Sunday, March 23, 2014

Challenge Fabric leads to Cute Cape!

Every year, the Rocklin Neighborhood ASG Group has a fabric challenge.  And it's not your average challenge. Some of us dread this event and others look forward to it with great anticipation. 

Our lovely fabrics are some of the leftovers from our annual garage sale that didn't sell - so you can imagine we get some beauties!  Each piece is in a brown bag and you never know what you are going to get.  Well, two years ago, this lovely piece was selected by an unsuspecting member who hated it.  I, on the other hand, absolutely loved it when it came out of the bag and asked if she would mind trading.  Naturally, she was glad to trade and I was so excited!   

It's a cheap piece of polyester, silky type fabric, but I knew I had some purple wool at home that would match perfectly with it!  Our challenge was to make something, anything, out of our delightful piece of fabric and I had the perfect garment in mind.

I made the 1930's Capelet from the Decades of Style pattern company.  I had been wanting to make this pattern for awhile and knew this would work out great.  I originally bought this purple to go with this material, but changed my mind when the challenge fabric came about.

I made size B, following the lines for a 36" bust.  The pattern only calls for 2 buttons on the front, one at the top and one at the bottom.  Two buttons wasn't enough so I added the two additional ones in the middle.

The top buttonhole is an inseam buttonhole.  As long as you following the pattern markings, this is fairly simple to do.  As for my covered buttons, they were a bit of a challenge.  Since my fabric was so thick, I couldn't get it to work with the covered button kits.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, I noticed that the fabric seemed to be coming apart - as in there were two different layers to the fabric.  So, I tried to carefully pull the layers apart and voila!  The new "half thickness" fabric worked great for the covered buttons.

Here's the side view.  I am not happy with the bulk of the facing around the bottom, but when you see the inside, you will see why the ridge of the facing shows.

Here's the back view.  The capelet falls nicely over the back.

And that crazy lining!  Doesn't it match perfectly!  I added rick rack along the edges as well.  Each one of the rick rack points needed to be sewn down by hand as well, because they kept sticking out funny.  Also, the pattern doesn't call for a lining, but after seeing this fabric, I just couldn't resist adding one.

Side view of the inside.  You can see the capelet portion thru the armhole.  The caplet is left unlined.

Close-up of the armhole facing.
And more of the crazy lining!  I just love it!

Here's why there is a ridge from the facing on the right side.  Again, the pattern doesn't call for a lining, but I wanted to add one and add the rick rack along the edge.  Since I wanted to add the rick rack, this meant I needed to turn the fabric under to just have one side of the rick rack points show.  So in turning the fabric, I now have essentially 3 layers (2 of the facing layers and one for the rick rack) - this 3 layer thickness is what is causing the ridge to show on the right side.

Now maybe if I would have underlined the base fabric, this ridge wouldn't show, but it's too late now - I'll just live with the ridge.

In this final view, you can see how the capelet portion attaches to the front and hangs over the back.  I left the capelet portion unlined and just finished with some bias binding around the edges.

Until next time - Happy Sewing!


  1. Great looking Cape & I like the additional buttons!

  2. This is just fabulous. I love the placement of the first button! The color is delightful and the lining is just grand! Very nice!

  3. Great job. The lining is the perfect compliment to the fashion fabric and I love the addition of the ric Rac - such a fun lining