We all know the Christmas season is fast approaching, but before we get to all that – Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. I love spending a relaxing day with family and friends, before the rush of the holiday season kicks into high gear. This will be the first year I don’t spend Thanksgiving with my family, but I am hosting a Friendsgiving for some fellow Americans here in Australia. It is also the first year that I am cooking the entire meal myself…so, fingers crossed!
But anyway, on to the sewing – after all, that’s what you’re here for. One of my favorite things about sewing my own clothes is the freedom to let my imagination run wild and create garments that aren’t always very practical. I think my embellished cape falls firmly into that category.
In keeping with my love of capes – you can check out my much more sensible plaid one here – I picked up Simplicity #8263. I didn’t quite know what kind of fabric I wanted, so I stopped by The Remnant Warehouse and immediately fell in love with this black wool. I don’t see it on their website any longer, but it is incredibly soft and has a beautiful drape. When you run your hand over the fabric, it almost feels like fur. It has a definite right and wrong way, much like velvet. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come across well in photos.
Despite how soft and beautiful this fabric is, it didn’t seem very exciting, especially when paired with such a basic pattern. That’s when I turned around and saw this amazing silver foil floral lace. I could not take my eyes off it, and in about two minutes, any idea of making an everyday cape went right out the window. I had no idea how I was going to use the lace, but I knew I had to have it. After picking up the silver lace, I figured why not go all in and line it in emerald green.
After I got the fabric home, I started to have major doubts about the foil lace. I cut out a few of the flowers and laid them on the black fabric, but they just weren’t speaking to me. While I considered the fate of the lace, I forged ahead making the shell of the cape. I made view B, but left off the back tab. Once I had the cape assembled, I looked in the mirror. All I could see was The Phantom of the Opera (and then the soundtrack was stuck in my head the rest of the day).
It looked like I was going back to plan A. I cut out more of the foil flowers and started arranging them on the cape. This time I liked what I saw, and in a stroke of genius (well, in my mind anyway) I decided to cover the collar in the foil lace.
After I arranged the flowers on the cape, I hand sewed them, prior to adding the lining. This way, all the stitches are hidden. I then unpicked the collar and re-cut it, using the wool to underline the lace. I thought of using the pattern’s detachable collar feature, but the foil fabric is very heavy. Sewing it right into the cape made it much more secure. Also, why not just go for it?
The pattern was very simple to put together, but I strongly recommend following the instructions to let the cape hang after pinning in the lining. I definitely needed to trim the lining a bit after gravity did its thing.
To finish everything up, I hand stitched the cape and lining together at the arm holes. I also made a closure using two buttons and a piece of elastic cord. I couldn’t find a commercial closure I liked at any of the nearby fabric stores, and I had used this method on my prior cape. For more details on this process, please check out my plaid cape post. This also gave me the opportunity to pick up some beautiful black and silver buttons at Lincraft.
I couldn’t be happier with how this cape turned out, and I can’t wait to wear it this holiday season! I think it will be the perfect topper for church on Christmas Eve. For these photos, I styled the cape much more casual than I would normally wear it. My fancy dresses are all at home in the U.S.!
I have no idea how often I’ll actually wear this cape, but I love knowing that I have it in my wardrobe at the ready.