Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fog Cape and Tea

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.


Anonymous said...

Lovely! And look at the way the colors beneath the tree, & beyond as well, complement what you're wearing. Very nice photo!


Unknown said...

Another hit! Just delightful. Dear Lady Lydia.. you are inspiring! I love the cape. Such a pretty color. The photos are so beautiful..

Thank you also for letting my know about my e-mail.. my son got right on it and cleaned it up. He is so useful! :)

Thank you for sharing with us!

Lydia said...

Thanks Brenda, Anita. The color of the violas was part of my inspiration for this. It will look even nicer when I get the cape properly finished!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,

this cloak is so becoming in any of the three patterns. Love the colors you've chosen. The McCalls pattern looks much easier to make.
My grandmother years ago gave me the FolkWear pattern and I've never used it.
Thank you for the flower tutorial. I must try making some of those. And thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and fashions with us. You have inspired us again!

Gardening is so on my mind right now and I need to start some seeds.
Your violas are really beautiful. I believe those are the very ones you can make violet jelly from if they are fragrant. I've seen recipes for it before.
If some of the violet jelly were mixed with the whipped cream and topped over a vanilla cake I believe you would taste the violet flavor.
Have you ever tried making violet tea with those flowers the way you do with the berries?

Thank you again for sharing with us.
Blessings, Mrs. J.

Brenda said...

Your cape is beautiful, especially the color. That pumpkin Spice cake looks good too, can you share the recipe?
I wasn't aware that flavored whipped cream was called "Chantilly" Makes it sound so elegant.
I have a recipe on my blog for Homemade vanilla whipped cream if you or your readers are interested

Anonymous said...

You have brightened many days for me with this beautiful series. I have wanted this particular cape for years! I believe it is similar to Tasha Tudor's red cape. You live in a lovely area- how wonderful to slow down and enjoy the foggy days :o) Thank you so very much for your hard work and sharing with us, Dee

Lydia said...

Mrs. J I just added under a picture that the flowers smell like candy . They do not smell like lilac or lavender, even though the color is the same. Also if you make the flowers, just look at the flower itself to determine where to hot glue the petals on to the center bud that I illustrated. Include a little green for leaves and it should look a lot nicer than the ones I did. I'm looking for a lighter green to use, as the dark green fleece I have is too dark to show up on my hair.

Lydia said...

Definitely use that McCalls pattern the next time it goes on sale for 99cents at Joann fabrics. I'm going to try it myself. It has all the look of the Kinsale cloak without all the headache.

Lydia said...

Brenda, I used an ordinary pumpkin bread recipe and instead of sugar, put molasses in it, and twice the amount of spices they called for. I baked it in a square pan so that I could cut it in squares and it would be done in the middle, better than a bread pan.

Lydia said...

Brenda: for the chantilly cream, just crush the berries a bit in hot water if they are frozen, and then beat them into the whipping cream on the electric mixer. It seems to taste okay without any kind of sweetener added. Red raspberries make it turn pin, and blackberries have a purple color the same as the cape I made.

Lydia said...

Dee, you are welcome to come by here and I'll take you to the coast for tea at the beach.

Lydia said...

..hmm. that reminds me that I was going to to a sewing series for the beach...now to think of the appropriate tea ;-)

alex said...

Oh I love everything in this post!
Violas are my favourite ~ so sweet and shy~ but their elusive scent is out of this world.
All the capes are so pretty and the hair flowers, very inspiring.
Thanks for sharing all your hard work!
xx Alex

Lydia said...

I hope I can get more sewing done in the future, particulary for the painting-inspired series. I've just found some paintings with capes in them.

Peach State Pretties said...

Love the cloak and pretty hairpins! That pretty purple fleece is perfect for Spring. Hope your day is warm and wonderful!

Lydia said...

I am trying to post again today!

Anonymous said...

Could you post directions for the hairstyle?

Lydia said...

I will try to do that Melanie.