wear throughout the fall and winter, and even into the spring.

I never would have thought I needed a modern cape if I hadn't happened across the original picture, but now that I have one, I love it! Anyone want a cape like this for Christmas? I think I may need an excuse to make another one!