Combat winter chills in style with a striking cape coat designed by Amanda Walker. Made in luxurious velvet or brushed cotton and lined with a coordinating printed cotton, they are easily constructed from simple pattern pieces. Both designs feature collars to protect your neck from the wind, and a choice of normal or military-style strap fastenings will keep your cape wrapped snugly around you. Why not use up scraps of lining fabric and a decorative button to create a pretty matching corsage?
- Fabric, 1.5m, 150cm wide
- Lining, matching or contrasting, 1.5m, 150cm wide
- Fusible interfacing, lightweight
- Fabric, scraps
- Brooch back, oval
- Decorative button
- All-purpose glue
Make a cape
First make a pattern. Fold a piece of paper measuring approximately 150cm x 75cm in half lengthways. From one edge of the fold line, measure along 70cm and mark this point with a pencil. From this centre point, measure 70cm and mark. Carry on marking the 70cm length from this point and an arc should appear. Cut along the line. Unfold the paper and a half circle will have been formed (see diagram). Visit www.sewmag.co.uk and download the templates. Transfer the cape pattern pieces onto the half circle and mark on the centre back seam and the neckline. Cut out the pieces.
Use this pattern to cut out the four pieces needed for the cape, following the cutting guide. If the fabric is 150cm wide, each pair can be cut together, or if the fabric is narrower, cut the single piece out and then turn it over onto another piece of fabric to make a pair. Cut out the collar pieces. If you would like a stand up collar, cut out a strip measuring 45cm x 6cm, following the same cutting instructions.
Stitch the centre back seams of the cape together with a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat this process on the lining pieces, leaving a gap in the centre of the seam of approximately 15cm. Assemble the collar. Iron interfacing onto the back of the fabric. With the right sides facing, pin and then stitch around the outer edges of the material and lining, with a 1cm seam allowance. Trim away the bulk from the tips and turn to the right side. Tease out the corners and press.
Attach the collar to the neckline. Find the centre of the collar on the neck edge and match this to the centre back seam and pin in place. Make a couple of cuts into the seam allowance on the neckline of the cape and then continue to pin the collar around the neckline, making sure that there is an equal distance of 3.5cm of the neckline edge extending from where the collar ends finish. Stitch the collar to the cape with a 1cm seam allowance.
Make small cuts into the neckline and then position the lining onto the cape with the right sides of the fabrics facing, matching the necklines, centre fronts and curved hems together. Pin and then stitch, with a 1cm seam allowance around the neckline and down the fronts, add a 5mm seam allowance around the curved hem. Trim away the bulk from the corners and clip around the neckline. Turn the cape to the right side through the gap left in the centre back lining, tease out the corners and seams, then press. Hand slip stitch the gap closed.Mark and make four buttonholes evenly spaced down the centre front right-hand side of the cape and then stitch four covered buttons in the corresponding places on the opposite side.
For the military-style cape with straps, cut six 5cm x 15cm strips from lining fabric, then cut six pieces of interfacing to the same dimensions Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of each strip. With the right sides of two of the strips facing, stitch them together with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a gap in one of the long edges. Trim the bulk from the corners, then turn the strip to the right side through the gap. Tease out the corners, sew the gap and press. Top stitch around all four sides of the strap.