My Groovy 70s Wool Cape

Ok, so it’s no secret that I love capes. I mean, what’s not to love? They’re comfortable, cute, warm aaaaand double as a blanket when worn to the movies. So it only stands to reason that I would add yet another to my wardrobe this fall. And let me tell you, this cape is a winner on all fronts. Although, if I ever see another “Jiffy,” “easy to cut and sew” pattern, I am running, not walking, the other way.

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

As many of you know, aside from my obsession with capes, I have also been very into 70s fashion lately – bring on the tie-neck blouses and bell bottoms! With that being said, it should come as no surprise that I picked up Simplicity 6630. I mean, how could I pass up a pattern that combines two of my current obsessions?

I want to talk about the fabric first, because it sat in my stash for a few years, just waiting for the right pattern. The outer fabric is a wool I found at the Salvation Army Fabric Fair. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it, and I think I only paid about $15 for close to three yards. When I picked up Simplicity 6630, this fabric finally found its perfect match. I love when that happens.

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

The lining is a black flannel from JoAnn. This pattern is designed to be reversible, but why would I ever want to hide this wool?! I selected the black flannel for some contrast and also for some warmth and stability – the wool is on the thinner side. I did the same with my plaid cape.

Simplicity 6630 is an exact replica of the original 1974 pattern and is also a “Jiffy” pattern. Supposedly, it is easy to cut and sew. Well, I certainly did not have this together in a jiffy. Full disclosure here, this project came hot off the heels of a major sewing slump. After I completed my Kelly Anorak, I wanted to work on a few simple projects. That was such a solid idea in theory. In practice…well… The first fail was a dress that wasn’t my usual style, but I gave it a go anyway. Once it was 80% completed I tried it on and HATED it. Hated it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

No worries I thought, my next project was even easier – an oversized turtleneck sweater (a popular pattern I’ve seen making the rounds). Again, I finished the sweater, tried it on and no…just no. It looked exactly like the pattern image, but that didn’t mean it looked good on me.

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

That brings us to this cape. I think it would have been a much smoother process if I had given myself some breathing room and time for the black cloud hovering above my sewing machine to move on. But did I do that? Nope. I’m nothing if not determined…some may say stubborn.

For whatever reason, I could not get the two layers sewn together properly around the neckline and hood. When I finally realized what I was doing wrong, I couldn’t believe it. For my own sense of self-respect, I’ll spare everyone the gory details, but boy howdy, you’d think I’d never sewn before.

While recent history made me want to chuck the darn thing, a clearer mind prevailed, and I finished the rest of it with ease. Well…except for the fact that I realized too late I didn’t put the darts in the back of the hood. (I don’t even know the person who sewed the first bits of this cape.) It doesn’t bother me, and I doubt anyone would ever notice…except everyone who reads this…haha!

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

I used black heavy-duty snaps to match the black lining. Since I never plan to wear this cape inside out, barring any unfortunate paint splatter incidences, I didn’t make the snaps reversible. That seemed an unnecessary expense for all the extra snap caps.

I didn’t alter the pattern at all (at least not intentionally – dart-less hood). The pattern is a one size fits all, but that seems a bit of an overstatement to me. I love the way the cape fits me, if it is a bit oversized, but I can imagine it completely engulfing anyone with a petite frame. It would also be quite long on anyone shorter than me. That’s just my two cents for anyone thinking of making this cape.

I’m thrilled to finally have a successful project under my belt, but it’s always those simple projects that get you, isn’t it? I’m hoping that black cloud won’t be back anytime soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find some bell bottoms and a few more tie neck blouses!

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

DIY 70s Snap-Front Wool Cape by Sartorial Seamstress

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