Cape refashion

Several years ago I got a wool wrap as a present. It was soft and made of a great quality wool, but the style did not really suit me and the wrap stayed in my closet. Finally I decided to refashion the wrap into a stylish cape. I found a cape pattern from a Finnish Moda sewing/crafts magazine. Unfortunately I have since lost the magazine so I cannot tell exactly which pattern I used.

This is how the wrap looked like:

Image: Wool wrap

I shortened the pattern a lot, since I wanted a short cape. Because of the length of the wrap I had plenty of extra fabric to make a standing collar and there was still enough left for a belt. The belt was threaded through four fabric bound slits.

I thought this would be an easy make. I would just cut the cape and sew it up with no lining. Unfortunately the haberdashery shops in the Helsinki region did not sell proper faux leather trim. I ended up buying faux suede ribbon to finish the edges. However, the suede ribbon was a horrible choice and the result looked so frumpy that I ended up burying the whole monstrosity deep into my unfinished¬†disasters box. (Doesn’t every seamstress have one?)¬†The poor thing stayed there for about two years.

After two years I finally decided to finish the cape. I ripped the whole edging of and started again. This time I decided that if I was going to make a cape I would make a proper one with lining and all. I had lost the pattern but I redrew the pattern from the cape and cut a lining from checked tartan I had bought from Calico Laine. Now with more experience in sewing I knew to use proper faux leather bias tape. I found perfect one from myfabrics.co.uk.

Image: Cape detail

For the belt openings I hand-stitched the lining around the the binding. I also finished the collar edge by hand.

After all the trouble and despair this result was worth it! I really like how the lining and the edging look and the faux leather binding makes the edge drape very beautifully. I can wear the cape either open:

Image: Wool cape refashion complete. Cape open, front view.

… or closed:

Image: Wool cape refashion complete. Cape closed with belt.

The collar looks crisp and keeps the wind and the rain out.

Image: Wool cape refashion complete. Cape open with belt.

The belt gives my waist some definition and keeps the cape closed. I was originally planning to add buttons and buttonholes but I think that belting the cape is enough for now. In any case, this is not something to wear in a very cold and windy weather but rather something to throw on quickly when you know you don’t have to spend lots of time outdoors. I particularly think this would suit for long winter car drives when I always feel like wrapping myself up with scarves.

Image: Wool cape refashion complete. Cape back view.

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