I've been calling this latest sewing project my Sherlotta Holmes cape.
When it was finished, O promptly renamed it The Sherlock Dench cape. ;-)
I just haven't found the energy/willpower to dress up in my self-created fashions, even though we've had a couple days of warmth. Today it's back down in the 20s, our yard is still a mess with piles of dirty snow and shovels all strewn about. Who wants to see that? So I dragged my dress form downstairs and snapped a few quick shots.
The pattern comes from Liesl & Company (the women's pattern division of Oliver & S children's patterns). When it was released last year, I fell in love with the style and purchased it. I thought it would make the perfect light layer for fall biking.
But then my back went out and I never got around to sewing it up. It's not really "springy," so I'll put it away for late September/early October, when I like to wear more autumnal colors. The wool windowpane suiting is from Fabric Mart. I lined the cape with hunter green Bemberg rayon purchased at Fabric Place Basement in Natick, MA, and I used leather toggles for the front closures. Then instead of sewing buttons/buttonholes under the arms, I sewed on concealed snaps. I figured I'd be less likely to pull off a snap than I would a button, especially while cycling.
The pattern was super simple to put together. Really, a beginner could pull this off IF they went with a solid fabric. The plaid windowpane was a little fiddly to line up; moreover the wool itself was pretty slippery ... the silky rayon was actually easier to sew! If I were to sew another cape, I'd use a heavier wool without an obvious pattern/plaid just to keep things easy.
I also wish I'd interlined the cape with some cotton flannel because it's not very warm. I'd definitely need to wear a sweater underneath, but when I do that, I start looking kind of bulky. It's definitely a garment best worn on an autumn day with just a wee bit of nip in the air.
The most hair-raising part of sewing this up wasn't the plaid matching, but sewing on those darn leather toggles. I had one chance to do it right because once you sew through leather, that's it ... those holes are forever. Luckily I had an extra set of toggles, so I practiced on them. My advice:
- Use a leather needle; it will pierce the leather easier than a regular needle
- Tape or use fabric glue to hold the toggles in place
- Sew slowly. In fact, I mostly sewed "manually" by turning the flywheel on my sewing machine by hand and maneuvering my jacket/toggle accordingly.
I also sewed the pink turtleneck underneath. Not much to say here except that I used an OOP Kwik Sew pattern (KS 2740) along with some lightweight cotton interlock purchased years ago at Fabric Fix in Manchester, NH (sadly, closed). I sewed the size large, but I should have sized down to a medium as the shoulders hang off me ... but it's fine under heavy sweaters, which is how I typically wear turtlenecks. I also drafted cuffs; the pattern doesn't include any, but I think a turtleneck looks better with cuffs. While I was at it, I sewed another turtleneck out of navy blue cotton interlock I picked up at the $1.99 Fabric Store in Auburn, MA, in January.
In other news:
- I'm in a bit of a knitting slump so I'm knitting dishcloths whenever I sit down to watch TV.
- I've been keeping up with the new season of BBC's Great British Sewing Bee. Did you know they're casting for a U.S. version? Let's hope they don't change the format too much and make it cutthroat competitive; I like the kinder, gentler reality tv.
- Three more days till the official start to Spring. Can't. Wait.
- I'm heading to Newport, RI, this weekend to visit my brother. I've been to every tourist site in New England except Newport for some reason. Looking forward to it as we plan to visit some of the "authentic" Irish pubs to celebrate a belated St. Patrick's Day.
Speaking of which: Happy St. Pats!