I got distracted from another pair of jeans by this cape from Burda’s March 2013 issue. I just fell in love with it the first time I saw it, and Burda had the goodness to publish it in three colours: mustard yellow, red and a dark khaki – the colour in which I’ve made up my version.This was a super fun project for me. I don’t own anything remotely similar to this, and I like odd pieces that could potentially get a lot of wear. I had some 100% ramie in my stash, and I laundered it several times in hot water and in a hot dryer in order to minimize shrinkage and hopefully get that “washed linen” look. The washed linen look never occurred, and the fabric gave off a tremendous amount of lint in my dryer, but I am confident that this garment will never shrink.
See how short the sleeves are when ones arms are raised? Impractical from a warmth/protection from the elements point of view. It has a hood which, in my opinion, is completely useless. But it looks nice from the back.I enjoyed putting this garment together because it required several things with which I don’t usually work: cord, grommets, velcro, D-rings and a brass-toothed separating zipper. I learned that shortening a zipper with brass teeth does require a pair of nips in order to not wreak havoc on the zipper’s tape by pulling the teeth out one by one before plying them open. Anyways, I also learned that I’m better at handling a metal zipper than my DH, who gamely offered to help me use his pliers. 😉 Fabric used: 100% ramie shell, washed silk charmeuse lining
Pattern alterations: Well, first of all, I lined this. Burda suggests canvas for the fabric, and the ramie, although it’s a fall weight, would be a bit warmer with the silk lining and it would make the inside of the garment pretty.
I left off the mock breast pocket on the left front. It was a strip of twill tape with grommets stitched to the outer shell. Frankly, I couldn’t be bothered.I did not cut two 114 cm long strips of bias for the cord casing. The ramie frayed like crazy and it was a lot like linen to press except that it was a lot more stubborn to shape. I just used grosgrain ribbon. To my mind it would be a lot stronger without the risk of fraying or falling apart. I treated the silk as a separate lining and once the shell was constructed and the cord attached, I attached the lining to the garment along the “sleeve” seams at the front and back to keep it in place with short basting stitches through the seam allowances from the wrong side. Then I faced the hem and sleeves, and attached the hood, catching the silk inside the facings. I also double interfaced the visor. I didn’t use buckram – too stiff – but I wanted something that came close.From a practical point of view, this garment is pretty ridiculous. The sleeves – if you can call them that – fall at the wrist when you’re standing doing nothing but mostly sit at the 3/4 length and when it’s tied, you can’t raise your arms. I have to be careful about making sure my arms are not restricted when I’m driving, and the cape shape is attractive to odds and ends that grab it while I’m out shopping or whatever. It’s not particularly warm and the velcro fastening of the hood is quite annoying when it’s closed, yet the neck is too wide and low to look good with a scarf.
*shrug* But what can I say? It’s one of those “out there” pieces that I really like. Would I sew it again? Probably. It would be fantastic in red linen. Would I recommend it to others? Not necessarily, because it’s really not a functioning cape/outerwear piece. It’s more like an oversized ridiculous poncho without the freedom of movement for arms that a poncho provides, and a whole lot of details that are rather pointless.