Monday, November 14, 2011

Cape Fix and Fabric Finds

I hesitate to call this a refashion, since not much has a changed, but here it is anyway. Can you spot the differences?
The lack of buttoning in the before picture doesn't count.
I got this thick, gray, plush, poly-cotton blend cape last Christmas in Hong Kong for about $30. I really wanted something warm (despite not being wool, this cape is super toasty! Sewing with it on my lap on a 77 degree day was not fun!), and my mom always says that whatever you find in HK is going to be the ultimate in style next year. This was true for pointy-toed shoes several years ago I didn't believe her; last year, despite my skeptical husband and friends, I purchased two capes and look around you now -- capes are all the rage!
Anyway, I really like this cape except for the awkward cuffs. They stick out on the sides, and that's just not where my arms come out when I'm wearing a cape. It makes for a whole lot of awkward fabric bunching in front, plus the cuffs just look silly on a cape. This model for the wholesale version makes it look kind of okay, but believe me, I do not look like that when I wear this. So I decided to fix it. I unpicked the cuffs (serging is both incredibly annoying, and at the same time surprisingly easy, to undo) and resewed the the side seams, then set about cutting off the pockets and turning them into holes for my arms to come out. It was relatively easy, just time-consuming, to take it all apart, fold back the fabric, and topstitch around to make these slits. I think it looks pretty good on the outside...but the inside is kind of a hot mess.
No hint of the hideous awkward cuff, and look at that slit!

Look at all my zig-zag-stitching in an attempt to mimic serging!

But what will I do now that there are no pockets to keep my hands warm? Easy -- when we went to the fabric district on Saturday, we stopped by the FIDM scholarship store, where I found this awesome faux fur muff! Originally $54.00 from Nine West, there was a whole rack of them: $5 for one and $8.00 for Elaine and I each came away with a muff. I've always wanted a cape and muff, ever since reading about Laura's Christmas cape and muff in On the Banks of Plum Creek in fourth grade.

I can't wait to go to an opera. Or possibly just Wicked.

Besides a muff, I came away from the FIDM store with fabric, of course -- for $2/yard!
Beige with gold thread loosely-woven sweater knit, a border print (embroidered, really, not printed) honeysuckle cotton with white birds and roses, a fish scale looking knit, and a cream and gray flower print knit.

We then went to Michael Levine, where I picked up these, for $2.50/pound:
Pale pink and pale grey chiffons with silvery threads woven in, and a ruby red sweater knit, all for $4 from Michael Levine Loft.

Odyssea by MoMo for Moda, super-discounted to $4.50/yard at the main store.

Elaine and I both fell in love with this slightly macabre, but totally bio-nerd linen fabric printed with bones all over, from a smaller shop:

I'm going to make her a purse out of it, and a dress for myself. The especially awesome part about the vendors down there is that everything is so whatever; I asked for five yards of the bones fabric, but due to haphazard measuring against the seller's arm and chest, I probably came away with over six yards. The Odyssea fabric was the end of the bolt, so I got the remaining 3/8 yard free! And then there's the fact that you can bargain! The bones fabric was going to be $3/yard, but I got it for $2/yard.

I also came away with some great trims:
The white pieces were 2/$1 at the FIDM store, and the black pieces were $3 total from the same shop as the bones fabric.

Last but not least, another thrift store trip yielded this gem of a Batman sheet to go along with my Superman sheet.
What is it with superheroes and always posing with one knee up and like they're ready to punch something?

I have a lot of dressmaking ahead of me! I'm so excited!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know which I love more - your cape or the Superman sheet!! The muff is FAB.


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