Ravenclaw cape

This was a totally unplanned project, but with events postponed and weekends freed up, I figured I could spend some time on something like this!

American Duchess posted the pattern for this 1912 cape on their Patreon before, and now released it to everyone! I’d seen pictures of both the original and Nicole’s reproduction, and really loved both, so I couldn’t resist checking my stash. Therein I found blue wool (leftover from my blue spencer, way back) and brown linen (planned for a red cloak which hasn’t happened yet), and my Ravenclaw self couldn’t resist.

Reville & Rossiter Ltd. Cashmere and velvet cloak with silk taffeta lining, c. 1912

The original, which is in a private collection

 

I made the whole cloak, from scaling up the pattern to finishing up in a day. It’s fairly simple and doesn’t require much fitting, so it was perfect as a change from the big, involved 1890’s project.

The first step was getting the pattern on paper, which included counting all the squares, and then drawing it on my own square paper. Added difficulty was that it’s impossible to get inch paper here, so mine is in cm instead. Luckily, I do have a clear inch ruler, which makes it easier again.

 

Second step was cutting the fabric, and transferring all the markings!

 

I then first sewed all the wool layers and pressed them, and then all the linen layers. My main reason to do it this way was so I didn’t have to change out the threads in my machine too much. (Also, it was very tempting to just get one layer done first to try it on!)

 

When both layers were constructed, I made the collar and stitched that onto the wool. And then it was time to sew both layers to each other right sides together! Leaving a bit at the bottom open to turn it inside out, this neatly hides all seams and catches the collar between layers.

 

After turning it inside out, I gave it a good press and then finished the bottom edge and ‘points’ of the front flaps by hand. The first because that was where it was turned, the second so I could test the length before I finished them. The final step was adding closures to those front flaps, and then she was done!

 

I really like how it turned out, and the wool actually matches quite well with my blue wool skirt, which is a good accident!

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Some more finished pictures:

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1870’s Mantelet

When my 1870’s ballgown was nearly done, I also started looking into making a quick cape or coat to go with it. I’ll be walking to the ball after all (no fancy carriage, alas), so a little something warm will be welcome. I also had a 1,5m by 1,5m wool coupon in my stash with no specific plans for it yet. It would be perfect for this plan!

So I started looking at capes and coats, and quickly found loads of original online patterns for different Victorian eras. It’s really nice to see the progress in shapes! Generally speaking, the 1860’s see large almost ‘sack’ like capes falling over crinolines. In the early 1870’s a type of mantelet with two long extensions in the front and a fitted back become popular. In the 1880’s, coats become more popular, being even more fitted and having sleeves more often. In the 1890’s you see the rise of short (waist-length) circle shaped capes.

The patterns I found for the 1870’s were these:

Der Bazar 1874: Springtime mantelet from black elastine fabric with black guipure-lace, grosgrain ribbons and atlas lining (also suitable for confirmands); 38a. front part, 38b. back part:

Der Bazar 1873: Springtime mantelet from black cashmere with black lace and silk-reps adornments; 23a. front part, 23b. back part:

Der Bazar 1874: Springtime mantelet from black cashmere with black lace and…:

Der Bazar 1873: Springtime mantelet from black elastine with black guipure-lace and grosgrain ribbon adornments; 24a. front part, 24b. back part:

All very similar in shape. I settled on the last one, because I liked the square bottom front and fitted back. (Also, even though it has nothing to do with the pattern, the bow at the back might have influenced me slightly 😉 ).

I slightly adapted the pattern to fit me, mostly the back was way too narrow and the front slightly too wide for me. I didn’t have a narrow neckline anymore after I was done with the adaptions, and decided to leave it as it was. So mine is slightly wider then the originals probably were.

These patterns have no instructions, so I just made it up in the way I thought easiest. First I assembled the wool fabric pieces. I then trimmed the edges using velvet and polyester ribbon. The polyester ribbon (obviously not historical, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen actual silk ribbon for sale) was pleated every 1,5cm. All 10m of it.. Suffice to say that took a while, it was a relaxing task though, and perfect for the start of the holidays. (Very obvious in this image, I tend to group pins by color…)

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After trimming, I lined the wool with cotton by sewing it together right sides together, leaving a little part to turn it inside out. That part was hand-sewn shut afterwards. To keep the back close to the body right before the ‘flare’, I sewed a cotton strip of fabric at that point which closes in the front. I don’t know if this is period, just something I thought convenient.

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It closes with a fancy closure at the top and little hooks and eyes to keep the front together.

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I also placed a velvet bow at the center back, inspired by the pattern picture.

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To finish, a couple of images of me wearing the mantelet over the ball gown.

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