Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cloak and Dager

With all of my sewing machines I frequently get asked "Do you sew with any of them?" which surprises me but then there are people who are simply businessmen and do not participate in this hobby. So the answer is yes, I do sew and this post is dedicated to my latest project.

At our last craft fair I admired my daughter Kelly's sleeved cape so she let me wear it for awhile and it was warm, stylish, and just felt good. When we talked about how she made it and the special touches she added I decided to make one, too. Better yet, how about making one for my mother-in-law who needs the added layers to keep warm? The search was on to find the right fabric but I didn't need to buy the pattern because I discovered I already had that same pattern. I made that same sleeved cape in fleece as a liner for a reversible cape that I wanted to wear in colder weather. I found a nice black and white plaid for only $3 for about 3 yards and this baby only takes two yards so I was ready to go.

Kelly made hers with French seams so there would be no raw edges visible. It was a little tricky so I took a few photos to show the steps:

Sleeve with raw, unfinished edge
Sleeve set in and serged: this is the outside
Serged edge encased and stitched around: this is inside
Outside of cape with French seam inside
The trick is to catch all of the edge into the folded part so it creates that smooth look. Doing this on a curve is a bit tricky, too, but it turned out nice. I did this on all of the seams so it now can be washed without fear of raveling edges. Here's the finished cape with a button front black skirt I made for her, too:

She's styling now!
Simplicity 2208 for the sleeved cape

Butterick 4347 for the skirt
Satin blanket binding is around the entire edge with black velveteen ribbon to transition the plaid to the satin. The skirt is flared with six gores (sections) and the elastic waist and button front make it comfortable and easy to get on and off. At 88 she doesn't want to wiggle into anything!

Now the big question: which sewing machine did I use? You can see that I used a serger on the seams to give that nice finish so it would be easy to turn and capture the cut edge. For the rest of it I got out the Brother Select-o-Matic, made in the mid-1950's. She and I were pretty happy sewing up this outfit so I give you a cameo shot of her:
Brother Select-o-Matic in pink and deep teal
I have to get out the manual to remember how to use all those dials but it's like riding a bike: you get back on and remember the joy of the ride. This was a project to bring my dear little (under 5 feet tall) mother-in-law some joy and style but I think I enjoyed it quite a bit, too.


Kelly said...

I wish your pictures were a bit bigger when enlarged - it's hard to see the details. Looks good though!

Karen said...

I do compress the photos so they will load faster; let me know if there is another way I can achieve this without restricting your access to the details (that I really want you to see!)