To say that the English weather is foul at the moment is an understatement! I have a new leak in my sewing room that attests to this, and as a result another bucket has appeared to try to stop it dripping all over my fabric!
Well, if the weather won’t play nice, then we just have to make something to cheer us up. In my case, a cape, or two, to be precise. One for granddaughter nbr1 (age 6) and another for granddaughter nbr2 (age 2). I have a cape at the very top of my personal sewing list, but somehow projects for everyone else are always so much more of a joy to make.
I picked up the most gorgeous red waterproof material from Abakhan last week – for the princely sum of £1.27 per meter – what a bargain! As soon as I saw this I knew my beautiful girls would look amazing in a rain cape. Selecting a contrast material from my (reasonably sized) Liberty stash from Standfast & Barracks was more of a task than one would think….so many beautiful prints to choose from. In the end I settled on a couple of bright reds to line the capes and add a few splashes of external colour.
A few sketches of my idea and I was ready to begin…..
My work started with bias binding making – lots of it!
Next I cut out a full circle in both the waterproof and the Liberty lining. This was a guesstimate using a long-sleeved garment one of the boys had left behind. The cut-out for the neck was also a rough measurement from the neck-hole of a shirt. I used the body warmers hood I made for grandson nbr2 as a guide for size and shape.
Cut open a single layer on the centre front of the outer and lining to form the opening for the cape. Sew the hood and hood linings together. Place the hood and hood lining inside each other and stitch all round the perimeter to keep them together. Repeat this with the cape body.
Stitch the hood to the cape body. Bind the neck seam with some of that pretty bias binding.
Make some slits for the arms by creating a welt pocket opening and on the outside add a pocket facing to cover the entire slit. After turning the welt fabric to the inside, I tucked in a small seam allowance and stitched it down through all the layers. This is covered by the slit facing and cannot be seen. I made the arm-slit facings in the contrast fabric and on the inside, lined them with waterproof material so that if it did get really, really wet, it wouldn’t soak through to the inside. Liberty is a lightweight material so I knew the binding would dry out quickly if it did get wet – anyway, what is a little dampness when it looks so gorgeous!
Bind the entire perimeter of the cape with bias binding.
Add some tabs with poppers for closures at the neckline, and there you have it – one cape completed and another with just the binding to finish off….
I WANT ONE!!!
Take that off Serena, it is NOT for you, but for your 2-year-old daughter….
I adore these. I think they are much better and easier to wear than a raincoat and because of how they are worn, I hope they will get at least a couple of years wear out of them.
I am hoping this will inspire me to complete my own matching woollen cape and waterproof rain cape.