Don’t get me wrong, I still love cardigans, but sometimes you just want something with a little bit more drama. How fun to have a garment to keep your body warm, with front slits for freedom of movement for your arms.
This is only the second Trish Newbery pattern I’ve tried. The Shadow Tunic Dress was the first, and I really like it. Hmmm… I should write a post on how I hacked it… Anyway, I thought it would be fun to have a cape, so I started looking at patterns. It was important to me that the pattern have good shaping at the shoulders. There are plenty of patterns out there that are basically a big circle, with a circle in the middle for your head to go through. That doesn’t work for me for the same reason that dolman tops/dresses don’t work well.
When you have more narrow, slightly sloping shoulders and a larger bust, a dolman style just kind of hangs there and creates a big wrinkle at the armscye. Not an attractive look. A nicely fitted shoulder (with set-in sleeves on a garment with sleeves) is a much better look. So, I searched for a pattern with some shaping at the shoulders.
The Riley Cape has raglan shoulder seam lines, with optional front slits along the seam line. Yay, no need for welted openings! I like the look of welted pockets, etc., but dislike the process of sewing them. 🙂
The pattern has options for a hood, cowl collar, or neckband; and a plain front or lower center front opening. I went for the neckband and thought I wanted the lower front opening. Once it was sewn up though, the center front slit didn’t seem necessary, since there were already slits for the arms. So I ripped out the bottom center top stitching, and sewed the center front seam all the way down to the hem, and redid the topstitching. I’d probably use the center front seam again because I think it helped me play pattern tetris and use less fabric. 😉 And I like the look of the topstitching!
Though I would have liked to use a stretch Merino wool or some other fancy fabric for my cape, that wasn’t exactly in my budget, or simple to find in sunny Florida! Our winters aren’t exactly long, and generally aren’t that cold. Since I knew that I’d likely only get to wear it for a few weeks or so, anti-pill fleece seemed a logical choice. JoAnn Fabrics had this charcoal marled look fleece, and it looked like a more expensive fabric than it was. Fleece is kind of bulky, so black rayon spandex seemed like a better choice for the neckband.
The only pattern adjustment I made was to straighten out the shoulder seam line. The shoulder seam has a bit of a curve to it, so I got rid of the curve and just kept angling it up in a straight line to the inner neck. It fits the slope of my shoulders so much better!
I’m very happy with my cape/poncho/whatever you want to call it! I wore it out to my birthday dinner and kept it on all afternoon and early evening. It was the perfect topper for a long sleeved top and leggings, and dressed them up a bit. I’d make this pattern again, and probably choose the exact same options! I think supplex, ponte, or a heavier weight rayon spandex would all be excellent fabric choices.
The details: Riley Cape from Trish Newbery
Anti-pill fleece from JoAnn Fabrics
Rayon spandex from Phee Fabrics
Thank you for reading and sharing my love of creating, sewing, patterns, fabric, and making beautiful, well-fitting garments! ❤