Friday, 4 December 2015

Woodland Stroll Cape


Remember how I said that, having finished my sailboat raincoat, I was surprised to find that I didn't hate the thought of ever making another coat or jacket again? Well, I tested that revalation by jumping into my next planned outerwear project, the Woodland stroll cape pattern (as outlined in my nippy weather sewing plans). 


Pattern:

I've had a hankering to make myself a cape for years, but struggled to find quite the right pattern for the task. As much as I like the look of most cape sewing patterns, they often seem pretty restrictive and therefore unwearable, IMO. However, the Woodland Stroll Cape sewing pattern by Liesl + Co (pictured below) seemed like it might actually allow you to do things other than stand still and gaze at stuff. Around the time I found this pattern (probably via Pinterest), I also discovered the equally awesome Tessuti New York Cape pattern which pretty similar but it has a hood. After an extensive internal debate, I went with the Woodland Stroll one because it included a lining. If I'm going to make outerwear, it had better bloody keep me at least vaguely warm! PLUS, having used a few Oliver + S patterns (the children's patterns counterpart to the Liesl + Co range) and been super impressed by their instructions, I knew that I'd be getting a little sewing lesson thrown in if I bought that one. This one lived up to my expectations, and I definitely felt cleverer after I completed this project!


I'm really pleased that I read the post by Sarah from Fabric Tragic about her fabulous (also checked) version of this pattern before I cut mine out. She drafted a front facing for hers (the pattern includes a back neck facing but has the front lining attached at the very edge of the front edges) which seemed like a wonderful idea, so I followed suit. Thanks Sarah for the tip! I'm so glad I did as it gives the whole thing more body and feels more snuggly around the neck/throat area.


Aside from the front facing, the only place I deviated from the pattern and instructions was with the buttons. The pattern calls for three buttons (or buckles) down the front but I went with four because I thought that looked nicer. I also stitched the underarm buttons on through both layers, rather than creating buttonholes as the pattern suggests. I knew I was never going to undo those underarm buttons, so making functioning buttonholes seemed a bit of a waste of time.

Fabric:

This piece of checked wool (actually, it may not be wool) has been in my stash for about four years and I am unnecessarily excited to have finally used it. It was the very end of a roll that had been donated for us to use when I worked for TRAID. It was a small piece (maybe about 1.2m), too small for making anything to sell from it, but I loved it too much to stick it in the bag with the other off-cuts to be shredded and recycled. As it was too small for any other jacket-y type pattern I encountered and too thick to be appropriate for a different type of garment to be made from it, it has hung around all this time as I lamented it dormancy (is that a word? I could easily find out I guess if I could be bothered, I'm clearly sitting in front of a computer).


Anyways, you can imagine my excitement when I realised that, with care, I would have enough of it for this cape pattern! I was able to pattern-match at the centre front and at the side seams, but it's all over the place at the shoulder seams and I couldn't give a monkeys. The fabric is soooo snuggly that wearing it feels like I'm receiving a constant, low-level hug.  

The lining, sadly, I had to buy. I didn't have anything even vaguely matching in my stash. Because the lining goes right up to the edges around the whole hem, I knew it would probably be visible from time to time, so I didn't want anything contrasting. I found this grey (acetate?) lining in Ditto fabrics in Brighton after my classes at MIY Workshop one Saturday. I was thrilled to find this lining because their selection isn't huge and it was just the right tone and it had a tiny checked print which references the outer fabric nicely.


Thoughts:

This cape has turned out better than I could have hoped for and I'm beyond happy that I finally got to deploy my beloved checked fabric piece. Before the temperature really dropped last month, I wore this pretty much every day with my fabulous mustard wrist warmers that my friend Michelle knitted for me years ago. I've already turned two of my regular students at the MIY Workshop on to this pattern as it is a fantastic outerwear sewing pattern to cut your teeth on. There are no darts, no sleeves and no collars to worry about; just buttonholes and a lining remain to freak you out/conquer! 


Cost: 

Pattern: $12.95 (about £8.60) from here as a PDF
Outer fabric: £0
Lining: £4.50 from Ditto Fabrics
Buttons: £2.60-ish from my local haberdashery, Thimbelinas (how good it that name?!)
Total: £15.70

A fairly pricey make for me, and it involved buying way more 'new' stuff than I tend to feel comfortable with, but I think it was worth it because I know the final result will get a lot of use. After four years of hard service and approx. 350,000 wears, my Captain jacket is starting to get very ratty, so this may well fill the void that otherwise my wardrobe would be about to experience. 


26 comments:

didyoumakethat said...

Zoe, I think this is wonderful! So glad to hear about a wearable cape. I agree. I always look at them and think, 'But how do you put your handbag over your shoulder?' Or, as you say, move. It's a really beautiful make. You're tempting me to make this!

jain1023 said...

The cape is beautiful, a year ago I found almost the same pattern (for free...) With a sewalong (but it is not in English) i was planing to sew it since, but after seing your cape, i will definitelly make it first in the pile ;)
http://www.betsy.es/capa-christine/?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=pdf-pattern&utm_campaign=capa-christine

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful cape - I love your checked fabric! I've made two woodland capes for myself and one for my mum for Christmas last year. I agree it's a lovely pattern and I always feel so cosy in mine.

Cherie said...

What a lovely cape from a terrific fabric! It fits you perfectly, and it does look easy to move in! How nice to find a pattern to use a small remnant.

Sewing Sveta said...

approx. 350,000 wears

How much wears?%)))

Louise Perry said...

You look so stylish is this cape, and I would say £15 for outerwear is really good value. Glad your fabric finally found its purpose!

Miriam said...

gorgeous! well done you - I agree about the cape thing too they are quite impractical to wear and imo also tend to only look good in a photo shoot. This is a cape that works and wears well x

Claire Sutherland said...

Love your cape. I just finished mine and love it. I also used a wool check and am really happy with the result. Like you I couldn't match the arm seams with the fabric I had but everything lines up at the front which is what matters! I have some red fleece and may try a fleece version next .

Christals Creations said...

Amazing. I have so much stash to use and after buying a house and breeding to do so much work on it am completely broke so will have to make a start sewing it up!

Emma Pelly said...

Oh I like that....think I will have to buy that pattern and start to plan what fabric to use. It looks very expensive - and not at all "home-made" Perfect!! Well done you Zoe! (wish I could have you there to hold my hand whilst doing it - any chance of doing a workshop in London based on this pattern?)

sewalign said...

A gorgeous and smart cape, love the style and fabric. I love capes, having made two and am tempted to make another one.

Jeanette Madden said...

Very nice! I could use one of those.

Alyssa Wesselmann said...

I love how this turned out! Sewing the side buttons through both layers of fabric was a great idea. I made a simerlar cape and my side buttons occasionally come unbuttoned, which can be rather annoying!

Alyssa Wesselmann said...

I love how this turned out! Sewing the side buttons through both layers of fabric was a great idea. I made a simerlar cape and my side buttons occasionally come unbuttoned, which can be rather annoying!

Tasha said...

Very nice, it looks great! I've been craving some kind of big poncho to wear while working on the computer or sewing in the winter, since I get so cold when I'm sitting still. This project is giving me more ideas!

donna said...

What a great cope. The action shots are great to show its wearability. Very cool!

Portia Lawrie said...

Love this so much!

Portia Lawrie said...

Love this so much!

Fabric Tragic said...

It's perfect! That little hint of mustard is fabulous! And I've not had any issues with carrying a handbag for anyone who was curious!

Anonymous said...

I love it! I have a collection of vintage capes but have not really worn them since University, I find them impractical for life with small children, but this version with sleeves is awesome! I would love to tackle it, Im not sure I would be brave enough for pattern matching checks yet though ;) Cassandra

Mother of Reinvention said...

This is absolutely beautiful and I am so glad that you were finally able to find a role for this wonderful fabric. It looks very impressive and the pattern matching is spot on. A very stylish make. P.S. Now I can refer to your blog when I am told that I need to get rid of fabric. :) Xx

Alessa said...

So pretty! It looks great with those mittens!

Hazel_Myope said...

I love the fact that your arm warmers match the stripes in your cape. I wish I could plan ahead enough to do that, but it's only ever worked with black and black. :-P

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