Cape of Hope

I’m deflated. I thought for once I’ll be able to whip out a bought pattern design quickly then move on to fight my war with the moths. No such luck.

I traced the cape pattern 112 from Burda Style 2011-08. I then decided to make a muslin fitting first just in case. I reckon I can reuse the muslin as underlining for the cape itself, wool being generally too scratchy for my sensitive skin and an extra layer between the fabric and lining helps greatly.

So yesterday, I got the muslin basted together, tried it on. Shock horror, I look like a…

…fully padded out American footballer.

And here’s me & my cape…

See what I mean?

Worst yet, with all that extra room in the shoulder area, I still couldn’t move my arms freely if the cape is buttoned up. The holes for the arms are too close to center front for comfort. I want to rest my arms by my sides. I don’t want to walk around with my elbows glued to my waist and hands folded!

I don’t know if it’s meant to be that way – I’ve never wore a cape before. Anyway, it’s not comfortable. And I know I won’t wear it if it’s not comfortable.

I’m so glad I haven’t cut into the fabric yet. But what to do now?

I was feeling so flat last night I thought I’d ditch the cape idea and find another pattern for this fabric.

But then I found these cute capes on Asos this afternoon, and they gave me some ideas…

I’ll convert the original arm slits into in-seam pockets and make a slash on both side front panels for new arm slits where it’ll be closer to my sides and more comfortable. I might even raise the slit top a bit like the bottom two pictures, or maybe add welt to the slits like the top picture. That should fix the comfort problem and give me two useful pockets to boot! (It’ll definitely be lined, unlike the Burda original.)

That footballer shoulders will still need to be fixed somehow.

And I’m hoping I’ll have enough fabric left to make a handbag.

Like this Queen of Heart Bowling Bag from Hot Patterns:
(…which supposedly is inspired by a Vivienne Westwood handbag)

Or the Hepburn Handbag from Aspinal:

(I don’t know why it’s so difficult to find patterns for classic structured handbags. All the patterns I’ve seen tend to be oversized, or too casual. Crafty quilty country totes just aren’t my cup of tea.) Orange wool with the hand of cowhide + brown faux leather trims. What do you think?

Anyway, here’s to hoping that I’ll be back on track this weekend!

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