November 13th, 2013
The women who make up the amazing pattern making team at Pattern Anthology asked me to remix one of their winter patterns. There are so many good ones to choose from: hats and coats, hoodies and party dresses, but it was the cape that caught my eye. The Juliet Capelet is a frilly affair, perfect for cozy holiday parties or cool summer evenings.
I wanted to go in a different direction. I wanted to make a cape that carhartt would make. I wanted to make a utili-cape!
With visions of lumberjacks (wearing capes) dancing in my head, I walked into my local fabric store for supplies. I came out with khaki twill, deliciously soft faux fur, and metal buttons. Then I headed home to turn a pretty cape pattern into a tomboy’s dream.
I subtracted and added a bunch of thing to the original pattern. First I took out some of the fullness of the cape. Then I lengthened it quite a bit. After sewing up a quick muslin, I thought the cape needed to be even longer so I added more to the front and the back. I ended up with a grand piano-like pattern.
I decided to skip the hood and instead I added a collar. The collar can fold over or stand up to ward off the cold. The original pattern does have buttons, but I added a button placket as well. The metal buttons–the kind you have on your jeans–could not have been more perfect. They have a large shank and yeehaw! you do not have to sew them on! The button comes in 2 parts: a nail-like bit that you poke through the back of the fabric and the button proper that pops on top of the nail.
The buttons were so much fun to put on, that I kept finding more places to put them. I added a button to either side of the cape to create a sleeve.
Pockets were next, because what is a utili-cape without pockets? And then I slapped some buttons on those too! I drafted a double pocket–one that could keep her hands warm, but also keep her treasures safe. I love how these pockets turned out so much that I’ve got a tutorial in the works for them.
You will not see a tutorial, however, on how to sew with faux fur, because wow! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. There was fur all over my studio floor, in my ears, up my nose, and miraculously on the cape as well.
I’m happy I wrestled with the faux fur–and won!–because the fur really makes the cape. It’s soft and cozy and oh so warm. All in all, I had a fabulous time playing around with the Juliet Capelet pattern.
*I was given a copy of the pattern for this post, but my opinions, as always, are my own.