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!