Wednesday, August 13, 2014

HSF14 Challenge #15 - The Great Outdoors

What a fantastic rebound from that last challenge!  After feeling pretty bleah about challenge #14, I managed to put something together I'm really happy with.  I wasn't sure what "The Great Outdoors" was going to allow, but I was hoping from minute one to make some sort of cape.  Once Leimomi outlined the options to include things that protect us from the elements, the cape was on.  

This is a picture that has floated around many a Pinterest board, and I've always loved it.  

The title only ever read "Edwardian Cape" and it never seemed to link to anything.  But it was unique and elegant and I wanted it to wear with the rest of the Edwardian garments I'm making this year.  So I clicked and clicked on every image of this cape I found until at last it led  Alas, it had been sold.  I've bought from them before, and they seem to really know their vintage, so I trusted that any info on the cape would be accurate.  Just to be sure, I messaged the company to see if they had any pictures or info left on it.  They kindly replied that it had sold years ago and they didn't have any pictures left, but they could tell me it was from 1914.  

I used Simplicity 5794 to give me the basic cloak shape I wanted, and had to drape the rest.  I didn't make it quite as voluminous as the original (my budget wouldn't permit that much wool).

As usual, I got so involved with actually sewing, I hardly took any pictures.  I couldn't quite make out from the picture if the cape had a collar or a hood, but I decided to go with a collar.  Most of the other Edwardian capes I researched had collars rather than hoods.  I used a lightweight black wool for the outside and burgundy cotton sateen for the lining.  Maybe a little vampiric looking, but black is so classic, and the Edwardian gown I'm making will have burgundy accents. 

I bag lined the entire thing, and hand stitched some finishing details like the collar and the closures in the back.  I thought it turned out too small, so I had to add some small extensions in the back.  Then it turned out it was too big.  Harumph.  So I just made the closure overlap.  I think I could still stand to add a couple hooks and eyes to compensate for that overlap.  
But I'm pretty excited about the final product.  It looks better on me than on the dressform, but I just don't have the appropriate garments to wear with it yet.  So Celia will have to model in the meantime.  It's actually pretty reversible, but the cotton sateen tends to show wrinkles.  The wool doesn't wrinkle much and was a dream to work with.  And with a couple days to spare I managed to throw together a quick project just for funsies...picture at the end.

The Challenge: The Great Outdoors

Fabric: 100% black wool, burgundy cotton sateen.
Pattern:  A little Simplicity 5794, the rest self-patterned.
Year: 1914
Notions: Black hooks and eyes
How historically accurate is it? Pretty good on this one; following an extant garment from 1914, using natural fabrics.  Mostly machine sewn, but I managed not to serge this one. 

Hours to complete: Several evenings after work and a Saturday?
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost: About $50

Finished cape

The wool has a shiny pinstripe on the matte wool

Collar down

And up, looking particularly vampiric

I haf come to suck your blood...


Closure hides under the back of the cape


Wrinkly side out

I vould suck your blood, but I need to iron my cape.

Aaaaand my little side project...

A Star Trek themed pencil skirt to wear at Dragoncon.


  1. I love the cape. Being reversible makes it versatile too. Its one I've seen on pinterest and loved too.