Capering Around – the Cape Challenge

Capes. They’re mysterious, seductive, and sophisticated. I’ve been wanting to add a cape to my wardrobe for a long time, and I’m super excited to announce that for our first challenge here at The Monthly Stitch will indeed be a Cape Sewalong!

The Monthly Stitch is a shiny and new collective for sewists, allowing us to come together, focus our sewing energies, and share our projects on a grand scale! We take a month for each project – this isn’t stressy hurried sewing, and your project can be as simple or complex as you like. Even better, every three months we have the opportunity to vote on the challenge we’ll be sewing. This can be as simple as a colour, a specific pattern, an era, or something a little bit more specific, such as this challenge, capes.

Q. How long will the Sew-along last?

A. Officially we’ll be running from 1 to 31 August, wrapping up on the 31st. But you can start as soon as you want to – you don’t even have to sew just one!

Q. Why would you want to sew a cape?

A. Well, it’s something different for a start! Everybody wears coats and jackets these days, why not stand out a little bit?

Q. Are we sewing a particular pattern?

A. Nope – I’m leaving the decision up to you, as taste in where a cape is a cape and where a cape is a poncho is a blurred line that not everyone agrees on. I want you to be happy with your choice of pattern, so am leaving it up to each participant to choose what pattern they’ll use and to be happy with their garment.

Q. I live in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s summer! What’s the point?

A. Well, I don’t know about you, but I hate getting caught out on those first days of autumn. You know the ones, when your coats aren’t drycleaned from the end of last winter, and the weather’s still transitioning… a cape is an ideal in-betweener, and you’ll be glad you got onto making one so early.

Q. I live in the Southern Hemisphere and winter is on it’s way out!

A. Spring isn’t all daffodils and lambs, it can also be really nippy! And you’ll have a cape ready to go for next winter – it’s a win-win situation!

Q. What sort of patterns are out there?

A. The range of patterns is actually pretty astounding, and there’s something for every ability of sewist. I’ll be covering the range of  current and vintage patterns in the next few posts, so fret not.

Q. What sort of fabrics will work?

A. You might have noticed that the last edition of Juliet’s The Fibre Finder had a rather wintery theme… totally planned! Check it out for some sweet online options and inspiration.

Q. Capes look so easy! Is it going to be a challenge?

A. This depends entirely on your pattern, but I’m so looking forward to not having to set in any sleeves, and instead learning a few new skills… You can make this as easy or as difficult as you would like.

Q. Edna Mode said “NO CAPES!”, shouldn’t we remember this?

A. This depends on your superpower. My superpowers aren’t likely to lead me into situations where my cape will snag on a missile fin, catch in a jet turbine, catch in an express elevator shaft, snag on take off, or cause me to be sucked into a vortex. If your superpowers won’t put you in these sort of dangers, then YES! You should totally have a cape in your life! If they are likely to put you in situations where this may happen, may I suggest a capelet?

Q. Will there be a party?

A. Part of my job is working as a party planner, so OF COURSE there will be a party! We’ll have a linky party at the end and I’m working on a small community-voted competition as well, so watch this space!

To join the cape challenge, comment on this post and sign up as part of the Collective. Post your final creation here, and let’s have some fun!

31 thoughts on “Capering Around – the Cape Challenge

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  9. Hi All, just joined the Monthly Stitch, mainly to do the vintage challenge, but I have few of the Burda capes saved in my favourites so now is the time to make one it seems! As I travel in a tardis, I think I’m safe from snagging whilst saving the world, so I’m in!

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  10. This has to be fate! I have been thinking of making a cape ever since I found several meters of wool fabric at a flee market last winter. It has a lovely curry-ish color, I would say. My colors exactly! I am in!

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  12. Great idea. I’ll be in on the challenge for September but made a cape for the Burda Challenge so won’t need another. Just note that capes are fabulous for a walk with the dog on a cool day or riding your horse beside your handsome knight but they are not designed to be worn with a lap and diagonal seat-belt! lol. I know, I tried it! So when travelling by car remember to fling it off in a stylish manner and then pop in on when you arrive at your destination. I’ll be checking in to see everyone’s creations!

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    • Ok, I’ve tried this one several ways. You’re right – the lap and diagonal seat belt does present a challenge. Of course, your dramatic “fling” is always a good standby, and is worth perfecting for other occassions too. Alternatively, lengthening the opening for the arms (towards the shoulder) makes driving more comfortable. If your own knight has thoughtfully pre-warmed the carriage on chilly mornings (which they should all be doing!) it is quite practical to sweep the front pieces of the cape over the shoulders to free your arms for driving.
      I suggest that some time in September, when everyone has a cape to practice on we should post a few hints on cape management, as well as any hints to help newbies perfect the stylish and dramatic fling.

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