Sunday, 12 July 2020

Costume Cape Toile: Butterick 4377

Okay, I'm sewing a toile for someone who is over six feet tall and wants the finished length to be about two feet over floor length. This is making the project, and the fact that it will be lined, a very expensive venture and the most expensive project that I've undertaken. It's a fabric eater and fabric now-a-days is well, expensive. 

This just adds to the stress of sewing this project and it's only the muslin (toile). I would feel horrible if I made an error during the sewing or cutting stage. So I will be taking things extra slow and working very carefully while dreaming of the day when this project is delivered and has left the workspace. 

As noted over on Pattern Review by others who have made this pattern, the hood is huge. I think this is what the person who will be wearing it is looking for but we'll see when the fitting comes around. Some have scaled the size of the hood down to a more manageable size.  

Another wrote:  
One note, however: this is a GIANT project! MAKE SURE that you have plenty of room to cut the pieces out (one panel didn't quite fit completely on my 5' x 4' cutting table) and especially to pin together the completely sewn cape and completely sewn lining. 
I couldn't have agreed more. This fact makes it a very challenging sewing project, finding the room to hold the project while feeding it through the machine so that the weight of the project doesn't drag and distort the stitching. My sewing machine is not made for this type of work.  

I might have to drag out the vintage brother sewing machine for this project, it handles heavier projects better (fingers crossed) than the Janome machine I'm currently sewing on. Considering the size of the project and the limitations of my sewing space, I won't understitch the lining of this cloak as suggested in the pattern's instruction sheets. I'll just take my time and press with the clapper for a neatly pressed edge.  

I'm also not sold on the pattern's instructions for sewing the hood with the seam binding finish. Those instructions don't make any sense when dealing with four layers of gathered bulk. And as others have pointed out the instructions for this part of the construction are quite perplexing. I again couldn't agree more.  

Abbythomas wrote on her pattern review: 
I have made this cloak several times and have streamlined the process a bit. A French seam to the inside where the hood and cloak meet is also a viable option and provides a little more stability at the shoulder where the weight of the cloak rests. If the French seam is turned to the inside, it doesn't show when the cloak is worn.
These words of wisdom are a priceless, based on experience over several versions and make way more sense than the Butterick instructions. I'll have to refer to Abbythomas' process when it comes to sewing the final version.  

Until the fitting... 

Stay Safe, Be Kind and Happy Sewing!  

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