The Great Cape Caper

Hello, from your friendly neighborhood 1960’s Sherlock Holmes!


Every gal needs a plaid cape…amirite?


The flash of lining is my favorite!

It began with a challenge: “You will have one week (starting 9/14/2016) to cut, sew and photograph a garment made using fabric cut on the bias (45 degree angle).” And so I started with a research visit to my friend theGoogle.

Inspiration: 1960s Cape | Burda Style 08-2011-112 | Simplicity 9669 (oop)

Inspiration: 1960s Cape | Burda Style 08-2011-112 | Simplicity 9669 (oop)

My goal with this garment was to show off the bias as dramatically as possible. In my research I found a photo of a vintage 60s cape on Ebay that was awesome, but of course had no pattern. So I based this cape on Burda Style 08-2011-112, which I own, and redrafted the pieces for fit and style to more closely match Simplicity 9669 (oop) which I don’t own but looked at the pattern piece shapes on the envelope back online. 2016 Sewing Bee Round 2 Entry:::

{See my full entry, or the gallery of all entries.}

Fabric used – material and yardage:
100% cotton flannel from JoAnn’s. This is heavier than their standard shirting, but not quite coating weight, and with the polyester lining it is just the right weight for a transitional outerwear jacket (cape). I used 3 yards of the plaid and 2.5 yards of the lining.

What other components did you use in your garment (closures, pockets, trim, etc):
I used 1.25″ buttons on the placket along the left raglan line and a sew-in snap on the collar. I also used bias binding along the hems for a clean finish.

Button Placket Detail | Front laid flat.

Button Placket Detail | Front laid flat.

Describe how the bias grain was used in your entry, and why:
As mentioned above, I really wanted to show off the pattern so I used the bias on the front and back panels. I kept the side fronts on grain so it would contrast with the front and really show it off. Also, when re-drafting the pattern from what I had to what I wanted I combined what would have been 4 back pieces into one large piece with darts at the neckline instead of a princess seam so I could use one large piece of fabric. I didn’t want to break up the pattern or have to try to match which would have taken more yardage, time, and effort, for what would have been a less dramatic look.


Back combined into one piece with darts at the neckline to maintain the lines of the plaid.

Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping:
I made two muslins for this pattern. My first muslin was the exact Burda Style 08-2011-112 pattern. I didn’t like the closed armholes and all the vertical lines that would cut through my plaid. Also, the shoulders were quite wide so I had to narrow that a bit, straighten out the front raglan line to pull that shaping in a bit tighter, and rework the collar to be a separate collar that went all the way around the neck. Finally, after working a second muslin with my new changes I decided to add another 1.25″ to the hem of the front piece. This will only ever be worn with a belt which cinches the fabric up so that the hems don’t line up. Now with the extra length all the hems line up (easy fake FBA!).

Original Muslin

Original Muslin

Describe what you like most about your entry:
Everything! I love the drama of the bias pattern along with the unique shape of a cape (I mean really, who else will have a cape?). I am also very happy with my finishing work on this garment. I took the time to line as I went so all the interior seams are encased, and I used bias binding along the hems and hand stitched them using a catch stitch. I also really like the contrast of the bright lining and the more “serious” outer fabric. Really, I love everything!

Hand stitching the hems.

Hand stitching the hems.

Describe your biggest challenge in sewing this bias garment:
My biggest challenge was in the planning stages. Since I was making this up and not really following a pattern, I had to figure out my own construction order (and with the lining as I went I had to also consider how to finish all the edges). I thought about this for a long time and considered lots of different options. In the end, I think all that planning really helped me execute a garment I am proud of!


Interior detail shots. I love the contrast!

What other information would you like to share about this project and your process?
I laid my fabric out on the floor so I could cut it as one layer, particularly with the bias pieces. On the side fronts I cut one piece and then flipped it over and just lined the pattern up so that it “disappeared” then cut out the second piece, then ensuring they both matched exactly. Also, I found it helpful to make lists for which pattern pieces I needed and the order of assembly so I wouldn’t get confused about what came next.

Laid the fabric out on the floor so I could cut single layer.

Laid the fabric out on the floor so I could cut single layer.

I can’t wait to find if I make the cut to the next round (I sure hope so) and what the next challenge will be!

Ep. 83 – Ruthlessly Culled


  • Finally able to have some fun outside!
  • PECS food binders for the boys.
  • Bullet Journal!





  • Chambray Shirtdress – McCall’s 7351 – had to get creative with fabric cutting and added contrast fabric to the inner yoke, under collar and inner collar stand.


  • “Sewing Swimsuits” class on Craftsy. So far, I think it will be helpful!
  • Floral cotton stretch fabric to make a 50’s style sheath dress.

Ep. 82 – Wouldn’t That be the Dream?


  • We are back from vacation! It was super fun, but it’s nice to be home.
  • Bullet Journal – still trying out new things.

Knitting:image (4)




I’d like to focus on making Bras and Swimsuits here in the near future so I can really figure out how to do it right! I’ve purchased three more Craftsy Classes: “Sewing Bras: Foam & Lace”, “Adjust the Bust”, and “Fitting Solo. I also bought some pink sweater knit fabric that I need to figure out what to do with.


  • Infinity Scarf – with left over swim wrap fabric. Just made up the pattern
  • Pirate Costumes – for the cruise. Basic black pajama bottoms for everyone which I then cut off with zig-zags. Then purchased t-shirts cut the same way…Easy!

James did not want to pose for a picture!

  • Seagull top – V1387
  • Navy Cardigan – M6996
  • Pajama Pants – Burda 12-2010-134
  • Floral Swimsuit – B4526
  • Swim Cover up – jumpsuit style – M6083 – added 3″ to length of bodice

Swimsuit Fails!

  • Red Suit – S1374 – not supportive enough!
  • Mimi G Suit – S1116 – may work but I’ll need to figure out a better way for this to be supportive!

My Own Flock of Seagulls (V1387)

I’ve only got a few days left before we leave for our cruise (cue cheers!), so today was meant to be a sew-a-thon, but only one thing got done. This top took a lot longer to put together than I thought it would, mostly because the fabric required that I take everything a bit slower and I was super slow with all the hand stitching. But, in the end, I love it!


Does this top give me linebacker shoulders?

I had originally purchased Vogue 1387 for view B, but the muslin didn’t go well (fit wise) so I just set it aside. Then, while looking at this fabric and trying to decide which pattern to use I ended up coming back to this one, but for view A.



>>> Vogue 1387 Review <<<

Pattern Description: View A: Top has self-lined yokes, front pleats, shaped hemline, and very narrow hem. Front longer than back and mock wrap, pullover, fitted through bust, no shoulder seams, elasticized tie ends for casing, underarm inset, and armhole bands.


Pattern Sizing: 14-22. I made a 14 with some fit adjustments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but mine is made from awesome fabric! 🙂

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. Although it could have been clearer in some spots.


The armband is a bit finicky to work with. In the end, I treated it like a y-seam by only stitching the side seams up to the big circle, then attached the armband ends to each seam.


The underarm inset was also tricky, so I pinned just the right side in place first, went all the way around the armhole, and on the way back down the other end pinned the left side (while the armband was still attached to the machine). This was a lot cleaner finish then what I got on my muslin.


Oh, and I also did the tie’s a bit differently. I attached each one to the side seams of the casing, before closing the casing. Then I added elastic around the entire waist, so the ties are more decorative than functional.


What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Love the style. Its a cute, light top. I also love the shape of the yoke and the V on the back neckline.

Fabric Used: Awesome seagull fabric. I think its poly and its actually featured in another Vogue Pattern, which I thought was kind of funny.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: After making the muslin in a 14 (one size down from the recommended for my size) I decided to add 2 inches to the bodice (above the ties). I also added 3/4″ to the front overlap edges for a bit more coverage. I had planned to stitch the fronts where they cross but haven’t yet. I also left off the facing and just did a narrow hem.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don’t think I would sew it again because it is such a distinctive style. But I would recommend it to others but suggest a muslin not only for fitting but as a good walk through of the construction.

Conclusion: As the seagulls say in Finding Nemo, “Mine, mine, mine!”