Hot! The “Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give A …” capelet

Vintage Simplicity 5416 Capelet

The Facts:

Fabric: Goldish tan cotton velvet that spent seven years hanging in front of my bedroom window
Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 5416
Year: c. 1964
Notions: Thread, interfacing, lining, fabric covered button
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: Monday, for photos
Wear again? Of course! Everyone should have a 60s era velvet capelet on hand. You just never know when you might need it.
Total price: Everything was in my stash – so I’m saying $0.00.

As I was trying to decide on a garment to sew for this week’s challenge, I was hemming a new pair of curtains for our bedroom  After seven years I figured it was time for a bedroom change that involved more than painting the walls.  The old curtains – long, unlined, cotton velvet – were still in pretty good shape so I tossed them in the washer to prepare them for the donation bin.

However I had an “aha!” moment when they came out of the dryer.  Why donate them when I could refashion them into something!

Oh!“, I thought to myself, “These curtains would look beautiful as a 60s era capelet.”  And thus the “Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give A ….” capelet began. It may not be green and it may not be a dress but it did begin life as a curtain.  My capelet is named “Frankly My Dear, I Don’t Give A…” in honor of Scarlett O’Hara’s curtain dress.

I even had the perfect pattern on hand – Simplicity 5416 – and it only required ONE buttonhole – woot!

With this week’s challenge being a technique challenge – specifically buttonholes – I figured it was time to sew me a bound buttonhole.  The last time I made a bound buttonhole was about 1998.  And that one didn’t turn out all that nicely. I found this buttonhole very easy to construct, which tells me my skills have improved over the past ten plus years. Whew!

Isn’t it pretty?  The collar is adorned with a vintage 60s or 70s brooch that belonged to my husband’s mother.

I did lengthen the capelet about four inches, for two reasons.  1) The pattern I had is a small, size 10-12, but it’s a 1964 10-12, with a bust of 31-32″ and I sew with a larger size.  2)  I have a large bust and I needed the extra length.

And look at the surprise hiding inside! Oh yea, animal print lining.

I did change the construction a bit.  The lining is sewn edge-to-edge of the capelet. Rather than leave the neck edge open and turning, as directed by the instructions, I left an opening in the side seam.  Much easier to turn and stitch closed.

Can you tell I’m pretty pleased with myself? I made a bound buttonhole. I lined the cape with a remnant I’ve held onto for far too long. I have a new cute little capelet to wear.

And the best part? The look on my husband’s face when he realized I had turned our bedroom curtains into this.  Priceless!




Sharon Madsen

Sharon has been sewing for many years after teaching herself to sew at a young age. As a teen she began designing using techniques that were more “by the seat of her pants” than “by the book” resulting in some hysterical fashion moments. She loves dogs, shoes and teaching Zumba fitness—but not as much as sewing.


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  1. What a great story and you made out with only one buttonhole!! I guess that is a self covered button too? Nice. I’m a sucker for Gone With the Wind quotes. Well done.

  2. Really cute, loving the contrast lining and the curtains story.

  3. Lovely! I’m such a fan of capelets. And the brooch is gorgeous!

  4. Nice job, Sharon. I love the idea of repurposing drapes into some very fashionable.

  5. Super cute refashioning. Beautifully bound button hole too. (must learn to do these properly myself.

  6. Your decision to use the velvet and turn it into something so adorable, is very inspiring. Now I now what I might try if I come across something velvet at the thrift.

  7. This is fierce! Love the surprise lining :D

  8. Very cute! Love the leopard print.

  9. The lining is divine!!! I adore your capelet, and definitely love that it was once curtains :) Bravo!

  10. SO FABULOUS. I adore your lining and the fact that you made this from curtains! It looks wonderful!

  11. That lining is divine! What a fabulous capelet!