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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Anything But Elementary Cape

When Sew Weekly called last week's theme as 'Free For All,' I took it literally.  I had three garments complete for the theme, the final being this cape, which also counts towards the most difficult project that I completed this year.  This makes it perfect for my final garment show and tell of 2011!

Don't get me wrong - it was fun to make - but it had a higher level of difficulty in techniques and took me the longest of all of my projects this year (actual time spent working on it, that is).  Part of that may have been from the increase in my skills and knowing that I really needed to finish everything off properly.  Not only that, but I took a considerable amount of time reading and rereading the directions to make sure I assembled the pattern properly.

The best part of this jacket? Everything I used I had on hand.  I had already purchased the fabric back in October or November.  Stashbusting feels soooo good!  I had the pattern, thread, notions (buttons galore) and lots of bias tape.  I used readymade bias tape instead of the lining tape that they suggested.  I barely like making my own bias tape as it is, unless it's from a nice cotton, but to make it from a lining satin sounded like torture.  So I used black bias tape for the main details but red for the hemming because I like the sneak peek that you get of it every once in a while.

Fabric: Gray wool suiting
Pattern: McCalls 6446
Notions: 11 buttons (the pattern called for 7 and my hood variation used 4 more), lots of bias tape

The pattern with the hood or no hood option. Notice the large neckline on the latter.
The one variation that I made to the jacket was to make a detatchable hood.  The pattern comes with details for a hooded or unhooded jacket, but they do not give instructions on a hood pocket or anything.  The instructions were also vague for assembling the hood directly to the jacket.  They made sense but I didn't like the technique they used with their facing.  Ultimately, I liked the option to remove it.  So I made the hood separately and attached a row of buttons to the facing.  Under the collar of my jacket are the corresponding buttonholes so that I can remove the hood completely.

There's one feature that I'm not crazy about with this jacket but you only really see it with the hood off.  The neckline is extremely wide - almost boatneck like.  It's fine for looks but not really practical for chilly days.  Once the hood is attached, it's okay, but I have a feeling that the hood is just going to stay on in the winter.

Also, the jacket is not lined.  Luckily our weather is pretty mild but I could see this being more of a spring jacket in colder climates.  Though you could probably just as easy line it.  Well, maybe not just as easy... there were a ton of pattern pieces for this puppy!

My favorite parts?  I love the finishing of the armholes and the angle of the pockets.  Assembling both was no fun until I really comprehended the directions, but I just kept reading it and practicing what it was asking until I made sure that I had it right.

Overall, the jacket took about four full days to make.  This means 4-6 hours of cutting, sewing, etc, each day.  I maybe spent less time on day 3 (I was frustrated at the directions by that point), but it was a very satisfying project.

The hubby never knows what to say with some of my items.  He swears he likes it, but when he first saw it he said
Hubby: 'ooooh, that's very you.  No one else will have that.'
Me: 'Umm, what does that mean?'
Hubby: 'Well, it looks very European.'
Me: 'How so?'
Hubby, awkwardly trying to back out of this situation: 'Umm I don't know, but it's very nice! I like it!'

Fine, I won't make him squirm.  Day 2, he seemed to like it even more (the compliments seemed less strained... maybe he worked on them in his sleep?).  Anyways, keep in mind this is the guy who always tells me 'that's a cute dress!' when I'm wearing a skirt.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season and wishing you a safe and happy New Year!



  1. It's fabulous! What a fantastic cape and so great that you did the hood as well!

  2. It turned out beautifully!!! You have done a wonderful job this year, I am envious!

  3. Your cape looks great! Love your husband's comments, especially the one about nice "dress" when you are wearing a skirt. :)

  4. Little Red Riding Hood you look too cute.

  5. Wow, that is beautiful! And it looks comfortable, as well :-)

  6. I love your cape!

  7. It looks great. Adore the hood.


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