Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful vacation? Picture billowy clouds reminiscent of silk organza, gently undulating waves of turquoise hue, windswept flowers lining the landscape. . . So where would one find this perfect setting? I hope you’re not disappointed to learn that it all happened in my sewing room. Yes, that’s correct – it has been wonderful, but this cape is the wearable kind, and I have definitely spent time on it!
The fabric in which I made my Couture dress was a length of linen I picked up last April. When I found it, I did not yet have a pattern in mind for it so I thought I’d purchase enough (3 yards) to cover just about anything, and at 58” wide, I had a nice amount left over from my dress. It just so happens that earlier in the Summer, I had found this pattern and added it to my collection:
I remembered this pattern from the 1970s and always liked the short cape, with its asymmetrical opening and clever folds of fabric resulting from that detail.
As I was working on my dress, I started to think about what else I could make from this lovely linen. I didn’t particularly want to make a jacket, as I envisioned the dress as the focal point, but I did think it would be nice to have some kind of matching “wrap” for cool evenings. Well, the rest is quite obvious – I decided to make a short cape to go with my dress.
First I needed to find a silk lining fabric, which would compliment the linen. I wanted a print of some sort to add some interest to the finished look. I think I looked at every printed silk available on the internet! I found lots of gorgeous designs, but only one which presented the possibility of both coordinating with the teal blue linen and introducing some other colors as well. My old friend Britex Fabrics not only had this fabric, but also had a vintage button among their extensive offerings, which looked like a good candidate for my needs. I sent off for the button and swatch, and did indeed then order the silk charmeuse.
Armed with my new-found couture techniques, I made a muslin pattern which helped me get the perfect fit over the shoulders (which is pretty much what a cape is all about). I underlined the cape in that oh-so-wonderful silk organza, and added interfacing, where required, of the same. Some of this was a judgment call, as I determined were I could use couture features and where I had to follow the tailored construction of the cape.
Call me crazy, but I just love to make bound buttonholes. Although the pattern called for a 2-inch button, the one I found was 1½ inches (and I thought it a more refined size anyway). That still calls for a large buttonhole! I practiced first, then got to work on the real thing.
I understitched the facings by hand with that beautiful prick stitch, and attached the lining with the fell stitch.
Here is the finished look (unfortunately on a hanger and not on me…).
Well, my time on the Cape officially draws my summer sewing to a close. Now it’s going to be all wools or wool blends and maybe some silks – and I can’t wait! Let’s throw an extra blanket on the bed and dream of cool nights and crisp days filled with creative hours of sewing. . .