The “Jumping into the Deep End” Cape
Fabric: 2.5 yds plaid wool suiting (on sale $8/yd); 2.5 yds black lining (on sale $4/yd) – both from Joann’s
Pattern: New Look 6073
Notions: 4 peacoat buttons ($1.29 for two)
Time to complete: dear heavens, a million hours? No, probably more like 8.
First worn: Sunday night for the photo shoot (thank you, lovee!) and for prancing about showing my neighbors.
Wear again? Oh you bet.
Total price: $34 for what I’ve mentioned. More like $50 when you count the muslin, the thread, and the sewing studio rental time. Oof.
About a year and a half ago, I gave away all my collected sewing stuff (aside from machine, shears, and basic needle & thread) in order to focus my energy/attention/money on my knitting. That turned out splendidly (come say hi on Ravelry!) but it meant that when I decided to take up sewing again I was without a stash from which to cull and mighty rusty besides.
So what do I decide? To slowly wade in, perhaps? Oh no, not for me. I’ll make a cape. With all sort of curves. And I’ll make it plaid. And I’ll line it…even though I’ve never-not-ever done that before, or even used slinky fabric before. Suuuuure.
Well, as you can see, it turned out pretty lovely, even for all of my crazy ideas about what is an appropriate starting point. There were some troubles, as can be expected after a sixteen month hiatus (and not much skill prior to that). I was planning on skipping the lining but then realized how much hemming would have to be done and immediately went out to Joann’s to part with more of my meager craft allowance. Of course the hemming might have been a breeze compared to the lining. It cost me about four hours of sewing, pinning, cursing at the sky, unpinning, picking out seams, resewing, pinning, and more cursing. I’ll try not to say too many uncharitable things about a seemingly innocent swath of fabric, so we’ll leave it at: that’s the last thing I’m lining for a very long time.
This pattern was easy to work up, although I realized about three-quarters of the way through that I could’ve just made a circle skirt to wear on my shoulders and then wouldn’t have had to worry about matching plaids (which I abandoned almost immediately for the stress of it). Ah well. The pattern called for toggles, but that seemed a bit like cheating the button challenge, so I made up little button tabs instead. I’m planning on actually shortening the tabs to close the cape closer; with the gap it pulls the shoulder seams off my shoulders about an inch, making it a bit more baggy than I’d like. (My brain tells me that it’s a cape and therefore supposed to be baggy, but I’m choosing to ignore her.)
But in the end, it’s an amazing thing. The lining makes it feel like a real garment, the plaid is loud and bold and all the things I love, and just like that, I’m back in the water (that is, the water of sewing).
(Tip for those predisposed to sewing rage: if planning on utilizing the magical buttonhole foot, check to make sure your buttons fit in said foot. Do this before sitting down to create buttonholes.)