Also Not a Halloween Costume: I Made a Cape, and I Wear It.

from the front

from the front from the back Vogue8776 -8

This is Vogue 8776, a cape!

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first here: If you need regular use of your arms, other than to hold your day bag in your hand, this pattern is likely not for you.

BUT. If you can sacrifice functionality and don’t have to carry too many backpacks or ride too many bikes, this cape pattern is fantastic.

(And so is this lining.)

lining

This pattern is quite easy. It is out of print, but still available on the Vogue site. It’s another I picked up in the $1 out-of-print sale, and I would recommend it, especially as some kind of special occasion outerwear. (I first wore it at the October outdoor wedding over top of the Mr. Roboto dress, so that silver thing was covered up and no one could see what was going on under there.)

A couple of notes on the pattern:

1. If you’re short and planning on making it, maybe hack 1″ off the standing collar. I couldn’t get the top of the collar to shut even if I did sew a snap there. It’s so tall that it hits at like the fullest part of my face/head (I’m 5’3″ for reference). And I have a fat head, so no snapping.

Vogue8776 -6

2. The arm openings are reeeeeeally forward. Most all of the reviews for this on Pattern Review said so, but, you know, hope springs eternal. Truly, this garment will not suit you in any activity other than standing still or walking in a straight line while not carrying anything. You can hold a glass of wine if you’re talented. Like, no shoulder bags even.

3. In terms of sizing, I sewed up a size small, but then it looked pretty big (no muslin here, folks). So I used 1″ seam allowances on the side seam that runs allll the way from the neck hole down through to the hem. I think that was a good move. It means the pattern was a bit ‘petite-ized’ for me at the shoulder height, and also that some of the bulk at the sides was reduced. Because there is some side bulk, that weirdly ends up towards your back when you put your hands in your pocket.

Vogue8776-1

It looks ever so slightly cockroach-y. Thought not as cockroach-y as this.

4. There is no lining pattern. I just used the pattern pieces from the main coat, using this ridiculous paint splatter silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. I stand by my assertion that ugly-skewing silks make great coat linings.

I did cut the back piece on the fold rather than cutting two back pieces and sewing them up. Rather than putting the center back line directly on the fold, though, I left a bit of the seam allowance and then made a tiny pleat to give the lining some extra room for movement. Make sense? If not, some discussion here.

A couple of construction/fabric notes.

1. Using a lining necessitated some construction changes: I basically sewed up the coat body, and then sewed the facing (made of outside fabric) to the coat. From the right side, I machine-stitched the top of the armhole slit in the facing down to the corresponding outer pattern piece.

I then sewed up the remaining lining pieces and ‘bagged’ the lining to the main coat and facing.

At the bottom of the armhole slits, I hand sewed the lining fabric in place.

Vogue8776 -10

2. In terms of underlining and interfacing: I didn’t use  much. My fabric was Pendleton’s heavy coat-weight melton, which I really think is wonderfully warm and insulating — it’s the same stuff I used on the coat I made last year. It also is not too expensive if you buy it during sale time. Anyway, stuff is thick and stiff and doesn’t really need interfacing.

I did, however, use strips of fusible at the hem — about 2 inches for a 1.5 inch hem. This mean I had about .5″ of fusible peaking up over the hem, and I was able to catch stitch the hem but pick up very, very few threads of the coating fabric. Which means I avoided the indentations on the right side of the fabric.

IMG_1068

3. I followed the advice in Stefanie Lincecum’s coat class, loosely stitching the seam allowances of the lining to the seam allowances of the coat in a couple of key places. The lining doesn’t shift very much, and I think it helps the coat keep shape.

4. A final tip on pressing without a on clapper: I didn’t have one, but I was worried about the seam lines not being crisp on this. I used, in no particular order: unlaminated books, my seam roll, and my fingers. It might not be exactly the same as using a clapper, but definitely pressing the seams open with one or all of those things while they cool from the iron helps make the seams crisper than they would be if you just lifted the iron off and called it a day.

5. And like just about everyone else, I used snaps instead of buttons. While this means I haven’t gotten over my fear of button holes, it also means I have clean lines.

Vogue8776-2 aw snap

4 Comments

  1. wow this is fantastic. Aside from the wearing issues (not using a shoulder bag, not much arm movement) I want to say – you have to suffer for fashion, haha. I was just thinking of trying a cape, you might have pushed me over that edge. tres chic!

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