Hers · Sewing

Cape Caper #2 – A gift for a friend

this is the only picture I have of this cape.  all the construction photos were on the phone that took a dive into the toilet at McDonalds.  :’-(


A lovely friend and co-worker was to retire at the end of the month.  In the past she had admired my cape (yesterday, a shop girl referred to it as a “cloak”.  I like that) and had asked “how much to make one”.  We had talked about it a little bit, but never gotten around to choosing fabric.  Now that she was to retire, something had to happen.

One morning, I casually asked her about her favorite colors for clothing.  We got into a discussion about black and how glamorous and classy it was.  Also that she liked to add a POP of color, like REALLY BRIGHT ORANGE.  Then she had to hurry away to do some work.  That day, at lunch time, I went to the fabric store and my quest to make another cape/cloak began.  At the fabric store, I was looking for the bright orange lining fabric.  I wanted it to be really bright and warm.  I saw some flannel, but it didn’t really meet the brightness requirement. I left the store without fabric, this day.   I ordered the waterproof PUL outer fabric from Amazon.  I was on a short timeline, knew I could get it there, and knew it would get to me quickly.

When the fabric arrived, a couple of days later, it had a funny smell to it.  I gave it a good hot wash in the machine.  And then another before drying it in a HOT dryer.  The black fabric was ready to go, but I still didn’t have any lining fabric.  When I went to the store to purchase the fabric for my friend’s 1911 work apron and had to special order it, I saw some BRIGHT ORANGE fleece fabric.  I thought, “why not fleece?”.  Because I had to special order the apron fabric, it needed to be wrung up separately from my other purchases.  I got to use the 60% off coupon for both orders!!!  I was very pleased.

That night, I got out my pattern that I had used for my first Cape Caper and another cape that I had.  This second cape is from the 1970’s, made from wool, and was given to me by my grandma.  I liked the way that it hung in the back, better than the first cape that I made.  I laid out the wool cape and started taking measurements.  I learned that the wool cape had a 2″ difference in the back from the front.  I decided to incorporate this into this new cape.  I got out the paper pattern, transferred my new back measurement markings and using my French curve rulers redrew the shorter cutting lines on the full length cape pattern.  I cut out the lining fabric and the outer fabric pieces.  (Walther then claimed the castoff pieces of lining fabric as his own nest of warmth)

I didn’t have lots of time to work on this AND I didn’t have lots of time to get it done.  I ended up having to bring it with me to work and work on it as I could find the minutes here and there.  The only problem being that I didn’t want my co-worker to see it.  I wanted it to be a surprise.  It isn’t a difficult pattern to make, it just takes time to sew it.  I did work on it at home too.  Because of the construction site setting of certain rooms in our home (like my sewing room), I didn’t really have access to my treadle.  I would sit on the sofa, next to Partner, with my doggies and hand stitch the seams.  This made it consistent with the work I was able to do on my breaks and lunches at work too.

When I got the final step of sewing on the hook and eye, I Googled how to do it.  It would seem like an obvious task, but having done it ‘my way’ in the past and having it be less than stable, I figured I could use some advice.  Out of all the choices of links that came up, I liked the title of one better than all the rest.  I clicked on the link “Hooked Together – Sewing With Hooks and Eyes” by Yesterday’s Thimble.  This was just what I needed and wanted.  They are on,  and feel much more stable than when I did my cape.  But… (isn’t there always a ‘but’?) to make it the most stable, the stitches show on the outside fabric.  I HAD to sew through all the layers to make it the most stable.  To hide the stitches I purchased to pretty little fashion buttons to sew on the outside.  All done!