Monday, October 7, 2013

Capes as Coats

I have been eyeing capes for awhile now.  I made my daughter one two years ago for Christmas.  I always had it in my mind I could take the pattern I used for her and upsize it for myself.  I even bought fabric for the project well over a year ago.

And as most things go around here.  It never got done.  Capes are still trendy, so I figured I had better get busy making one before it was past it’s time.  And speaking of time, this little project lined up perfectly with the “Project Sewn” challenge - The Fashion Era Challenge.  I was specifically thinking of 60’s capes when I was brainstorming my ideas.  Although honestly when I did some research, capes have been popular throughout the ages.  There are only a few eras where they were out of style.

In the end I figured it would be easier to tailor an already made pattern for women into something I wanted.  So I picked up this McCall’s pattern, M6446, when it was on sale for 70cents.


On the original pattern I wasn’t a huge fan of the collar, and I wanted my cape to have a little less volume on the bottom.  And as a bonus challenge I had purchased only 2 yards of fabric years ago for this project, and the pattern called for almost 3 yards.  This was my make it work moment.


I ended up taking off some of the volume in the side panels.  I think I could have taken more off, but I’m happy with it.  I also created my own collar detail so the collar would be turned up and button.  So far I have only added two buttons.  I have two more to sew on, but I can’t decide if I want them.  I am a little afraid it will pull at the chest, and I really don’t want that to happen.  So I might be happy leaving it with only two buttons and then adding the buttons to the back of the coat.


Because when I went to buy buttons today, which was the only reason I needed to run to the store, I forgot I needed buttons for the back.


Maybe if I did add the buttons to the front, it wouldn’t gape so much at the bottom and show the lining and pocket lining.  Hmmm, I may have made my decision.


It does look alright completely unbuttoned.


I did get this project sewn up in a week, but an exterior garment, especially one I decide to fully line (even though the pattern didn’t call for it), takes up a lot of time.  It’s one of those pieces that probably isn’t worth sewing up, unless you really want something specific, or if you happen to have a lot of free time.

Speaking of lining.  I had even less lining fabric than the wool for the exterior.  I thought it wouldn’t matter if the lining had less volume than the coat, except I wanted to sew it at every edge.  So I ended up having to sew in some weird wedges to make it work.  I don’t think you would normally notice it when wearing it, but I know it’s there.


So how do you feel about capes?  I’m definitely excited to wear mine when it’s gets colder outside!



  1. I wouldn't have thought of making a cape, but you make a good case for it! It's a fun alternative to a coat and looks so cute! Love that fabric--definitely getting the '60's vibe.

  2. Well done - I especially love the lining! I have bought 2m of lovely wool fabric for a cape but have so far been too scared to cut into it.....yours is convincing me to give it a go!

  3. are a girl after my own heart....I don't buy any more fabric for a project than I have to and then usually end up piecing things in crazy ways to make them work AND I never spend more than $1 on a how your cape turned out!-liZ