Hot! The Sleuthing Outfit | Debi Fry


Fabric: Blue checked tweed fabric £5 for 3.5 yards (charity shop find), cotton batting interlining £6/yd and grey lining fabric £1 (same charity shop find)
Patterns:   McCall 8501
Year: 1935
Notions: Buttons £5, belt buckle: £3
Time to complete: 8 hours this week, 12 hours previously for a total of 20 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes!!

Total Cost: ~£20

I love capes.   They make me want to solve mysteries and becoming a sleuth like Sherlock Holmes!  This week’s theme made me want to finish this cape pattern that I started a month ago. It’s from a 1935 pattern…don’t you just adore the pattern cover:


The pattern is really interesting as it’s a faux jacket (there is no jacket back) attached to the cape.  So, it’s  a bit of a coat-cape.  I’m wearing it with my high-waisted trousers made from the 1941 Simplicity repro pattern:

It uses up some amazing tweed fabric that I got in a charity shop find last year!  I got the lining fabric (which matches) in the same charity shop.  This was my first time lining and interlining anything (which is why it took so long to sew).  I hand hemmed everything and attached the lining and collar by hand as well.  I really adore sewing with tweed–it is so lovely to work with (even with three layers).


I definitely want to try more cape patterns as I love how capes drape in the back!!

We took these photos just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.  There are loads of really neat nooks called ‘closes’.  We took some of the photos in the ‘Advocate’s Close’, which is one of my favorites:


Can’t you just imagine this area in the 1930’s (or earlier)….I love it!!


What do you think? Have you ever sewn a cape?  Would you wear one?


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


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  1. Great job! You need a little magnifying glass prop! :)

  2. So awesome and I always love your photo locations!

  3. I love this! You look like you’re on a secret mission. I sewed a cape last year and it was a bit of a nightmare matching plaids, but it’s fun to wear. Thanks also for showing us a bit o’ Edinburgh.

    Well done Debi, it’s absolutely gorgeous and fun!

  5. This is SO COOL! I love capes and yours is AWESOME! Love the belt in front, it gives the cape more ‘shape’ and dimension. As always, your setting is incredible!

  6. Genial! You look mysterious in that scenario, but your sweet face softens the effect! I love, love the cape, I can “guess ” that it is a very comfortable garment and details of the belt and pockets are great!

  7. You look amazing! This is a great find fabric wise.

  8. This is FABULOUS! I absolutely adore the fabric you used and the style is so very glamorous – you look fantastic!!

  9. WOW! This is beautiful – and such a cool cut for a cape! I love the vested look – very, very classic!

  10. Well done!!! I am so jealous the availability of such nice fabrics and backdrops you have.

  11. I know ! I actually thought of a magnifying glass when we were taking these photos. Though David really wants me to make a matching deer stalker hat! :-)

  12. Thanks Rebecca…I know I am really lucky as Edinburgh is just perfect for vintage styled photos!

  13. Thanks Krissy…yes, there is something really fun about wearing capes…it seems out of the ordinary and I particularly love the way it feels when I walk!

  14. Thanks Veronica! I loved your dress this week as well! Isn’t this fun?

  15. Thanks Kat! It was a lot of fun to make!

  16. Thanks Adey! I also got your email about the Sewing Through the Decades Challenge and I would love if you wanted to participate! And maybe we can build in some elements to the Sew Weekly challenge? So fun!

  17. Thanks so much Rosy! I like the pockets and the belt too…it is surprisingly comfortable to wear too (and so much fun!)

  18. I know! I couldn’t believe it when I found the fabric! Major score!

  19. Thanks so much Megan! I feel very glamorous in the cape!

  20. Thanks Sarah! Isn’t this fun?

  21. I know..the backdrops are really stunning…it’s surreal sometimes walking around the city!

  22. Amazingly wonderful as always. And thanks so much for the tourist-e pictures. Love seeing your area of Scotland though the eyes of one who lives there.

  23. So fun!! Also, I love your city – was there in 2009 and it was the highlight of our trip!

  24. It’s nice to know that you’ve set aside projects and then taken them up again with fantastic results. You’ve inspired me to tackle my “to do” pile in my sewing stash again. But then, if I had your beautiful tweed in my collection, I’d just HAVE to finish it.