How to make a cozy cape for fall

I adore capes, they’re warm, dramatic and swishy. So when Shannon Makes announced a sew-a-long for this divine cape, I was sold. I am always down to add yet one more cape to my collection, and this pattern was really smart looking.

This pattern was “easy” if you are familiar with working with interfacing and collars. I will say, I made this more difficult for myself because I changed the pattern for my own needs and added lining to the inside, which I both hate and love (in that, I love lined thing but had putting it in).

Here’s what I used to put together my cape:

How to make your cape

You can check out all of Shannon Makes’ videos for the sew-a-long right here, but I’ll write a bit about how I made mine.

  • Step one: pre-wash and iron everything. EVERYTHING. Wind extra bobbins, measure yourself and measure the pattern to make sure it’ll fit or be aware of adjustments.
  • Step two: Drink some coffee, lay out your fabric and start cutting. Cry a little. Cut the interfacing here too.
  • Step three: Following the instructions from the pattern, I assembled the “bib” part first, but instead of sewing the collar inside out or whatever into the bib, I sewed the pieces rights sides together, so seam allowanced faced inside. I later covered that with twill tape.
  • Step four: Next I sewed the interfacing into the two front sides, turned those right side out and pressed. I pinned the lining to the rest of the cape pieces in MULTIPLE areas, treating the two pieces as one, with wrong sides facing each other. Then I sewed the rest of the cape sides like the collar: right sides together, leaving seam allowance inside that I will finish later.
  • Step five: Take a walk, think about your life choices. Then work on collar! Follow pattern instructions for assembly, I found cutting the corners off the tips of the interfacing was helpful. Starting with center back of collar, pin to cape back center and make sure the placement is going to work. This is where I realized the back was somehow far too big for mine, and I pleated the back a little like a watteau back, which I think gives it a slight period look. I also decided here that instead of side panels, I wants to just use the bib front to hold the buttons and put the buttonholes on the cape sides. That way I can just take off and re-sew the buttons if my body fluctuates in size. This worked for me because the of the sizing and I think I went one size too big and that’s why I didn’t need the placates. ANYWAY, if you need the placates because you don’t have overlap, extend size of bib front.
  • Step six: Cry some more. It’s good for the body.
  • Step seven: Attach collar after you get the placement right. Try “on” the cape by pinning it together to see if it fits ok. If you don’t need to make adjustments, put cape on dressform or hanger to set overnight. You want the hem to be even, and letting it hang for at least one day should help with any stretching (yes, you need to do this even for non-stretchy material).
  • Step eight: Finish hem. I hand finished mine. You do not have to.
  • Step nine: Button timeeeeee. Make your button holes and place your buttons!
  • Step ten: Ok my forest nymph, you are done. Enjoy and frolic.

Here’s a video where you can watch some of these steps in action!

No, go forth and make a cape!

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