HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps. I’ve really been enjoying my fall sewing. I recently wrapped up this black cape with arm slits.

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I had purchased something similar last month and while I loved the style, I did not love the fabric. The fabric was itchy and “synthetic-y” if you know what I mean. I simply love capes. So I decided to recreate the look in a nicer fabric. I chose this wool/cotton blend. It’s made of 100% natural fibers and is way more lux than the original one I wore here.

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My cape is collarless and simple, this will allow me to wear it just the way it is, or accessorize with different collars/ neck warmers to maximize its use in my wardrobe. 

I added vintage gold buttons as you can see in the pic below. I knew I wanted some gold hardware on it but decided to keep it fairly simple. These are shank buttons I recently found at an estate sale.

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Sewing quick tip: To stabilize a shank button and keep it from drooping, add a regular 2 hole or 4 hole button on the back. While you are sewing the shank button on the front, loop your thread through the regular button on the back. That will keep it from drooping.

My favorite look is with the fur collar, re-purposed from another coat, paired with long gloves. I found these while antiquing with a friend.

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I drafted the pattern and facings:

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I decided to use contrast bias tape on the inside of the garment. I made the bias tape, thanks to a YouTube tutorial. Using a bias tape maker is so simple, and you can create any color or use a nice print!

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I recently purchased this set of bias tape makers and they are so fun and easy to use! I highly recommend them. On the hem of the cape, I used store bought bias tape and then hemmed it.

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Here is the view from the side:

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Here is a slightly different way I styled the same outfit. DIY Faux fur collar made by my mum in law with the cape on top, to show off those gorgeous buttons!

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The cape is unlined. I decided to try the self-bound seam on the inside of the cape.  The fabric is on the medium side for a wool. I started off with drafting the pattern with 1/2 inch seam allowance, but given the turn of cloth, I decided to upgrade to a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The seams turned out nicely, but there was a bit of waviness on the side seams around the shoulders.  Looking back, I think a hong kong finish would be nicer. But this is what I love about sewing, we learn something new with every project.

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Pattern: I self-drafted the pattern for this one. Drafting a pattern for a cape is fairly simple, as is fitting. I studied pattern making with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts, a school she founded and runs. She is brilliant. Luckily offers pattern making classes on craftsy now and I am enrolled in all her classes for a refresher course.  I am linking her craftsy classes HERE in case you want to check them out.  For making upper body garments, you would want to start with the Bodice sloper class.  Then you would learn how to manipulate the sloper to create your own designs. I actually just re-ordered my textbook to go along with her classes.

This project was so fun to make! I want to make another cape for winter, so I’ll be looking for some more sewing inspiration.  What about you? What’s your latest fall project?

Lastly, I created a small sewing Q&A group that I hope will double as a sewing space for us to asks sewing questions and also get sewing inspiration from each other. You can join the group HERE

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! See you soon!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

19 Comments on DIY Black Wool Cape

  1. Vatsla, This cape is gorgeous. This is one of the itema i deaire to learn how to make. You make it look so easy and ready to wear. Great job!!!

  2. Vatsla gurl you did your thang with this cape!!!! I love it!!!!!! The fur piece took it to the next level!!!! Now I want to make one!!!

  3. I like your cape & I like your idea I just read above: “As always, make samples and practice to make the process easier and fun!”….Words of wisdom!

  4. Awesome job! Saw your post on Pattern Review and had to check it out. I wish one could buy this pattern. I started a cape last year but gave up. Thought the shoulders made me look like a linebacker. This pattern however does not at all seem to have that problem. Really elegant!

    • HI! I think having the really slim panels on the side front and side back help contour the pattern to eliminate the “boxiness”. I can certainly share details of the pattern if you wish you draft your own or attempt a muslin! Thanks for the complement!

      • Oh, please do if it’s not too much trouble. A cape doesn’t have to be super fitted so if you can give me e.g. the measurements of the panels, that would really help. Looking forward to it!

  5. Love, love, love it! That is a terrific cape and I am absolutely *stricken* with jealousy of your having studied with Suzy F. at Apparel Arts! I have been working on her classes this year & they are wonderful but I would sure like to study with her in person! Thanks for sharing. (p.s. the collars are great too)

    • Can I tell you that YOU are the lucky one?! I live in NC and caught a flight every 4 to 5 weeks to go study with her, before moving to SF to finish up. Craftsy was in the baby stages then- not widely popular.. and Suzy was not on craftsy then..

      I am so glad she is now, fashion design has finally become accessible to anyone. I love that. Do you have her text book? I just received my 2nd copy!

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