We’re on our last sew along for the year. For December we have a lovely cape that can be made up quickly. The Cape Super Express Pattern from Islander Sewing Systems is just that, express! You’ll be surprised how fast this sews up. Jazz it up with a bold lining fabric for a smart look. For added drama pick the hood option. The arm hole placement on this cape is unusual, but allows for much greater range of motion. Give it a try and add a unique look to your winter wardrobe this year.
There’s something romantic and daring about a cape. For some, the thought of a cape conjours up thoughts of the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes dashing about, solving crimes with his keen sense of observation and logical reasoning.
For others, the thought of a cape may take you back to Jane Eyre, with her cape billowing out around her as she traveled across the English countryside.
And last, but not least, there’s always Superman!!! So now I wonder, was it really the cape that made them famous?!!
The Cape Super Express from Islander Sewing Systems is rather magical, and the secret lies in the name. The “Express” term in the title refers to the expedited order of construction. The “Super Express” refers to the fact that the pattern was designed to eliminate many steps by stitching the lining at the same time as the cape.
When choosing your size, pay close attention to the fact that the sizing compares with retail sizing. Also pay close attention to the finished measurements. You’ll see that they are quite generous. Keep in mind that a cape is designed to be worn comfortably over other garments and not have a restricted fit.
Take a look at the line drawing above, and you’ll see the center front opening, the horizontal seam for the arm slots, and the curved seams radiating to the hem which include the inseam pockets. The back is 1 entire pattern piece with no horizontal seam.
To accent the lines of the cape, and show them in more detail, I chose to use a contrasting fabric for the top, and then continued the line around to the back. This can easily be done by matching the front pattern piece to the back. With the 2 pattern pieces laid 1 on top of the other, you can easily convert the back into 2 pattern pieces. For my cape, I used 1 1/2 yards of the faux fur, and 2 yards of the velvet.
Choosing Your Fabric:
The pattern suggests Wool Flannel, Denim, Outerwear, Rainwear, and Corduroy. Other possible fabric choices would be, faux fur and velvet. If you do choose any fabric with a nap or pile, be sure to purchase a little more as the pattern pieces will need to be laid out in 1 direction. If you are not experienced with matching plaids, I would not recommend this for your first attempt.
The pattern also calls for 5 1 1/4″ buttons. If you are a little apprehensive about making buttonholes, opt for some of the wonderful large snaps that are now available at your local fabric store. Simply sew the buttons to the front side of your cape.
Whether you add buttonholes, or sew on snaps, you may want a secure fit at the neckline.
At the neck edge, I added a thread loop and a small button. We will go over making thread loops in the sew along. Adding the thread loop and button will keep the neck edge securely in place when the cape is closed. Thread loops are easy to make, and well worth the extra few minutes.
The arm slots make this cape easy to wear. With many capes, there are no openings for the arms to slide through, and if there are, they are rarely suitable for driving or the many other daily tasks that require freedom of movement.
When thinking about a lining, keep in mind that the nature of a cape is that there is movement, so the lining will show. If you look closely at the pattern envelope, you’ll see that gray cape has a fun red lining. I went all out with my lining and added an Asian silk with dragons flying all about. The colors coordinated beautifully with the faux fur, so why not?!!
If you are a little torn between the hood and the stand collar, I highly recommend adding the hood. The hood is well designed, fits beautifully over the head, and I especially like how it is constructed. A hood is always great for those moments when you walk out and need a little something extra over your head. When in the down position, the hood lays beautifully across the back and adds a soft feminine aspect to the cape.
The cape goes together quickly and easily. Not only will it be a great gift for yourself, due to the ease of construction, you just might like to surprise someone else with the gift of a cape!
If you have not purchased a pattern, you can find it HERE at Shop Sew It All.
Until next time…