Hot! The “How many capes does one girl need?” cape



 The Facts

Fabric:  Cream, waffle texture Spring Suiting 2.5 yds $2-yd/ Leopard print cotton 2 yds $3-yd
Pattern: McCall’s 5764 View C $.99
Year: 2012
Notions: Vintage buttons 5/$1
Time to complete: 10 hours (I am a slow sewer)
First worn: 1/15/12
Wear again? YES!
                                         Total price: $12.99

When I first saw the button challenge I knew just what pattern I was going to use, my trusty McCall’s 5764. (Although the name has been chopped off in this photo, pesky editing.)Then when I found these buttons in one of my fave vintage shops I knew what fabric I would be using too. The stars were aligning. I first conquered my fear of buttonholes with this cape last winter. The second time around I added a lining via a tutorial on this blog,, it’s awesome and so user friendly.
This time around I wanted to add a lining and increase my skills in the buttonhole department. I knew what kind of buttonholes I would be doing for this challenge because of Ms. Gertie and her awesome tutorial.

Bound Buttonholes! Oh yeah! There are 4 of these bad boys on the front, although my belt is covering one.

 For my practice try I used the same waffle-textured fabric for the “lips”, but because of the thinness of the fabric there was too much lumpiness. If you are asking, “Can fabric be waffley and thin?” Oh yes it can. However besides the lumpiness the actual buttonholes turned out great. I credit the super easy, well-made tutorial from Gertie for my first try success.
For my next try I decided to use some similar colored cotton muslin. I think it worked out pretty well. Feeling pretty chuffed. (buffing nails on shirt right now)  I did however do the facing-buttonhole-openings differently than was suggested. This fabric frays like the dickens! So I marked where the openings should be and made machine buttonholes in the facing. This worked out great and probably saved me from some additional cursing.

The collar probably should have been interfaced with stronger interfacing, but I like to move my head and neck around, so I omitted this. Like I said earlier, this is the third cape from this pattern that I’ve made. I love how easy this pattern is to make and  wear. It hits at the hip and the belt keeps me from looking like a circle with legs.
I love how serious and conservative this cape looks from the outside and then when you open it up BAM! it’s covered in leopard print.


Here’s a close up of the button in it’s little bound buttonhole home. It looks so happy and makes me happy when I see them.




I’ve also been using button-backed buttons lately. I love the polished look it gives to a garment. I think it holds buttons on better too. Here’s a shot of the inside of my cape, that leopard print gets me every time. I finished the belt holes differently than Meg did in her tutorial. I made the “windows” instead of the extra-large button holes. The windows are basically skinny bound buttonholes without lips.

Something I’m beginning to realize is that I am a slow sewer. I’ve never tallied my hours before and was shocked that this cape took 10 hours. That time includes: fabric cutting, sewing, button hole practicing and making, hand sewing for the buttons, ironing and finishing. I really like a crisp finished look for all of my garments and that takes time. Perhaps I can start challenging myself to finish faster. Something to ponder anyway.

I took my photos at a local park that’s close to my home. This bridge has always been a favorite of mine, and you may see it in upcoming posts.  Oddly enough, this park and some surrounding parks has been closed, up until recently, due to some serious flooding last spring. A lot of the parks are looking a little post-apocalyptic, luckily this bridge was up and out of the way of all of that. I have to say a major Thank You! to my hubby and daughter for snapping my pics. I had fun with this challenge and increased my skill-set to boot. Looking forward to the next challenge!

On a side note, I don’t think I said button or buttonholes enough in this post. Gheesh :)



Clarissa Henderson started the Sew Weekly to create more wearable pieces for her wardrobe. She also joined to meet others in the sewing community.


Comments are closed.

  1. Hey, I have this pattern! Yours looks terrific and makes me wanted to get started on mine! Thanks for the link to Gertie’s tutorial, I have a feeling I will be needing it…soon hopefully :)

  2. Really beautiful! Love the fabric. I will have to be on the lookout for this pattern.

  3. Great texture on the fabric, it really makes those button holes shine! Nice job :)

  4. I *love* the animal print lining behind the sedate white cape. That’s simply fabulous. And the bound button-holes? Well, colour me impressed (looking at my own shabby buttonholes disappointingly)…..

    • Thanks Meganeliza! I don’t usually wear animal print, but I figured with it on the inside I could safely dip my toe into the animal print end of the pool.

  5. Your bound buttonholes are sooooo pretty – and the whole cape looks fantastic!

  6. What a lovely cape! It really looks good on you and you are right about the fit, it doesn’t look like a circle at all :)

  7. Love, love, love! I just pulled this pattern to re-make with a camel wool/plaid lining. But that animal print is fabulous! Great job on the buttonholes and thanks for the link to the lining instructions.

  8. That is a really nice cape! I love those bound buttonholes too! I’m going to have to visit that tutorial that you recommended and give it a try sometime soon.

  9. Just stunning! And the answer is: there are never enough capes.
    I have never seen the button behind a button finish before. It’s fantastic. Well done :D

    • Thanks Amanda! I first saw the button-behind-the-button on a coat. I almost always do this on heavy fabric or outerwear now. It’s so tidy

  10. Beautiful, you have done a fantastic job, worth every minute of the 10 hours. In our crazy busy lives it is nice to do some things slowly! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I think you are much better off sewing slowly and getting a beautiful finish on your garment every time like you have with this cape.
    Beautiful & Classy! :)

  12. You can never have too many capes I say. You are the queen of bound buttonholes they’re incredibly neat. Kudos to you.

  13. I love capes and yours is just darling! The bound buttonholes are just perfect!

  14. These button holes are truly impressive. What a great outfit!

  15. Thanks Angela, Barbara and Amanda! For some reason I couldn’t reply to your comments individually. Didn’t want you all to think I was leaving you out of the gratitude posts. Thanks again :)

  16. Sorry for the double posts. My comments weren’t showing up. Whoops! Guess I should be more patient.

  17. Gorgeous cape! I love the leopard lining – so fun!

  18. Gorgeous! I’m a sucker for leopard print, and love it paired with something more conservative. Great trick on the facing buttonhole!

    • Thanks Lavender. After I cut into the fabric I was so worried that the bound buttonholes would be a bust, but after I figured out that trick things went much smoother.

  19. This is a great cape. I love it that there’s a belt that cinches in the waist. I think I’ll try to get hold of this pattern – I don’t have even one cape so I guess it’s time to do something about this…your bound button holes look really neat. I’ll have to check out that blog and give it a try.

    • When I first made this pattern, I didn’t make the belt or the belt holes. After I finished it and tried it on, I immediately made the belt and belt holes. Short capes that aren’t belted are not flattering on me.

  20. Hm, I thought I had commented here but now my comment doesn’t show up…anyway, wanted to tell you how great your cape looks. I checked out that blog you mentioned (about the lining) and it turns out that I have exactly that same pattern waiting in my pattern stash. So far I wasn’t too motivated to try it out very soon but your cape and that cape from the blog look so great that I’ll have to give it a try soon. After all, I don’t have even one measly cape….
    Oh, and I am very impressed with those bound buttonholes. They look extremely neat. I think I’ll check out that Gertie blog and learn how to make them. I really don’t like the way my machine stitched buttonholes look like.

  21. Thanks Djamila! You’re so sweet. I had the same issue with my comments not showing up, then mysteriously they would show up (see above with the triple comment) I always feel silly when technology doesn’t cooperate. I’m glad those links helped you out. I’m always looking patterns up online before I sew to see if anyone has any good tips. I agree about regular buttonholes, my machine makes them ok, but not super tidy. I hope you give that pattern a try soon. Thanks again :)