Gemma’s Harry Cape!
Hello everyone, it’s great to be back on the blog today! This time I’m back talking about a cape of all things!
When I Am Patterns released their most recent collection, the “I Am Magic collection,” I was immediately drawn to the Harry pattern. Maybe it’s the styling, but the pure white cape in the pictures is so beautiful!! So, to try something different, I decided to plan on making a cape – I reckon this is the one item in your wardrobe that you didn’t know you needed!
I suppose a cape isn’t something that you ever consider needing (apart from dressing up as a super hero when you’re a child (or an adult) haha), but after wearing this one, it is a great alternative outer wear garment and is actually surprisingly warm.
This is classed as a “simple” pattern so would be good for beginners, but I would say that are some fiddly parts (namely putting in the collar) so you may want to have sewn a few garments before tackling this. One amazing thing about it is that because it’s fully lined, there are no exposed seams, so you don’t need an overlocker for this project – a great thing for a sewist who is just starting out.
This is only the second pattern I’ve used by I Am, and I do find that the instructions are a little sparse. Maybe I’m used to having my hand held through things a little more, but it would be quite nice to have a little more information, especially as it does get quite confusing when you attach the lining and you have to ensure the button placket is folded the correct way.
I did make a mistake when I was attaching the collar between the lining and the main garment – I noticed that my lining came up short by quite a bit! I read the instructions several times and could not figure out what I’d done wrong, so I actually just went ahead and managed the best I could (this involved actually inserting a wedge of fabric – yes I know I should have just bitten the bullet and unpicked it, but I figured that I would be the only one who sees it anyway as it’s on the inside!) – it’s not perfect but I don’t think any of my handmade garments ever are! That’s the beauty of making though isn’t it. I think I will go back and rectify my mistake, as after finishing the project, I think I must have sewn the panels up with the wrong edges together… at least it’s only on the inside eh! 😉
So on to the fabric…when Caroline and Fliss put up their new fabrics on the website, I noticed that they included two colours of this herringbone “wool like” fabric. I was initially drawn to the pink colour (which sold out very quickly) but after thinking about it, although the pink was very pretty, I thought the grey/brown was more practical and would go with a lot more in my wardrobe. The herringbone design is very classic and I love it! The fabric composition includes some spandex which I didn’t notice when I was sewing with it – it did not stretch out of shape at all. The fabric has a great weight to it and is perfect for coat making – like I mentioned above, this garment is incredibly warm!
The lining is a cotton lawn called Lumi Rain by Lady McElroy and is 100% cotton. I was a little worried about using an actual “lining fabric” as I thought it would be super slippery to sew with, but Fliss advised me that sewing with viscose is probably harder! That said, I decided to go with a cotton lawn as it is really stable, but would still give that gliding effect that you need whenever you put on a coat or jacket. It has worked really well (apart from the mistake I mentioned above) and I would definitely use a cotton lawn as a lining again.
A couple of modifications I made to the pattern are: I added 2” to the length, as when I measured it against myself, I felt that it came up a little short. I’m 5’6” for reference. I also added a lining to my pockets as it didn’t include one on the cutting layout. While we are on the subject of pockets, they are actually quite small at the top, so you may struggle if your hands are on the larger side. The depth of the pocket is fine though 😊
The buttons I used are actually from Pigeon Wishes and they are the “Wuthering” design. I felt these complemented the fabric perfectly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my caped adventures and maybe it’s even encouraged you to add a cape to your wardrobe as well! I hope it’s also shown you that things may not always turn out perfectly but it doesn’t mean that they’re not perfectly wearable 😉 I’d love to hear about it if you do give this pattern a try – you can find me over on @thedalythread on Instagram.
Until next time, take care,