A long, long time ago, Maryanne mentioned that no-one ever made her wearable items as gifts. Now, as a rule, I never make anyone wearable items as gifts (with the notable exception of the occasional wedding dress and stuff for my mother), but Maryanne is pretty special, and I thought it was high time someone did.
So, a long time ago (confession: this project was meant to be done for Flora & Fauna) I had a voucher for fabric from The Fabric Store, and they had just gotten some luscious silk velvets in, and I offered to make Maryanne a version of my 1930s Capelet in the silk velvet of her choice. She chose a glorious chocolate brown. Thich was quite fun for me, as I love chocolate brown but it really doesn’t love me. I offered to supply the lining as well, but she already had a beautiful silk dupion embroidered with Poiret roses in her stash that she wanted me to use, and no wonder: it’s AMAZING.
So I started making the capelet, but because the velvet and the dupion were both quite wide, I got ambitious and decided to see if I could make up my capelet pattern in one piece, with no centre back seam.
The short answer is: not without a lot of difficulty, as the asymmetrical grain lines go all wonky on the very unstable silk velvet, and are a nightmare to work with.
So there was a great deal of unpicking and re-sewing and muttering dire threats at the silk velvet, and finally I had to resort to entirely hand-sewing the capelet to get it to work, and the long and the short of it is that it wasn’t done for Flora & Fauna.
Instead it sat in a bag for a few months, but last week I fished it out and painstakingly basted and hand sewed and matched grainlines and finished it. And it’s done now! And it’s worth it!
And did I mention that it is totally reversible?
And Hurrah! Maryanne likes it too! Mission accomplished!
She looks much better in it than Isabelle, because she has the shoulders to carry it off.
The Challenge: #20: Outerwear
Fabric: 1/2 metre silk velvet, 1/2 metre embroidered silk dupion.
Pattern: My own, taken from an original vintage piece
Year: ca. 1938
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is taken from an extent piece, but I’ve modified it to be a shorter cape. However there are examples of later 30s short capes. The silk velvet is a period accurate fabric, and the colour is period appropriate. The silk dupion lining is the only slightly out of period factor. 80%
Hours to complete: After 6 months, I’m not sure anymore.
First worn: Today! She immediately put it on and dashed out to her evenings entertainment!
Total cost: Lots and lots of love
Since the resident cat’s feelings about this item are irrelevant as it isn’t going to live in her house, I’ll leave you with this photo of Maryanne being ridiculous in her new cape. It seemed to bring out the sill in her!