Fitting a Cape
Welcome to part 2 of my blog series about capes. Today let’s talk about fitting a cape. Don’t worry it is not that complicated.
On IG (find me here) I got some comments and direct messages about your concerns about the proper fit of your capes and why you hestate to sew them. Thanks for your thoughts everyone, it will help me make this series even better.
In my humble opinion every project can be made possible with determination, patience and of course the necessary knowledge. So, go on reading and be surprised how easy fitting a cape is.
For my explanations I will be using the Line Art of Vogue 8959 which will be featured in my next Blogpost Cape-tasia 3.
Let’s have a look at the line art and my additional drawings. I give you an overview of all necessary key points and detailed information down below.
For a good fitting cape, we need our neckline measurement, the distance from our base of neck to shoulder, shoulder to waist and waist to your desired length.
Measure your neckline and look at your chosen sewing pattern measurements. Don´t forget you need a little bit of wearing ease. My rule of thumb is about 1 “/ 2,5cm. If you need more to feel comfortable that is fine of course. Just remember whatever your choice of wearing ease is:
- if you add too much your cape will be shifting around which looks unflattering and is simply annoying
- if you make it too tight or true to your neckline measurement you will not only get difficulty in breathing but also struggle with movement restrictions
So, a little bit extra will do the trick.
With the help of a friend or anyone you can entrust with your measuring tape write down your distance from:
- Base of neck to shoulder
- Base of neck to waist
- Base of neck to your desired length
- Shoulder area (especially if you have narrow shoulders)
Let´s face the fact, if your cape has too much extra width in your shoulder area you will look like a football player standing in his team zone with his shoulder pad underneath his cape to keep warm until he is about to re-enter the iron grid. Not a very elegant thought, so how to avoid that?
- Measure shoulder to shoulder distance and adjust your pattern accordingly (walk your seams with a French curve)
- Baste your cape seams together (your tissue paper/ Swedish tracing paper) and work with pins to follow your shoulder area
I prefer the second method because I believe this way you can really see how much movement ease you need and what feels comfortable for you. Please don´t forget, if your cape requires shoulder pads (this time I am not writing about American football 😉) then add them for this fitting step! Of course, you can add shoulder pads even if your chosen sewing pattern does not ask for them, which will make your finished cape way more vintage looking and elegant. Just include them in your fitting process or your shoulder area will be too snug once your cape is completely sewn together.
That’s it about my basic tips for a well fitted cape. More could be added of course but these very basics are often all that is needed. If you still need more information about fitting capes write me and I will include your questions in Part 3.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for Part 3.