Thursday, January 20, 2011

What I'm Working On: The Caped Crusader Project

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on my 'evil' dress. I'm much more at peace with it now.

I have, however, gotten to the point where I just don't want to sew anymore maternity clothes. I figure I have enough, and I'm kind of looking forward to getting back to my regular size. I love having my bump, but I'm not used to carrying this much extra weight (I've put on about 8.5kg so far - I start the third trimester next week!!)-- exercise is much harder now, and I'm going through a really tired stage again (my mum and sister swear I will get energy again soon). Plus I'm really really really really looking forward to meeting the little bub!

With that in mind, I looked through my stash, and tried to think of something that I could sew for 'after' that didn't really require any fitting. My body is sure to be 'different' for a while after I give birth, so no sewing fitted dresses, skirts, or blouses for the time being! I came up with this Burda Style Magazine 01/2010 cape:

You can buy it from their website. You're meant to make it out of a stretch jersey, making a cape that pulls on over your head - no fastenings. But I had 2m of a brown houndstooth that I got from Tessuti's $10 bin a while ago (fabric content unknown, but no stretch), and I thought it would be perfect for a cape a Sherlock Holmes type.

I've been keen to try out some new sewing techniques. I also have been keen to use the book I got for Christmas, 'Couture Sewing Techniques' by Claire B Shaeffer. Using this book, I amended the pattern in the following ways to allow me to use a non-stretch fabric and try some new techniques:
  • I have wanted to do bound buttonholes for some time, and thought they would look good on this cape. I used Shaeffer's technique for these -- the process was extremely well explained. I practiced the bound buttonholes first, then did my cape - what do you think?

  • I also wanted to change the pattern to have arm holes (I'll need to be able to get my arms out there to push prams, nurse bub etc). So I'm using Shaeffer's technique for bound pockets, but with no pocket pouch. I'm doing these tonight or tomorrow night. 
  • I've completely lined the cape (the Burda Pattern doesn't line it).
  • I've done french-flat-felled seams on the fashion fabric, and regular french seams on the lining fabric. I used a tutorial on BurdaStyle for the french-flat-felled seams. I think I'll use this technique for Michael's shirt too - they look so pretty. 

  • I'm going to do the hem with lace. 
  • I put a pleat at the CB - this pattern is sized oddly (72, 76, 80, 84, 88), and I misjudged my size. It actually looks really good with the pleat (if I do say so myself :-). 
    I still have a fair bit to do. I need to do the pockets, finish the back of the bound buttonholes on the lining fabric (I'm using Gertie's tutorial for that bit), sew the buttons on, do the lining hem, and the regular hem. 

    Usually I work really hard on projects, being very single-minded and devoting all my spare time to sewing. I'm working at a much slower pace with this one, and I love it!! It feels so much more rewarding, especially when a technique I haven't used previously actually works. I'll be back soon with more progress!


    1. Yay - a cape! I quite liked this pattern (it was also in a Burda mag last year) with it's minimal take on a traditional cape. Yours is looking great - can't wait to see it on!

    2. Oh boy, can't wait to see how it turns out!

    3. ooohhh yes! A cape-that's a perfect idea! I love the bound buttonholes! I still need to try one!

    4. Wow that will be deliciously warm with bubs cuddled underneath it!

    5. I love wearing a cape. It's such a simple shape, but it's different enough from the usual coat. I get so many compliments on mine (which is RTW, from Pendleton).

      Yours will be so lovely for winter, and like you say, is the perfect project for right now since your body may take some time to get back to normal after the birth. Enjoy the slow sewing!

    6. This looks awesome, and your bound buttonholes looking very professional. Am looking forward to seeing the finished product.
      N.B. The pattern sizing is for Burda tall ie over 5 foot 9 inches, but that shouldn't affect thye fit much as its just a cape. :)

    7. Looking forward to seeing this finished up - looks great so far! I should take a leaf out of your book re. slowing down with the sewing... well, I guess I go slow enough but don't savour the learning process of new techniques, just take short cuts so I can get it finished quicker. Must try harder.