I didn’t mean to shop…really. I was running errands: mailing letters, dropping off boots at the cobbler to be re-heeled (see? very thrifty!).
But that fashion retailer–it was standing in my way, with all it’s big “50% off!” signs screaming at me. So I went inside. And surprise, I fell promptly in love. Fortunately, the item I wanted most was not available in my size…oh, the salvation! So perhaps I got off easy, this time.
It was this plaid wool cape jacket, at right. Really, I have a perfectly serviceable winter coat and I don’t need another jacket, even though none of mine swish and swirl at the elbows just like this one does. It’s very, very “Peggy” from Mad Men. [Fourth season, of course, I should note: when Peggy is at her self-actualized, saucy best.] At any rate, the more I looked, the more I realized that “Yes, I could make this, and perhaps I could make it better!” Well, not objectively better, perhaps…the workmanship was fine enough. But perhaps, one I make might be a better garment, for me. And in truth, this fabric, while fun (yellow and turquoise!) would be difficult to coordinate with other pieces from my closet. To wear it, I’d have to dress for the jacket. And even at 50% off the “already low sale prices”, I could still buy a nice fabric for the same cost…it would take, perhaps, 3 yards, at most? Plus lining fabric and buttons…it would be worth a little more, perhaps, to have a cape jacket with a sash belt that also could be worn with most anything else I wear.
So I took photos in the dressing room, made notes of seams and lengths and designs, and now I will add a “Cape Jacket” to the ever-growing list of things I would like to make for myself, as part of this project.
I think the key to this one is that unlike many cape patterns I see, here the “cape” part is only the sleeves, which are built on a vest-like bodice, so the jacket fits close to the body at the centers, rather than wrapping you entirely in a shapeless cape form. It’s a double-breasted vest, with both front and back broken by a vertical seam, into which the bat-wing semi-circular cape part is added. I can do that!
I am going to have to be careful, however, or my wish-list of sewing projects is going to quickly outgrow all of the time I have to devote to this hobby.