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!! Folly or fantastic - I'm growing a cloak! #CAPEtember2022

 
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I'm also confused about the neck-facing piece.  That's not talked about in the instructions.

I didn't cut any facings because I won't have enough fabric.  Just curious what one would do with that if they were making the cloak according to the instructions.

But also, you get what you pay for, and it is free.  The actual printed pattern is a darn sight better than most paid PDF patterns I've seen.  
 
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Making both sides the "outside" fabric, would be the common way to do it on off the shelf items.

However, read this page: https://bespokeedge.com/blog/why-is-there-felt-under-a-suit-collar
Classy, "custom" coats may have a felt undercollar and it may not even match as normally it doesn't show. Making your undercollar out of your lining would be a fashion statement, but I don't see a picture in this thread of what your lining looks like. Alternatively, you could make your own felt if you've got any of Miracle's wool left that you didn't spin, as from the article, the reason for using felted fabric is to help the collar sit nicely.

 
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r ranson wrote:I'm also confused about the neck-facing piece.  That's not talked about in the instructions.

I didn't cut any facings because I won't have enough fabric.  Just curious what one would do with that if they were making the cloak according to the instructions.

No, the instructions are extremely minimalistic!

Yes, since you are lining your cloak, the facing is optional. However, if you look carefully at the picture where they show the toggle cloak fastener:
1. you can clearly see where the collar meets the cloak, and on the inside, you see the same fabric as on the outside - that's the neck-facing piece.
2. you also do *not* see the lining in that picture.
3. often in coats where the inside of the neckline is visible, they will use a neck facing piece that matches the outside of the coat, and I think it's often sewn over top of the lining, but that may be negotiable. Lining fabric is often more delicate than the outside fabric, so making a neck facing piece, or putting some sort of reinforcement fabric between the lining and the outside layer that's the same shape as the neck facing piece, will add important strength to that area and decrease the risk of the neckline stretching out of shape. If it's not going to show, any tight-weave cotton fabric would do the job or if you decide to make some felt for the collar, a felted wool piece would add strength and warmth.
 
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r ranson wrote:Yes, I'm going to be flat-lining and extending the front by about 3 inches or so.  


If "extending the front" means what it might mean, are you extending the collar as well? If you aren't, you will need to change how you attach the collar to the coat, as currently, the collar and coat match at the front opening.
 
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Weaving the homegrown cloak

The cloth is finished and fulled.  It was a lot of fun weaving this yarn, and I learned more about my spinning than I expected.  


a link to the video

Weaving videos are hard because I want to make them all about 36 hours long to show each and every detail.  So I choose one or two details per video and then toss in the pretty images to inspire people to learn more.  I hope it works.  

Although I am thinking of an idea to get the best of both worlds.  
 
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I've put my brain to the problem all day and I can't figure out how I'll sew on the collar

While flat-lining the cloak

and extending the front edge out several inches.

There's got to be a way, because coat collars don't always go right to the edge.  I just can't figure it out.  yet.  

But for now, I'm going to go have a panic attack before trying to cut into this cloth.  
 
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The collar attachment shouldn't be a problem for you, it is just a different method. Just cut it out as you have planned. Go ahead and start with the flatlinning. The collar neck line can be finished with a bias section of your fabric covering the collar's raw edges, and your facing sould take care of the extention.

Hmmm... A thorough description that makes sense without pictures is not comming to mind. I'll go through my old patterns and see what instructions we can cobble together to make me write sense.

 
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r ranson wrote: ...and extending the front edge out several inches.

There's got to be a way, because coat collars don't always go right to the edge.

I can picture how to do it, but it involves having enough extra width of fabric at the front for your "extend the front edge out several inches" + "fold over the equivalent number of inches to the inside" + a seam allowance.

1. You'd sew the two sides of the collar together right sides together, turn right side out, press.
2. Sew the underside of the collar to the cloak in the proper place. Clip the seam allowance of the cloak neckline at the end of the stitching so that the part of the cloak neckline that the collar covers can be tucked inside the collar.
3. Press the top side of the collar seam allowance under with the top of the cloak and hand stitch the front of the collar down along the neckline.
4. Press the extended front edge seam allowance wrong sided together. Then fold it right sides together until it mates with the spot you clipped and sew that section of neck edge, trim the corner and reverse it so that you now have essentially a "hem" but on the front of your cloak - the equivalent of a front facing, like dress shirts often do. Stitch that down to the facing on the inside - hand stitch if you don't want it to show on the outside.

My only concern is the spot where you had to clip so that the cloak could stick out past the collar, could be a weak point. Adding some fabric reinforcement to that spot wouldn't be a bad idea - if it was added between the outer fabric and the lining, it wouldn't show. It doesn't need to be a lot - maybe a couple of inches of twill tape for example.
 
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r ranson wrote:I've put my brain to the problem all day and I can't figure out how I'll sew on the collar

While flat-lining the cloak

and extending the front edge out several inches.

There's got to be a way, because coat collars don't always go right to the edge.  I just can't figure it out.  yet.  

But for now, I'm going to go have a panic attack before trying to cut into this cloth.  

.



This may be a good example!
 
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Priscila Ferreira's link nicely covers the first 3 steps I outlined above. However, in the video, the collar and the cape end at the same point, so the issue of having to clip the seam allowance, and then do something to "finish" the front extension Raven is planning to add will still need working out.

That said, the "extension" and the extra fabric I described as  being needed for folding under could all be done as a separate "flap" like some coats have that cover a zipper or provide room for buttons, like most duffel coats.
 
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Regarding positioning the collar -
I have sewn a number of shirts, blouses and jackets in the way that you describe. Collars are generally always lined (and more often than not, and interfacing is added as well, but you can do without is the fabric will hold its shape).  I find that collars usually  lay better if the underside is of a slightly lighter fabric, but for a cloak that’s probably not a big deal.  Just be sure not to use a heavier fabric.

I’ve been thinking about what I would do given your design.  Because, I’m starting to think  that i might need to spin for a cloak, too!

So, here is my recommendation:

Cut out two collars, fabrics of your choice.

Right sides together, sew the sides and outer edges together.  But do not start the seam at the bottom edge.  If you’re using a 5/8” seam allowance, start sewing the side 5/8” from the bottom (or whatever seam allowance you are actually using).  And, you might want to mark he same spot on the other edge with a pin before you start sewing as a reminder to stop sewing 5/8” from the bottom edge on the other side. It’s easy to forget and just keep going and then have to pick it out.  

Note: Patterns usually have you turn up a hem-sized section of the layer that will end up on top (that will show while wearing) before sewing the layers together, and then sew the layers together such that at the turned up part you are sewing through 3 layers. I used to follow that direction slavishly. But now I prefer to leave that part of the collar free in case I end up needing to ease it a little later on, which for me is usually the case. My way has saved me headaches. If you do it my way, be sure to backstitch at the beginning and ending of your seaming.  And of course, do not sew the bottom edges at all.   Also,  I always go some backstitching at both sides of the points for reinforcement since one typically cuts off the seam allowance pretty closely at the point in order to allow it to be turned right side out (later) without getting all bunched up.

Now, turn the collar right side out. Mess around until it lays nicely and press it well.

Once turned, think of the  “wrong side” of the collar as the side that will not be seen.

Pin the collar to the cloak such that the “wrong side” is hanging downward against the right side of the cloak.  Make sure it’s where you want it. It would be a good idea to baste it in place to get rid of the pins.

If I read the other posts correctly, you are lining the cloak. If that is correct, then with the collar still hanging down, pin the lining to the cloak right sides together and stitch it.  Do it  just like you did with the collar:  don’t start the seam at the bottom edge of the cloak.  Decide how deep your hem will be and start there.
Your collar will be sandwiched between the two layers of the cloak (again, hanging down). When stitching the lining to the cloak, when you get to the collar position, you will be stitching through 3 layers: the cloak, the lining, and the “wrong side” of the collar where it is basted to the cloak. Be careful that you are not stitching through 4 layers. You want the bottom edge of the top part of the collar to remain free.

Turn it all right side out - the collar will reappear!  Press seams well. Now, you finally get to complete the collar. Turn the unfinished edge under and pin it down (yes, you will be working on the top, or “public side” layer of the collar).  Assuming that you have pressed the entire top edge of the cloak after turning it right side out, as you turn the collar under you will be able to match the position of the turned edge nicely to the edge of the lining.
Blind stitch the hem in place. I do this by hand. Voila. Done.

I would probably top stitch top across the entire neck edge (actually, I would top stitch down the fronts, too, after hemming is completed, because  I like how it looks).  It helps keep everything in place. But not all patterns call for it (though I usually do it anyway).

 
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What's the size of the filled fabric? If the pattern calls for five yards of 60" wide fabric that doesn't mean you can get it out of 10 yards of 30" wide fabric. Especially when the facings are long and of odd shapes. But you can always piece the facings after you cut out the main pieces as they are not visible.
 
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To me a blanket poncho would be optimal for displaying the beauty of hand woven fabric, especially when patterns are woven based on the finished size. Maybe it's a bit rustic and not your style. The mood cape is graceful looking, just the full and curvy hem will take a lot of fabric and not efficient in layout. Also the open front may make you feel cold. I saw this Gucci cape is quite similar, noted that it has in-seam slits.
Screenshot_20220922-000338-2.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20220922-000338-2.png]
 
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I saw a few beautiful cloaks last Sunday. It was at a (small) 'medieval fair'. All of those cloaks had hoods. Wouldn't you like to have a hood? Of course that will take more cloth ...
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:I saw a few beautiful cloaks last Sunday. It was at a (small) 'medieval fair'. All of those cloaks had hoods. Wouldn't you like to have a hood? Of course that will take more cloth ...

Personally, using a separate hat allows for more flexibility. I have my ratty wide-brimmed farm hat which helps keep the sun out of my eyes and is really comfy and clearly needs some TLC. (I fixed it once, but the fix is wearing through so... needs a patch on the patch???)
However, if it turns really cold, I wear my wool toque that my mother-in-law knitted decades ago.
If it's pissing down rain, but not too windy, believe it or not, I've got one of those micro umbrella hats. It freaks out the chickens a little, but it keeps my head dry.

That said, as least one of the pictures I looked at recently seemed to have the hood buttoned on. That way the hood could be there or not, could be identical fabric or complementary or could change with the seasons.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:
That said, as least one of the pictures I looked at recently seemed to have the hood buttoned on. That way the hood could be there or not, could be identical fabric or complementary or could change with the seasons.



This was what I'd suggest. I think it makes for a much more versatile piece. Plus, if you later decided you also want a shorter version of the cloak, you could make it in a contrasting/ coordinating color or pattern, and with a similarly done hood for that one, you'd suddenly have a mix&match that would give you 2 different cloaks with interchangeable hoods. If both cloaks and both hoods were reversible, you'd have a whole wardrobe of autumn, winter, spring outerwear, for every occasion.
 
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Hood - I love the way they look, but...
- I worry about them adding too much weight to the back of the cloak and causing them to pull at the neck.
- 'cold' here is about freezing temp.  I don't think it would get cold enough to use a hood regularly
- I doubt I have enough cloth.  I'm already having to shorten the pattern more than I want to make this work.

But I have some nice hats and I can always sew a medieval hood that is it's own garment .  . . actually, that might be fun.  



Collar - I think I have an idea but this is a very heavy garment so I'm going to run to the fabric shop to see if they have something like fusible interfacing but stretchy that I can add to the neckline before I put the collar on.  The weaver sews talks about knit interfacing for adding strength to seams, so I'll see what they have.


I am so excited about how this is coming along.
In some ways I'm regretting handsewing this huge garment, but in other ways, the results make the extra time worth it.  

Thank you everyone for your feedback and suggestions.  I'm only popping on to the computer for a few min each day to read a few things - most of all this thread.


How's everyone else's #CAPEtmber coming along?  
 
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r ranson wrote:....

But I have some nice hats and I can always sew a medieval hood that is it's own garment .  . . actually, that might be fun.  
 


Yes, you can easily make such a thing. I saw it's a 'chaperon' in English. In Dutch that is 'kaproen'. I did make one (and wore it when visiting that medieval fair). I used felt (took some old lambswool sweaters and washed them in the washing machine). It is like a hood (with a pointed back) and an attached shoulder-cape(let).

I am thinking of making more clothes, so I can play a role at those medieval and prehistorical fairs. A cloak isn't among the first things I think of. I think of clothes that were worn even before medieval times.
First I need a woolen dress. And a pair of shoes with fur inside. I think of a small cap too (maybe also leather with fur inside), my 'chaperon' doesn't fit the role I'd like to play. A pair of loose sleeves (dresses with set-in sleeves did not yet exist back then), leg-warmers and mittens to keep me warm ... and to use my favourite craft: nålbinding.

But this was off-topic, sorry.
 
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r ranson wrote:Hood - I love the way they look, but...
- I worry about them adding too much weight to the back of the cloak and causing them to pull at the neck.
- 'cold' here is about freezing temp.  I don't think it would get cold enough to use a hood regularly
- I doubt I have enough cloth.  I'm already having to shorten the pattern more than I want to make this work.

But I have some nice hats and I can always sew a medieval hood that is it's own garment .  . . actually, that might be fun.  



Collar - I think I have an idea but this is a very heavy garment so I'm going to run to the fabric shop to see if they have something like fusible interfacing but stretchy that I can add to the neckline before I put the collar on.  The weaver sews talks about knit interfacing for adding strength to seams, so I'll see what they have.


I am so excited about how this is coming along.
In some ways I'm regretting handsewing this huge garment, but in other ways, the results make the extra time worth it.  

Thank you everyone for your feedback and suggestions.  I'm only popping on to the computer for a few min each day to read a few things - most of all this thread.


How's everyone else's #CAPEtmber coming along?  



Fully understandable. Especially the shortness of fabric. Mine is...not coming along. At all. We're 3/4 through the month, and I've done exactly 0. :(
 
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r ranson wrote:
How's everyone else's #CAPEtmber coming along?  



Still spinning, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’m pretty sure that Capetember is going to magically extend for several months. I’m ok with that, though. Living vicariously through your process!
 
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r ranson wrote:



Collar - I think I have an idea but this is a very heavy garment so I'm going to run to the fabric shop to see if they have something like fusible interfacing but stretchy that I can add to the neckline before I put the collar on.  The weaver sews talks about knit interfacing for adding strength to seams, so I'll see what they have.

 



Great idea!
 
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And picture time (and yes, I am totally doing this to keep the thread bumped near the top of permies for a while)


This is the yarn ready to put on the loom as warp.



A little tidbit that didn't make it into the video - the warp alone weighs 1 kilo.  This means the finished cloak, including lining should be around 2 kilos.  That's one heavy blanket cloak.
 
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The fusible knit interfacing did exactly what I wanted.  It reduced the freying, strengthened the neckline so it could better hold the weight of the cloak, and allowed me to cut into the seam allowance without the cloth unravelling.  

I found out this week that this technique is called 'taping a seam' and is historically done with linen lawn or other fabric tacked in.  It stops the stitches from pulling the cloth apart and makes the clothing last longer.  Learn something new every day.  
 
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Getting the yarn on the loom, ready to weave.



This part determines the structure of the cloth and allows the loom to control which of the warp yarns lift or don't.  There are four frames on this loom, so we have four choices and each thread has to go through one of those.  The combination of the frames and threading means we can have infinite variations in the cloth structure.  But today, I'm sticking with the simplest - tabby or plain weave.  where one yarn goes up, the next down, up down up and so on.  

I'm doing a very simple version where I thread 4321 as this is fastest for for my body (most people thread 1234 as it matches them better).  
 
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r ranson wrote: I'm doing a very simple version where I thread 4321 as this is fastest for for my body (most people thread 1234 as it matches them better).  

OK, just curious - don't feel obligated to answer, but are you left handed or ambidextrous? That could explain why 4321 is easier for you. Eye dominance may be a factor also - I'm nominally right handed, but left eye dominant, so it would be interesting for me to do a test and see which works best for me.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:

r ranson wrote: I'm doing a very simple version where I thread 4321 as this is fastest for for my body (most people thread 1234 as it matches them better).  

OK, just curious - don't feel obligated to answer, but are you left handed or ambidextrous? That could explain why 4321 is easier for you. Eye dominance may be a factor also - I'm nominally right handed, but left eye dominant, so it would be interesting for me to do a test and see which works best for me.



I'm mostly right handed, but becoming left handed as I age.

The order of threading the heddles is more with arthritis.  I pull the yarn through, I'm moving my hands towards me, so it's a smaller motion to move to the frame that is one closer to me than to have to switch direction and thought to move one away from me.  

I think we are usually taught 1234 when we first learn to weave, so most people get the muscle memory for that.  I know I teach 1234 because I'm too focused on getting people to weave to spend time on effecency.
 
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The cloth off the loom



It's still very much a woven web and not a cohesive cloth yet.

The next step is fulling the cloth.



and here's a video about what that involves

 
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Here's a short video to prove that I did get the cloak made in time.



If anyone wanted to pop over to youtube and give the video a like and a comment, it would be a huge help with the youtube algorithm.  

The longer video will come soon.  
 
Carla Burke
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r ranson wrote:Here's a short video to prove that I did get the cloak made in time.

If anyone wanted to pop over to youtube and give the video a like and a comment, it would be a huge help with the youtube algorithm.  

The longer video will come soon.  



Nicely done! I'm impressed, and liked, and commented!
 
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Well done! The quick glimpses we got suggest you found a way to manage your collar concerns! Are you willing to post a still shot of the neck area, or will you keep us in suspense?
 
r ranson
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Jay Angler wrote:Well done! The quick glimpses we got suggest you found a way to manage your collar concerns! Are you willing to post a still shot of the neck area, or will you keep us in suspense?



suspense for sure.

I'll get some photos once I've finished putting the video together.  
 
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I'm so excited.  Just finishing off the video tonight.  Hopeful to get it to you tomorrow.  
 
r ranson
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The sewing video is HERE!
I'm so excited about this one.  I hope you enjoy it.



a link to the video

It would be awesome if you could let youtube know you like this video by popping over there and giving it a thumbs up or comment.  
 
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This is just fantastic. What beautiful work. I am inspired.
 
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Congratulations, it looks fantastic but OMG that was a lot of work. I know that my cloak was a lot of work, but at least I didn’t have to make the cloth from scratch. Awesome.
 
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Absolutely gorgeous video! So creatively done, well timed, wonderful music, and such an adventure with revelations of personal process... I just loved it!
 
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Very lovely, and fascinating to see the process of producing not just the garment, but the ancient skill that goes into actually spinning the fibers and weaving them into beautiful wool fabric to construct the garment! Beautifully made… I would love to see the follow-up video that shows the finished cloak-  and especially to see it modeled by it’s maker!
 
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The cape came out so lovely! What kind of closure are you planning on? A button hole might not be a good choice for this fabric even if you reinforce it with some backing. I have seen many nice coats given away to the free store due to closure failures. If you like the looks of buttons, you can fake that by sewing the buttons on the outside and use magnetic snaps for actual closure. Both sides of the plackets need to be stabilized somehow to avoid stretching.
 
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May Lotito wrote:The cape came out so lovely! What kind of closure are you planning on? A button hole might not be a good choice for this fabric even if you reinforce it with some backing. I have seen many nice coats given away to the free store due to closure failures. If you like the looks of buttons, you can fake that by sewing the buttons on the outside and use magnetic snaps for actual closure. Both sides of the plackets need to be stabilized somehow to avoid stretching.



I'd suggest frogs, for something permanently attached, or for not so much permanent, a sturdy pennanular.
 
Jay Angler
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Carla Burke wrote:I'd suggest frogs, for something permanently attached, or for not so much permanent, a sturdy pennanular.

I think Raven tried something like a pennanular, but the poky bit wouldn't go through her lining.

I like the idea of frogs. There are instructions on the web for home made versions.

I agree that buttons will need serious reinforcing, but I did that on a cape I made the kids and it survived them, so I'm betting it could be done. However the big question is whether the location will need to change - more overlap for cold weather, less for warmer for example?

It's a bit late to suggest this, but if you go the button route, could you open up the front seams and put reinforcing in between the inside and outside layers? If you could, you could potentially use something very sturdy like scraps of cotton denim.
 
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