Hot! The ‘Bosom Friend’ capelet

Just the facts, Ma’am:

Fabric: 1 metre of loosely woven boiled-wool tartan from the remnants bin, $5

Pattern: Vogue 7325

Year: ca. 1955

Notions: thread, tartan bias binding, grey bias tape (both thrifted for less than 20 cents)

And the insides? Hong kong seams in tartan bias binding, for extra tartan-y goodness, and grey bias hemming for everything else (cause I was out of tartan)

Hours: 3

First worn?: dinner with friend before flying off

Wear again?: Yes, but hopefully not until next winter!  I’ve got my fingers crossed that wool weather will be over by the time I’m back from Hawai’i.

Make again?: Yes, I love, love, love the shawl collar, and still want the ‘bosom friend with pockets’ version!

Total cost: $5.40

Vogue 7324 – from my Grandmother

This post, and the capelet, are exercises in desperation and determination.  I finished both, and the sewing/posts for the collar challenge, the book challenge, and next weeks Gatsby challenge all in a mad, crazy two week rush before taking three weeks off to go visit my parents in Hawaii (where, my Mum informs me, she’s not sure if the sewing machine works or not – eeek!).

In addition to potentially no sewing machine, my access to internet will be sporadic at best.  My parents live down the earthworm tunnel, under the rock, behind the bush, in the sticks, that are at the end of the road dirt road three miles past the boonies. They had to install their own telephone pole with a satellite dish at the top to get any internet at all, and even so you take a book with you to check your email, and read three paper pages while one html page loads.

So everything had to be done beforehand.

Also, I had only one piece of tartan in my stash that isn’t 8 metres long and intended to be an elaborate Victorian dress.

So, this is my capelet.  I wanted to make the version with the long lappets, which would make basically a 20th century bosom friend, but I didn’t have quite enough of the tartan.  Boo.

So instead I made it up as a little cape and wore it to dinner with some bosom friends, who are worthy of the term because they put up with my sleep deprived brain the night before my flight after two weeks of sewing/teaching/giving exams/final projects.

Also, one of them ordered me an entire case of Roastaroma tea, the one food from the States that I desperately crave in NZ.  Which pretty much makes him the best thing ever (this same friend also grew a beard for one friends music video, and then shaved it off the next week for a photoshoot for me).  I have the awesomest friends ever.

So here is to real-life bosom friends, online virtual friends (ones that I like enough that I am willing to share photos of myself that I hate with!), and warm fuzzy capelets that are almost bosom friends.

Tartan hong-kong seams



Leimomi Oakes - The Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes learned to sew as a child in Hawaii, and hasn't spent a day without doing it in the-more-years-than-she-would-like-to-admit-to since. When she was 18 she was nicknamed 'The Dreamstress' and bought the domain name, and now she's stuck with it. After getting degrees in Art History, Costume Design and International Relations she worked in a number of fabulous museums before going freelance as a textile and fashion historian and historical seamstress. She lives in Wellington New Zealand with a lovely husband and a world-famous cat.


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  1. Leimomi, you’re just the cutest little thing in your capelet. What a great idea to wear it ON TOP of a jacket. This might actually be something that could work very well in a cold German winter. I think I’ll try to get hold of such a pattern – it’s impossible that you’ve already made 3 of these this year while I am completely capelet-less. :(

  2. I agree with Djamila. You are adorable in your little cape. Awwwww

  3. Love the capelet.. So pretty.. Enjoy your visit in Hawaii.. Sounds fantastic .

  4. Very nice! I love a cape. I know the seasons have shifted here when I start pulling out the cape patterns. Have a blast in Hawaii. Take lots of pictures and soak up the sun and water.

  5. Very sweet! You won’t be needing it in Hawaii however, have fun visiting the family!