I have had a bit of an obsession over finding the perfect cape recently…well, over the last year since I posted this about the Camden cape by Seamwork. The cape has NEVER been worn- other than to take the shots for the blog. So sad. I recently bought pounds and pounds of Pendleton wool (score!) off of a friend and it inspired me to give the Camden another shot. I cut the pattern down to a smaller size and tried to fix what bothered me about the first one I made. I succeeded somewhat and came out of it with a wearable version in Navy wool and lined with a fabulous silky floral print fabric (sorry, no pics). Unfortunately I am still uncomfortable wearing it out much because it is difficult to move around in- how do you wear a cape like this in real life without feeling like a Dinosaur with tiny immobile arms? How do you carry a purse or work bag with your arms peaking out of the tiny arm slits? How, how how?
Anyways, I thought I could make it work but here’s how fate intervened…Yesterday was my 40th birthday. Wow, how am I that old? To celebrate my birthday I took the day off work and did some of my favorite things- including thrift shopping- when I came across this beautiful pile of size-appropriate patterns.
It was an amazing find to say the least! I am so excited to start sewing some of these dresses and tops without having to print, tape and cut out the patterns like I have been doing recently with the PDF patterns I have been sticking to – I am looking at you Seamwork!
This pile included 2 cape patterns! But this pattern immediately jumped out at me as an alternative to the Camden pattern:
Since I had the day off I got right home and got to work. I paired Simplicity 1775 (View A) with a beautiful deep red wool and a blue/white stripe fabric for the lining. I whipped this baby up in just a few hours and was ready to wear it out for dinner last night to celebrate! I believe this pattern is out of print, and is also referred to as Simplicity 0311. If you can get your hands on it I’d fully recommend it!
Although I complained originally about using a bad fabric for the lining in my original Camden I didn’t listen to my own advice this time and used the only fabric I had enough yardage of to get this thing done. It is actually a vintage sheet! Don’t tell anyone. shh. I think it looks pretty cute peeking out from underneath though I might change it out once I get some appropriate lining fabric in my stash. Or, I have enough wool to make another one….I am in love with this pattern.
I love the belt that cinches at the waist and the fact that I can move my arms. What a novel idea- having full mobility in a garment! I wore this to work this morning and was able to sling my bag over my shoulder and get in and out of the car seatbelt with ease. Very important things I can tell you. I used the XL size according to the pattern other than I omitted the button at the neckline. I might sew in a snap eventually to keep a clean look at the top, but for now it is working out fine without any closure other than the belt. This was my first time sewing carriers for a belt and using my machine to make the enlarged button holes for the belt to slide through and it took some practice but I got it and now know how to do a button hole without my button foot- woo hoo. Not only do I like the fit and function of this much better than the Camden it also took significantly less time to sew it up given the fewer pattern pieces and simple construction. I really can’t imagine sewing the Camden up in 3 hours as the pattern indicates, whereas this one can certainly be done in that amount of time- which is a big win in my book!
So, there you have it- a cheery red cape/poncho and my first blog post in many many months. I’ve been pretty busy around here with work/running/life but hope to devote more time to sewing/blogging.
PS-Ok, so here is where I explain where I’ve been…as though someone reading this might care or wonder- ha ha. The summer and beginning of the Fall semester is always crazy…add to that I was sick for a bit, had a death in the family AND I ran a Half-Marathon a few weeks ago! Woo hoo. 13.1 miles in the books.
I did it and am so stinkin’ proud of myself. Yay. It took alot of training and time and often kept me from doing other things because I feel like time is something I don’t have enough of because having kids and working and everything is so hard. wa wa. BUT, I did it and can now relax a bit and pursue some of my other hobbies for a bit…until I train for another one next Spring!