Its fall, and that means the glorious season of outwear is coming. As I am trying to get off of the fast fashion treadmill, I recently added to my fabric stash and get on making my own clothing. This meant a serious upgrade from

I started with something simple, something I knew I could cut before I work on something more complicated with expensive fabric. I decided on a riding cape. Nothing that looks too much like it’s cosplay, but enough to have a fantasy vibe to my daily wardrobe.

It started with fabric selection. I went with a darker purple merino wool, and a sheer black cotton for a lining. The lining is mostly to make sure that I don’t have something itchy directly near my skin.

The Purple Wool and The Thin Black Cotton – As you can see it badly needed an iron

I don’t sew from a pattern. So this was a two stage cut. First off, I moved the cut edges to the center fold to leave the open front of the cape. It is a bit of a rough edge, but I’m going to finish it will bias tape so that does not matter.

The wool with the fabric cut edges on the front fold

From there it was a cut to the right length to get the basic shape of the cape down. Then I used an existing garment (my favorite, cozy sweater) to get the shape of the shoulders.

It was a simple shape, but if you do what I did and use a sweater you are going to have to be 100% sure that you have them shaped right. Sweaters can malform easily if they are laid at anything but a perfect angle.

If you have a coat that might be a better choice.

Cozy sweater on the fabric for the shoulder cuts

The shoulders were sewn together, the sides were split to give it an open side. I know some capes keep the sides closed

Once that was done, it was time to turn the major seams, put black bias tape on the front edges and add in the black lining.

Its the basic shape, and it needs some functional accessories. I’m thinking about a removable hood and a belt to help the cape stay close in higher wind situations, but those are thoughts for another day.

The plain cape without accessories

You can see how the lighting changed over the day I was sewing. The cape didn’t get darker, night just happened. Since I hand sew it takes me longer than it would for a machine user to sew.

But on the whole I think it is a solid base to build on.