Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Vintage Cape: Fabric & Supplies

I found my fabrics for the vintage cape at Mitchell Fabrics. I was quite thrilled when I stumbled across this red wool that reminds me of the Kate Spade cape I so admire. It almost made me forget about the beautifully soft black cashmere that I walked by moments before and which was so out of my price range. I happened to pick up the last of the red melton wool on the bolt and luckily it was the exact yardage that I required.  

This melton cloth (shown on the left) is a 70% wool and 30% rayon blend. The lining (shown on the right) is a 48% cotton and 32% acrylic kasha satin. I did spend some time looking through their vintage collection of coat buttons but didn't find anything to go with the fabric. It didn't have to be red buttons, I was looking more for interesting and unique. These understated buttons I found at Fabricland and just happened to be a perfect match with my fabric.  

I cut and sewed the front, sides and back of the cape pattern to test out the fit and figure out where I would like to place the pockets. All that is left to do is trace out my pattern pieces, pre-shrink my fabric and cut it out.  

Unlike some vintage patterns from the 1970s, this one does not come with separate pattern pieces for the lining. This means that I'm going to take some time this week and copy my pattern lining pattern pieces before cutting.  

In the meantime, I'm getting my fabric ready. The lining fabric has already been pre-treated with a run through the washing machine and two dryer cycles on delicate. It is currently hanging on the drying rack waiting for a light pressing. The wool I'm torn on how to pretreat it. Any suggestions?  

There is the London shrink method and there is this dryer method. Of course, I could take it to a dry cleaner. If only there was a dry cleaner I would trust with my fabric. I am leaning towards the dryer method. It might be tricky while dealing with an injured wrist and wearing another brace. We'll see... What is your preferred method of pre-treating wool?  

Happy Sewing!  


  1. You jumped right in~it is going to be wonderful. I have done the dryer method you mention from Pam's site. It worked well.

    1. I did use the dryer method and my fabric looks nice. It did however leave behind quite the mess in the lint trap that required a brush and vacuum to clean up. Is that normal?

  2. I wash mine in cold water on the wool/delicate and hang to dry. I find the delicate cycle on my front-loader much is much easier on fabric than the delicate on a top-loader.
    I make all my wool washable 'cuz I'm kinda messy.

    1. I think I will try this method next although I use a top loader. It doesn't have the agitator though so it might be okay.


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