Sunday, March 6, 2011

Capes Are NOT Just For Batman.

I am in LOVE.

It took me a few dates, But I am In love!

With Frenchy's.  Its a ubercool Thrift store, that is actually selective as to what gets put in the bins.  My last visit I found a DNKY jacket.

DONNA KAREN!  With this sage green lining and cream and brown herringbone wool.  unfortunately it was too big on my and I had to put it back.  Sad face!

Why is this Uberexciting to me?  Well because I've always thought about using my fashion design background and creating something sustainable.  Don't get me wrong I LOVE LOVE LOVE yards and yards of fabric, with its clean untouched surface waiting for me to make it into something exotic and beautiful, but for the past 5 years have lived in places that are the black hole of fabric lovers.  I've had to become creative and think outside the box in order to find my fabrics.  I've always admired the designers who take already made garments and turn them into something fun and unique, but in order to do that one has to have a readily available supply of second hand garments.  Which until now has been next to impossible.

Now I have Frenchy's!

I've since learned (and this was a major DUH moment) that sheets work fabulous for muslins and at 2 bucks a pop, thats ALOT of fabric. 

On my recent trip I found a 100% worsted wool charcoal grey pleated skirt.  It was calf length and  gathered into a waist band in the back and huge box pleats in the front.  LOTS of fabric.  I have been thinking that when I create my Reenacting clothing that I don't really put a whole lot of thought into the accessories and one of those accessories I over look is the cape.  I thought this skirt would be perfect for a cape! 

BUT it couldn't be just a plain old boring cape, I had to make it fun. And modern.  So I could wear it all the time.

I decided I was gonna base the look off of my friends cape at Sewaholic, her's is from a groovy 60's vintage pattern.  I wanted the seams to go down over the bust and have an opening for my arms to come out of.  In the back I wanted it pleated like a Watteau Gown from the 18th century.  The best of both worlds.  Something I could wear with my historic clothing and my modern stuff.

Back with the pleats.  Its inside out.

Front, inside out

The shoulder, inside out.  I had already sewn the shoulder seam but it didn't lay properly so I had to take it out and baste it in so it layed better .  You can see the back had to come up quite a bit.
I draped the skirt on Mrs. Squishypants and formed the pattern.  The back of the skirt became the front of the cape, and the front of the skirt became the back. 

Needs a final press.

I love how the pleats face towards the CB, creating a fan with the folds.

The funnest thing about this cape!  The bias bound seam allowances in a funky ink and yellow flower patterned cotton.

I opted for a mandarin collar and I bias bound the seam allowances in a fun pink and yellow cotton that used to be a girls sundress in it's previous life.  I hand sewed bar tacks at the top of each pleat and the opening in the princess seams for the hands.  I also did a spaced back stitch along the center front and the collar to hold it in place.  The hem was a herringbone hem stitch.  It will be closed with hook and hand sewn eyes for now until I find a wonderful cloak clasp. 

I love the finishing details.
It just MAKES the cape.


  1. That's gorgeous! I love it! And I know what you mean about Frenchy's. I found super comfy UGG slippers for $2.50

  2. I have the same problem, only really one fabric store I can reach and its really not the best, charity shops are definitely my friend.
    The cape looks amazing, I absolutely love the pleats in the back, I must incorporate those into something soon, great bit of up-cycling :)