Our weekend was more cloudy than sunny, which is why these photos are rather dimly lit, but it wasn’t raining so at least we could take Gia to the monastery to look at flowers before church. The rain made everything vividly green and mossy, and the break in the showers brought some of the flowers out hopeful for sun.
I wore my two-year old little black cape made from Vogue 8959 in a size XS in a textured wool that I bought on clearance. It is fully lined in plain black polyester lining fabric and the leather buttons are from a JoAnns button clearance several years ago. They had a whole basket full of buttons for 25-50 cents each, and I bought so many that I am still using them on projects now.
Vogue 8959 is a good introductory pattern to start making outerwear, since the construction is simple and the fit of capes in general is very forgiving. The pattern is drafted to have very rounded shoulders, though, so if you have narrow shoulders, like me, even the XS will have a somewhat exaggerated shape. It gives it a 60s look---they also preferred bell-shaped capes---or a modern, avante-garde look, depending on fabric and button choice---but if you don’t like the shape of the shoulders, then you should probably chose a different cape pattern. I made the shortest view, and like the length, although I hemmed it more narrowly than the pattern called for.
The only vintage cape I own is made of double-faced wool and is reversible, so all the seams are top-stitched, and I noticed how nice and flat they are. Inspired by that detail, I top-stitched all the seams of my cape by hand. I think hand-stitching is more subtle and sinks into the wool fabric more nicely than machine stitching. The hem is also sewn by hand, and the button-holes.
I am fond of capes for several reasons: you can wear them over any shaped sleeve or any fullness or length of skirt, they are easily layered over jackets, suits or sweaters for extra warmth, they are easy to walk in, and they have a clean, elegant line.
Mr and Mrs Rat
Mr and Mrs Rat like to sew.