Skip to main content

Cape Coat Dud

The thought of me being "trendy" when it comes to fashion is laughable. But, as I scoured the internet, I realized that just about anything can be considered trendy if I look hard enough. 

My cape coat combines the trends of plaid with cape with over-belt to create an outer wear piece I thought to be suitable for my mid-western, mid-30's mom-ness. Truthfully, the inspiration for this came from wanting to use a caramel colored obi-wrap belt I bought a year ago at the Limited for no reason at all and have never worn. The price tag is still on it.

If cape coats are so trendy, then why can't I find more than one or two sewing blogs where people have made one? My inability to over research a project forced me to hesitate, but just for a quick minute. I found this lovely Shetland Wool on clearance for pennies on the dollar. Without checking the pattern back, I ordered 4 yards and as it turns out, I have enough fabric to make two. It's the perfect color for my caramel belt. I made it up in Simplicity's Project Runway pattern 1775, using a roll of vintage Japanese kimono silk from my stash as a lining. As I did with my Lumber Jackie O Coat, I interlined it with this fabulous lambswool from A Fashionable Stitch's store.

Silk Lining
Shetland Wool
I pre-treated the silk the way I have all the kimono silk I buy: by putting it in the washer on cold and then the dryer for about 10 or 15 minutes. It comes out mostly dry and really wadded up. It's only 14 inches wide, and 500+ inches long. I steam press it on each side immediately after it comes out of the dryer and then roll it back up on it's tube for storage. This stuff is old, and used--you can see stitch holes in the edges where it used to be a garment and was taken apart. Sometimes there's patina or stains, it can be dirty from age and use, and there's always that "old" smell. I find it cleans up really nicely in the washer, doesn't shrink in the dryer (much, anyway) and so far hasn't caused any damage. 

In contrast, I was nervous about pre-washing the wool myself. I know wool shrinks, and that would be fine (it is the point, after all) but I was worried about the plaid twisting off grain, or needing to re-block the yardage (whatever that means). I have no interest in stretching back to grain 4 yards of thick and wide wool. My local cleaners says they will steam press it for a flat fee, so that's what I did. The finished product will go there for cleanings anyway. My time and stress is worth $20.

This pattern does not have pockets. To fix this, I placed my hand where it would naturally want to fall and traced it (on my muslin, of course). I used those dimensions and angles to modify the welt pocket pieces from my last coat. I made them about an inch wider and deep enough for m whole hand to fit inside. Noticed I matched the plaids on the welts!


Welt Pocket Guts..so ugly.












I worked hard to successfully match all the plaid on this project's seams, and I was pretty successful too!




So, Crystal, why is this seemingly lovely coat a dud? I feel huge in it for two reasons: 

  1. It's too big! Boo. The back is far too baggy, especially at the waist. 
  2. Poor fabric choice means it's too bulky. If this had been made in a fabric with more drape, the bigness of it wouldn't be so overwhelming on my petite stature. Using a blanket weight wool and adding a lining and underlining gives this piece way more body than the style should have. It's stiff and heavy.
I wore the coat grocery shopping in yesterday's cold and snowy day, and it was pretty comfy. Just a shame that it doesn't fit well enough for me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Announcing Seasonal Sew Wardrobe 2017: Launch and FAQ

**Updates and Clarifications In RED**
I have a new challenge for you... Are you game?
I want to know: How deep does your stash go?


Since we launched the Seasonal Sew Wardrobe Challenges last January, I've been amazed at the imagination and creations of our Sew Alongs & Sewing Contest Members. We are launching our next session on January 1, 2017. This time around there are some twists and turns designed to pull you out of your comfort zone just a little bit, and encourage you to push yourself. 
The FocusJanuary is a time of renewal, goal setting and getting back on track after a season of indulgence. I have binged and splurged far more than my fair share, and that's why it was decided this season's SSW will focus on using what we already have
How many patterns have you grabbed only for them to be buried by the next inspiration to come along?
How many yards of fabric have you purchased for that great project idea only to find a year (or two, or ten) later that it's still…

Plans and Best Intentions for Seasonal Sew Wardrobe Deep Stash

How are you planning your Seasonal Sew Wardrobe for our Deep Stash Edition? 
As of this posting there are already 44 member albums in the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests group containing hundreds of great patterns! Some sewers are using their group albums to plan and track ideas, some are showing snap shots of hand written, or typed lists... at least one had fabric swatches attached! Others are typing up their lists in a post and talking it out on the group page before deciding. It's so much fun to watch!


While poking through my stash, trying to work out a sewing plan, I discovered I had a (nearly) blank copy of 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook. Based on what I found written inside, I had filled out a few pages in January of 2015 but never followed through on anything. What a waste! 
My Plans For SSW: Deep StashFortunately, I'd written in my notebook using a Frixon Pen (thermal ink) and so I happily erased those pages the other day and started over using my plans for Season…

My New Cardigan Love: Paro Cardigan From Itch-To-Stitch Designs

January can be a cold and bleak time for many. The rush of holiday activities is over, yet the weather is still deary and frigid. By this time, I'm pretty much tired of people and just want to snuggle up in a warm sweater with a hot beverage. 
Paro Cardigan, new TODAY from Itch to Stitch ticks all my "warm sweater" boxes.

✔ Long, but with a defined waist

✔ Front and back feminine pleats

✔ Roomy enough to wear over blouses and tee shirts

✔ Optional front closure where you can show off those over-sized buttons in your stash

Paro Cardigan is the same precise pattern you expect to see from Itch To Stitch Designs. Every notch matches and the step-by-step instructions are simple to follow. There are Lengthen & Shorten lines on all the major pattern pieces making it really easy to customize the proportions to your own figure. I removed just a couple inches from the sleeve and bottom pieces, plus a small swayback wedge, to adjust for my super short stature.
In fact, here's an e…