Fog today was a purplish-blue, and I found just the perfect color of fleece to make an historical cape called the Kinsale Cloak:
This shows the color of the cape in a brief moment of sun. The lower half of the cape that is shaded, shows more the true color of the fabric.
If you are inspired to sew fleece, my best advice is to get the thinnest fleece possible so that a double layer of it will fit easily through your machine presser-foot. It is also possible that you will have as many as four layers to sew on some parts of the garment, so the cheapest, thinnest fleece is the best. Besides that, sewing a garment from thick fleece can become very heavy and overly warm, even without lining, facings and double layers. This applies only if you do not live in a freezing winter climate, where, of course, the thicker fleece would be a lot better.
I got this at Walmart for about $2.95 a yard, and since it is 60 inches wide, I did not need very much. The cost was $11.00.
The cloak was supposed to look like this one, above, a pattern from Folkwear.
The sketches show what it looks like with variations. The hood is supposed to also serve as a collar and shoulder cape when you let out the draw-strings.
Since I did not have the actual Folkwear pattern, I used this one that I got when Simplicity was on sale for 99cents. I've kept it a few years just waiting for a time when I could make it, and I spent some time making this on one of these final foggy days here.
I hate to see the fog go away, since I've got two or three more sewing items planned, and not all of them are out-door wear.
The cape is actually quite full in the back, which does not show in this photo because I've drawn it up towards the front. The pattern did not have arm holes, so I left part of the seam open for that.
I have not hemmed this yet, but wanted to get a photograph in the small amount of light today.
Above: the hood forms a yoke on the shoulder area. On a scale of one, to five, the highest being five, I would say the "sewing frustration" level of the cape was a five, so do not attempt this if you are not a patient, experienced seamstress, unless you are wanting to become more advanced.
The cape itself is easy, but the hood was not, and I had to undo my sewing several times to get it right. I am not really finished with it yet, but wanted to update my blog with the beautiful photographs of the fog and the flowers. I still have to put a hem in this garment and line the hood so that when it falls down into a little cape over the shoulders, the seams will not show.
This is a field of those beautiful violas that thrive in fog.
Here are some of the light purple violas, at my feet, and the color is the perfect match for my cape, which is what I was trying to achieve. The fragrance of these flowers is, as near as I can describe it, like candy, or "cotton candy, "--fairy floss, as they call it in other countries.
Some light lavender violas with the dark purple in the background.
Two different shades of violas close up. I was trying to remember the color of the lightest one, and found it quite easy to choose it at the store, just by picking the purple that had the least pink in it, and the most gray. Up close, the viola matches the cape perfectly. I'm trying to make a bouquet of these with felt.
To make little hair pins with flowers on them, count the petals on the flower and cut out a paper pattern, as you see at the bottom of the photograph. You can do the same thing with the snowdrop flowers.
Take a tiny strip of fabric and cut it into a point at one end. tie that end in a knot, dab it with hot glue or use a needle and thread, as you roll it down the strip to make a center. You only need to roll it about twice, and then clip off the excess strip.
Lay that little bud you just made, in the middle of the three or four-petal flowers and just sew or hot-glue a couple of the petals halfway up onto that center bud. You can glue or sew the other petals onto the center too, only not as tightly, since you want some of the petals to fall down, as they do on the real flower. Insert hair pins through the spaces between the glue and the petals at the base of the flower.
This is just a quick hair style showing what you might do with the hair pins: put them along the side of a twist hair do, or on top. This style is completely held in place by the hair pins with the flowers at the end of them.
For this hairstyle: Twist hair into a french roll. The way I do it, is to just let my hair hang down my back and grasp all of it except a few strands on one side, and twist it until it coils upward on itself.
Then I use one of those hair pins, pictured, or a tiny claw clip, to secure the last little twisted strand on the top of the head. Hint: the smaller the claw clip, the better it stays in the hair and the less it weighs down and drags down an up-do.
After securing the top I pin or claw-clip the side of the twist every few inches, on that one side. It is not necessary to pin the other side.
If you have difficulty getting your hair to stick, you can rub some kind of setting lotion between your hands and then run your hands through the loose hair, and then twist the hair into a roll.
Treat the front anyway you like, either pulled into the twist, or parted to one side, or in a fluffly fringe.
Above: I am still working on a facinator head band with both the light and dark violas and the dark green leaves.
And now here is the tea,
...served on a table cloth made of a scrap of that lavender fleece fabric. The tea is made with frozen blackberries and the cake is a pumpkin spice cake made with molasses, and topped with berry whipped cream. We have, in the past, called flavored whipped cream "chantilly."
In a Canadian recipe book called "Company's Coming" by Jean Pare', the chantilly creams are as follows:
Almond, berry, brandy, butterscotch, chocolate, cointreau, ginger, maple, mint, orange, vanilla, cheesecake.
All these creams are just whipped cream with flavorings. I made up the berry chantilly cream, as it was not in the cookbook, but I am sure others have done it.
There might be an opportunity for me to get better pictures of the cloak, and if so, I'll certainly post them here.
I will try the McCalls cloak pattern 4698 next time, as the hood looks less complicated.
Here are some more photos of the this cloak sewing project:
The hood or bonnet section is lined with a muslin which I dyed to match the light purple fabric. This is what the hood looks like when the gathering ribbons are released. It is supposed to look like a shoulder cape.
When the draw strings are pulled up, the hood is a ruffled collar around the neckline.
This is what the fascinator (a head band decorated with various things to look like a hat) looks like.
The roses are made from the same fleece, with some violet ones added. All of them set atop green fleece leaves and the whole thing is perched atop a strip of gathered voile. Hot glue is used to secure it all.