As many regular ODFL readers know, last year I embarked on a journey learning to sew. I took four classes and made a pair of pants, a knit dress, an a-line skirt and … ta da … a cape!
It’s not a superhero cape but, I am a superhero for finishing it!
Yikes what a challenge. I started the project in November and just now finished. Full disclosure – I had my seamstress do the buttonholes. But I cut and stitched (by machine and by hand) every inch of the rest of it and let me just say, it was a challenge.
There were some starts and stops, thanks to the holidays and winter maladies. As well as me just not wanting to work on it. I do think this project was cursed. Right from the start I had problems – cutting the fabric took me twice as long. (I like to blame Trump because I was so upset and distracted by his presidential win, I found it hard to concentrate.)
The cape came about in the first place from my visit to the UK last fall. At Cordings in London, I saw some lovely capes in tweed and got inspired. Convinced I could make my own, once I arrived home I found a Vogue pattern and brownish tweed in a lightweight wool.
The project offered several new tasks for me: lining, a collar, and buttonholes. Undaunted was I!
Turns out the collar was the easiest. The lining was a pain because I bought traditional lining fabric, which is nice now that it’s in, however, it slipped and slid and made sewing tricky.
What frightened me beyond reason was the buttonholes. I practiced over and over, getting the hang of it but also realizing that these holes had to be spot on or the cape would be ruined. Also, as my friend pointed out, home sewing machines don’t make very nice buttonholes. After many weeks of avoidance and lots of guilt-tripping myself I decided to let it go and contacted my seamstress.
She did the buttonholes (so nicely), I sewed on the buttons (vintage glass, BTW) and the cape made its debut on a Saturday evening out.
This was the hardest project so far and it feels like a big accomplishment, even though I outsourced the buttonholes.
Sometimes the lesson is: Call the seamstress!