Maison Goodpurl is officially caped out. Barbie, Ken, Small Girl and I all have capes now. The Mister and the cat are excused.
Mine was a long time coming. The pattern was vintage Simplicity 6680 unused from ebay, dating from the early 70s judging by the optimistic prominence given to the metric versions of measurements. Fabric was a red Melton wool/cashmere coating and a lace printed polyester lining (used inside out), both from Stone Fabrics in Totnes. Expert help and motivation was from the marvellous tutor at my dressmaking class. So now I’ve worked with wool, sewn a collar, made welted hand-flaps, produced really quite presentable button-holes (albeit not bound) and sewn in a lining by hand.
Learnings from this project… don’t throw out your pressing ham in anger because it’s making your wool smell – wool is meant to smell like that when it’s wet…. when doing automatic buttonholes try using a slightly smaller button in the buttonhole foot, to get a nice snug fit…. if you can’t find a button the right size try loose change – a 50pence was perfect for mine…. take your time with tailoring and remember when knotting ends that what you think is the wrong side of the lapel may actually be the right side :facepalm:… press press press, tack tack tack and practise practise practise… vintage patterns may well assume a more detailed knowledge of techniques than is commonplace now (eg “make bound buttonholes now”)… tailoring is entirely worth the effort…
I love the finished cape and its implicit impracticality. I can entirely see why these are not sensible garments for ordinary mortals, let alone superheroes (as Ms Mode pointed out in “The Incredibles”). Nowhere to put my gloves (though a fake fur hand-muff would work nicely), carrying handbags and school bags becomes a bit of a challenge, and the hand openings are in not quite the right place for holding Small Girl’s hand/bike on the school run when the cape is fully buttoned. And yet. The wool is beautifully soft, toasty warm, weighty and swoosh-y. The lining is expensively and expansively slide-y and has that fine-lining effect of making you feel as if your disposable income features rather more zeroes than is actually the case. The colour – pillar box red – lifts my heart. There’s something nice about not faffing around with sleeves. The pattern is vintage but not at all dated.
I’m definitely up for more tailoring, and more vintage patterns. First, however, some very simple jersey overlocked leggings for Small Girl from Simplicity 1785 and a vintage skirt and Elisalex for me. Here are a few photos, rest assured that anything that looks wrong is probably fine in real life. Colour is the pillar box red rather than tomato.