Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dress capes and fancy linings

I seem to have a variety of capes to make this year and here are two of them.
These are what I would call dress capes, something usually worn with formal wear earlier in the last century, but for our purposes, worn as character pieces with regular suits underneath.
The brown cape is a cotton velveteen with a silk velvet collar and facing and a wild orange paisley lining. Very vibrant and lots of fun!

The capes have an arm slit for optional wearing opportunities. You can just see the inside of the double piped slit here on teh velvet.
The second one is made of a plain cream wool, and has a wild pink and blue lining.
The difficulty with this one was that the lining showed through the cream wool, which was not an effect we wanted. So what I ended up doing, was to line the cape with a dark beige lining first and then apply the colourful lining as a separate layer to the inside.
This certainly added time to our budget, but on the other hand, the fancy lining could be pulled out at a later date and the cape would then be suitable for a more sedate character.

One tricky thing to keep in mind when making lined capes is the bias drop. The side seams of these capes, being on the bias, drop considerably and the outer fabric and the inner lining drop at different amounts due to the individual fabric qualities.  This means after the outside shell is sewn the lining must be checked and adjusted for size, because as the bias drops the fabric panels get narrower. The lining must always be slightly larger than the outer layer as well. So I always start with allowing a centimeter on the double extra on the CB and side seams of a cape of this size, then adjust as needed.


  1. How hard was it to sew the silk velvet collar? Any tips if I ever undertake such a task? I remember the last time I tried to sew silk velvet, even with multiple pins, basting, drop feed or need feed machine, it still wouldn't cooperate!

    1. I will try to answer that at some point when I have some time! Suffice to say, it is a pain and we have all suffered!