American Duchess Cape Sewalong

Discussion in 'Costume/Cosplay' started by Elia LePhant, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Elia LePhant

    Elia LePhant Aes Sedai Historian

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    Oh hi there. :D There has been a lot of interest in the free American Duchess Cape pattern, so we decided a sewalong was just the thing we need to get this forum really going! While this pattern is a 1910s style wrap, it is also perfect for fantasy costumes. It can easily be modified to fit into your fantasy/WoT ensemble, and we will be offering some suggestions on how to add a hood as well. So without further ado... let's get started!

    Pattern: American Duchess Cape (The free pdf is attached at the bottom of the description, but let us know if you cannot find it.)

    Materials:
    • 2-3 yards Worsted Wool (or outer fabric)
    • 2-3 yards Contrast Wool (or inner fabric)
    • Hooks & Eyes

    Schedule:
    1. Gather Materials: Sep 12 - Oct 3 (3 weeks)
    2. Scale Pattern: Oct 3 - 10 (1 week)
    3. Mockups/Alterations: Oct 10 - 24 (2 weeks)
    4. Cut fabric/Mark darts: Oct 24 - 31 (1 week)
    5. Sew and iron all darts: Oct 31 - Nov 7 (1 week)
    6. Shoulder seams and "sleeves": Nov 7 - 14 (1 week)
    7. Contrast on the collar/Sew the collar/Iron it: Nov 14 - 21 (1 week)
    8. Baste the collar/Pin & Sew it: Nov 21 - 28 (1 week)
    9. Clip corners, flip it, iron it, slip stitch the gap: Nov 28 - Dec 5 (1 week)
    Last Day: December 5
    Total Weeks: 12


    Ready? Let's go!! We are starting with "Step 1: Material Gathering," so go forth and pick your fabrics. Feel free to share your fabric choices with us. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020 at 2:05 PM
  2. Dar'Jen Ab Owain

    Dar'Jen Ab Owain Accepted

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    This looks awesome. I'm going to try to participate with this. Thank you...
     
  3. Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn

    Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn Aes Sedai Membership Activities Coordinator Head of the Green Ajah

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    I really want to participate... I have a big commission that I have to rush... I will probably try to do this as well anyway XD
     
  4. Narysse a'Jahar

    Narysse a'Jahar Aes Sedai

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    I don't really have a way to share photos atm--I am on a social media fast. But yesterday I got pattern paper (heavy weight wrapping paper with the inch grinding on the back) and scaled up the front piece, the back side piece, and the collar pieces. I still need to scale up the main back piece. Pro tip from Bernadette Banner: Label all the pieces with EVERYTHING. Including whether you've included seam allowance.

    I got two different lightweight fabrics for the cape after raiding the sale bin at Walmart. The lining is a grey knit that is also the exact same stuff as my favorite suit coat that I have to keep repairing (so I'm using scraps for seam reinforcement on that repair job), and the main fabric is a deep burgundy jacquard knit with raised roses. I discovered yesterday that I have a ton of accessories in the same burgundy color so at least it will go with stuff I already have! :lol

    I cut out everything but the big back pieces yesterday. I've already decided that I am not going to be using the grey in the collar. I also really want to add black tatting accents and possibly some redwork tatting around the back neck areas.

    I am going to hand sew this because of the two knit fabrics that are admittedly pretty slippery (that drape tho!!). At this point I'm not sure if I will need to either repurpose an old felt blanket for inner lining between fabrics, or if I will need to use interfacing. Either way, I get to give myself a crash course in pad stitching and basting because it's so slippery.

    I'll attempt a Google Photos album link:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NVBcRTsFncNxaQk77
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  5. Elia LePhant

    Elia LePhant Aes Sedai Historian

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    I just need to figure out how I'm going to afford the fabric I want. :tongue My plan is a wool Hufflepuff cape. Black on the outside, and yellow on the inside. I like getting my fabric from Burnley & Trowbridge but granted 4-6 yards of wool is not cheap. So oof I don't know what to do. Maybe a different cheaper fabric for the lining?
     
  6. Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn

    Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn Aes Sedai Membership Activities Coordinator Head of the Green Ajah

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    I'm going to dig through my stash of what I already have and see if anything jumps out at me, if not, I have an excuse to go to the fabric store!
     
  7. Narysse a'Jahar

    Narysse a'Jahar Aes Sedai

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    Rewatching Bernadette Banner's video on making this, because I'm already confused. It's my first big sewing project on my own. Also realizing I've already done the collar flat wrong, it will need interfacing, and I also forgot the small tailors darts for matching seams. :facepalm

     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  8. Melearlin Valar

    Melearlin Valar Aes Sedai Tower Gatekeeper

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    Hooray! Sewalongs are great motivation for me to actually get something done.

    I'm going to use a dark gray wool from my stash for the outer fabric, and a light aqua/sageish green silk for the inner fabric. I think it's a shantung, but not positive (I inherited it from my grandmother, so yay free silk).

    For others who are on the fence, this is a great beginner sewing project! If you don't have a ton of experience it will push you a bit (like with the collar), but it's still straightforward because it doesn't require much fitting the way something like a top would. And we will be here with you with lots of pictures and step by step instructions and clarifications!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  9. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    I kinda want to try this out because I have time and a sewing machine but I'm a bit intimidated, is this easy? If you've never sewn wool are you setting yourself up for failure by trying this with it? Help lol
     
  10. Melearlin Valar

    Melearlin Valar Aes Sedai Tower Gatekeeper

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    Wool is actually a super friendly fabric to work with! You'll be fine! Heck, we can even set up zoom calls as part of the sewalong for live assistance.

    (I think this is a great stretch beginner project - it has potentially new skills like scaling up a pattern and darts, but it doesn't have the hardest part of sewing, which is making a garment fit super precisely. A corset this is not.)

    (And if you don't want to do wool, nothing wrong with cotton).
     
  11. Elia LePhant

    Elia LePhant Aes Sedai Historian

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    Yes we can definitely have zoom sessions that would be so fun. I found sewing with wool very easy as a beginner, @Alora Sionn ! It’s one of my favorite fabrics to work with now.
     
  12. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    Awesome:) thanks guys, so my second question is will this pattern fit everyone or how to get it to fit me right??
     
  13. Melearlin Valar

    Melearlin Valar Aes Sedai Tower Gatekeeper

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    The pattern instructions say it is meant for a bust size of 38 (which means 38" at the widest point), and you can go above or below that pretty easily just by how long you make the ties.

    If you have broad shoulders, you'll want to add a bit to the shoulder so the seam sits in the right place. If you are plus sized, you'll want to do more alterations so the ties sit on the bust and not on top of it (e.g if you are shaped more like this lovely lady on youtube who videoed her cape progress )

    We'll go into more details on how to make those changes at the alterations stage!
     
  14. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Mama Wolf Gaidin Forum Moderator

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    Thank you!!! Told you I'm very new at this lol

    I might actually go to goodwill and get something there to Frankenstein the fabric from since wool is so expensive
     
  15. Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn

    Roheryn ni Galghandhrei t'al'Djinn Aes Sedai Membership Activities Coordinator Head of the Green Ajah

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    I'm really looking at that dark green wool Mele posted. I'm mostly trying to decide if I even have time for this sew along. XD but I really want to do it!
     
  16. Dovienya el'Korim

    Dovienya el'Korim Mistress of Slacking Aes Sedai Headmistress

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    It looks like I'm going to give this a try! I've never done anything like this, but I just ordered my fabric.
     
  17. Leira Galene

    Leira Galene Aes Sedai Head of the Brown Ajah Forum Moderator

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    I want to participate but I'm debating because with hand sewing I'm not sure I would finish before it's too cold to wear anything but a parka.
     
  18. Narysse a'Jahar

    Narysse a'Jahar Aes Sedai

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    After spending a LOT of time arguing with the fabric because it's so slippery, I think I am going to get some dark solid fabric of the type the Amish here use for their clothes, and cotton print of some kind or sherpa stuff for the lining. I can already tell that this is going to be a losing battle with the rose fabric, unfortunately. It's gorgeous but not a good choice for this project. :( Setting that aside for when I have better and more advanced skills under my belt! :)
     
  19. Elia LePhant

    Elia LePhant Aes Sedai Historian

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    Hello stitchers!! :D I wanted to let you know that the first post has been updated with a real schedule with actual dates. ;) We will be gathering our materials until October 3, when we will start scaling up the pattern. Hope your material gathering is going well!