Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tessuti's New York Cape Pattern

After sewing my second Lady Grey this year, I had been seriously hankering for more winter sewing. I thought about making a jacket, but then Tessuti released their New York Cape Pattern, and I decided that a hooded cape would work a treat!!

The pattern was expensive ($35), but I really wanted it... :-) It came printed on printer paper, with black and white photos and instructions on A4 paper. The cape is unlined, and all edges are finished with poly-cotton hong kong binding for the inside and wool binding for the outside.

I found the pattern very easy until I got to the wool binding. I sewed the binding on according to the instructions, but it looked awful. It was all wonky and the edges were wavy. I don't know what I did wrong, but I unpicked it, sewed it again and it still looked awful. My next attempt was to sew it in by hand. Thats 10m of hand stitching. It still looked dreadful. So I unpicked it and sat down for a while and thought about it.

I realised that the binding was too short in length. I also realised that if I was going to sew it in by hand I should only use a single thread, not a doubled-over thread. So, off I trotted to Tessuti to buy more binding. I bought half a meter more than the pattern suggests.

I sewed it in by hand, and here is what I came up with!

I am very happy with it now. I did do a few other things differently than the pattern instructions. I added a line of topstitching along the edge of the hood, as the layers of wool were a little bulky. Now it sits flat.

I also hand-sewed the buttonholes. To do this, I consulted Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Handbook. I used silk thread and a buttonhole stitch. I am really proud of them:

The fabric is from Tessuti - a dark navy wool/cashmere blend, the wool binding is also from Tessuti and is black, and the black buttons are from Spotlight.

This project took me a loooong time... but I am really happy with it. I think it will be great for Melbourne's spring - not really cold but not warm yet either. I wore it this morning out to breakfast and it was perfect!


  1. So cute, Rachel! You're so patient but it definitely paid off :)

  2. The amount of effort you put into this certainly paid off Rachel! You have a beautifully made, expensive looking cape...I love it!

  3. It looks fabulous. Glad you finally figured out the binding.

  4. It's gorgeous! This is one that you can keep in your closet forever. A classic.

  5. What a glorious cape! You've done a brilliant job!! It's so nice to see you posting again, too. :)

  6. Very lovely Rachel. Navy blue really suits you. Your sewing patience is admirable. Very chic. xx

  7. Hi Rachel,

    Love your NY Cape. So sorry to hear you too had problems with the binding meterage! I made 3 capes and all came in just under 5 mtrs!!!! I'll happily take back the first lot of binding you bought.
    Glad to see you back sewing again too :)

  8. Thanks everyone! I do love the cape.

    Colette - its totally fine - I am actually planning to use it on another project. But thank you!

  9. Great cape. It looks fabulous.