Flared Culottes

So this month I went for one of my favourite styles as my BurdaStyle Influencer project, the Flared Culottes.

I find anything with a wide leg is so flattering!  It adds height and minimises the waist, especially when it is made with a high waist.  This particular style sits lower on the hips rather than the mid to high waist, which is my preference.  So before beginning anything I had to remedy that waistline.  I’m sure it would look amazing in its original design on most people, but my mummy tummy is not friends with a low waistline!

So here is a look at how I altered the waistline:

First I measured from the top of the waist, down the grain line 6.5 cm (I have no idea why I chose this measurement, but it worked!).  I folded down the waist from the 6.5 cm point, matching the drawn grain line.  I made a fold line and then opened it back up and ruled along the fold line.  This indicates where to cut the pattern.


Then I cut the pattern along the drawn line.IMG_6659

Next I laid a piece of tracing paper under the pattern and set the 2 pieces of pattern 5 cm apart ( you can alter this measurement for a higher or lower waistline) and ensured that the grainline was still straight by laying a ruler along it.  Then I used a ruler to draw in new lines to connect the pattern pieces.


Finally, I cut away the excess tracing paper and I sewed the pattern pieces together.  I repeated this for all parts of the pattern that contributed to the waistline.


Easy as that, you now have a high waist!

Keep in mind that when raising the waistline, you are moving the waist from a larger part of your body to a smaller part of your body.  This means you will need to bring the waist in also.  I chose to do this while sewing rather than on the pattern, but you could just as easily remove or decrease the seam allowance starting from the point where you altered the pattern, tapering in, up toward the waistline.

So here is my first completed pair of Flared Culottes, which I extended the length of the leg to create, Flared Pants!


I didn’t bring in the waist as much as I would have liked to, so these are sitting a little lower than I’d like.


Check out the awesome side detail on that flared leg!


I loved the flare on these pants soooo much that, naturally, I had to take it a little further and have a bit of a HACK!

I imagined these culottes as a light flowy pair of pants that could almost be mistaken for a skirt. How could I achieve that… What if i added the flare detail from the outside leg to the inner leg aswell??  It reminded me a bit of the way that the Flared Godet Skirt was constructed, but for pants!

And this was the result!


So here’s how I did it…

On piece 21 (front leg), lay the front outer leg flare seam line 1 along the inner leg seam line and ensure the leg notches match.  Place a piece of tracing paper over the top and trace the same leg flare shape, but at the crotch, follow the original front leg crotch line.


Do the same on the back leg with the back outer leg flare.IMG_6664

It should look like this and you should now have 2 new inner leg flares.img_6665.jpg

Now you need to remove the crotch you just created on your new pattern pieces from the original pattern.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a massive funky looking crotch area!

So place your original flare under your leg pattern piece, with leg notches matching. Draw a line from the edge of the flare at the crotch, down the leg.  Add seam allowance to this and draw that line also.  See the two red lines running down the leg.  This will now accommodate the crotch for the inner flare piece.IMG_6666

IMG_6668Do the same on the front leg to accommodate the front inner flare piece.IMG_6669

Now you simply sew together the inner flare pieces in the same way that you sewed together the outer flare pieces.


If you like my top, you can also find that pattern over at BurdaStyle.  It’s the Knotted Bodysuit. Follow me to see what pattern I choose for August and how I hack it!

Happy Hacking!

Flared Godet Skirt

I was so excited the day I was asked to be a BurdaStyle Influencer that I literally danced around the room! I have to admit, I was a little nervous to begin with.  Following patterns is not my usual game.  But, we should never let fear hold us back! So here I am embarking on this journey and hoping you all want to come along too.

My plan is to make a version that follows the pattern exactly and then to make another version, adding my own spin on it. Now that’s the part I looooove!

So today I have the original Flared Godet Skirt, along with my hacked version.

Here’s the original from the BurdaStyle website


This skirt popped up in one of my BurdaStyle emails and it was just so damn cool, I had to make one!  I instantly fell in love with the high cinched waist and those slanted welt pockets.  Obviously I wasn’t the only person to fall head over heels, as it’s also part of the Summer Best Sellers package.

So here’s my version, following the pattern to a T! I was feeling surprisingly daunted by this pattern when I first read it.  But as I went along, I found that it was beautifully designed and it went together so easily.


Check out the seam details and the slanted welt pockets!


So once I’d tackled that dragon, I just HAD to have a play with the pattern.  I really wanted a nice thick, wool skirt.  Winter has just begun here and it is COLD!  I knew that if I used the original pattern with a thick wool, the drape would be all wrong.  So I decided to take some of the fullness out of the skirt and I also took out those beautiful pockets as it would just be too bulky.

Here’s my hack!


As much as I love the original for it’s beautiful details, I also love this version for it’s simplicity and sophistication.


FYI, my top is also a hacked BurdaStyle pattern.  Stay tuned…

Here’s how I hacked the skirt to make this version.

Note: Blue lines = original pattern

Red= hacked with reduced fullness

Green= hacked with fullness reduced more so


First, I eliminated the concealed buttons down the front and opted for a back zip instead.  Then I reduced the fullness of the skirt by changing the angle of the skirt seam from the hip to the bottom of the skirt. As you can see, I’ve drawn over the original pattern with red lines to show the new version and green lines for even more reduction of the fullness of the skirt.


Next, I eliminated the pocket by laying the side front pieces on top of each other so that the welt attachment lines met up and pinned these together.


Here’s a closer look.


Then I laid the connecting pattern pieces together with the seams aligned and traced the red or green lines drawn previously to ensure the seams would match, be smooth and drape nicely when constructed.


I repeated this process for all the seams.img_6615.jpg

Next I had to make a new front facing for the waist, as the concealed buttonholes were eliminated.  I pinned together my darts and seams and traced along this line to create a new curve.


I used the seam allowance for the centre back seam of the waist band and skirt as my zipper allowance.

Here’s a closer look at the waist and zip closure of the hacked skirt


All in all, this was a really fun pattern to make as both an original and a hacked pattern!  These skirts have so many different options as a winter wardrobe and pair so nicely with blouses or jumpers and heels or boots.


I can see this working really well with some softly draping fabrics for a summer version too.  The fullness would work really well with something bright and flowy!

Follow me on my BurdaStyle journey to see what I’ll be making next month.

Happy hacking!

BurdaStyle Dolman Blouse

I love making the same pattern in different types of fabrics.  It’s always so amazing how fabric selection alone can change the whole look of a garment. And not only the fabric type, but also the colour or print of a fabric.

This time I’ve played around with the BurdaStyle Dolman Blouse

The original version is a sporty style blouse as pictured below.



I’ve slightly altered the neckline to create a v-neck and also modified the finish on the neckline to suit the fabric used.  I decided to omit the elasticated bottom at the back of the blouse also.

Here are my versions:

This version is made using printed rayon from Spotlight.  I finished the neckline with bias binding made from the same fabric.  Rayon tends to stretch and warp very easily, so it’s important to treat necklines carefully.  I find biding usually prevents this.

I love that the use of a black based, floral print really elevates the blouse from sporty to chic!


This version is also made using printed rayon from Spotlight.  The choice of print has given this version a much more casual feel.

For this version, I’ve used rayon mesh knit from Spotlight.  This version is really cosy and comfy! Perfect for everyday wear.  I finished the neckline with a band, which I made to be a very tight fit and really gave it a good stretch when attaching it.  This kept that really soft, fragile mesh supported around the neckline and stopped it from sagging or warping.  I also made some very basic wristbands for the sleeves.


This last version was made from a viscose knit also from, guess where… Spotlight! Once again the knit creates a really comfy everyday garment.  I treated this knit in the same way I treated the previous.

This pattern was so quick, easy and satisfying to make that I could quite easily whip up another dozen of these!

Happy Hacking!

BurdaStyle Palazzo Pants

Palazzo Pants.jpg

I looove, love, love the BurdaStyle Palazzo Pants pattern! I have hacked it in so many ways and worn the heck out of every single version!

I’ve made them with rayon, tencel and gaberdine so far and have a few crepe versions planned for our upcoming winter. All from Spotlight, my favourite hang out!

These babies are so versatile! They can be dressed up, dressed down or simply become lounge wear.

A few versions I’ve made so far (all minus pockets):

The original – minus the pockets. I know, I know, everyone in the sewing world goes crazy over pockets, but not me.  I’m not a fan of pockets.  I have hips and pockets only seem to accentuate that. So out they went!

The cropped original- (not pictured above, there were just too many and they were probably in the wash at the time! lol). Easy peasy, I just cut the length of the leg off, everything else stayed the same.

The elastic waisted cropped – I simply left the darts open and widened the waistband to fit.  Then inserted elastic into the waistband. And of course, cropped the leg length. I also made ties for these with belt loops.  I attached them at the centre back as I get annoyed when ties slip down and around and all over the place.

The original and elastic waisted shorts – Same as above, just cropped to shorts length.

The drape-over-leg – These were a bit tricky and took a bit of trial and error. They are the pink version pictured above.  I took the original leg pattern, left the darts open and drew 2 overlapping layers to go over the front of each leg.  Then I gathered the dart instead of sewing it shut.  This used quite a lot of fabric, but were worth it for such a cool effect. They have the original waist band.

The paper bag waisted pants and shorts – These were fun!  I eliminated the waistband and extended the waist up by about 5cm.  This included darts too.  I drew the additional length of each dart going straight up instead of following the angle it was originally on.  Then I made a facing for this that was exactly the same, but about 10 cm long.  I added belt loops which attached the facing in place nicely and made a tie.

I swear I could make another dozen pairs of these, they are that comfy! And they seem to be very flattering also as I’ve never received so many compliments on a garment before!

Ahhh, the Palazzo Pants! I hope you love them as much as I do!

Happy hacking!

Pattern Hacking the BudaStyle Oversized Sweater – Step-by-step tutorial

Ok, so I’m not very good at following instructions.  In fact, I really don’t like being told what to do. Ever. lol  So naturally, pattern hacking is my game.  I love it!  I love taking simple, easy to use patterns and making them into something a little different.  Sometimes they get hacked over and over again until they barely resemble the original pattern.  For me, that’s the fun of sewing!

Today I’m showing you how to use a basic and versatile BuraStyle pattern and hack it a few different ways.  I’ve used wool/acrylic cable knit fabric from Textile Traders, but really, you could use anything with a soft drape.  Rayon would be really lovely as a lighter version.

So here is the original version of this pattern.


Here are some of the variations I’ve made so far.


Click here to take you to the step-by-step tutorial to make this sweater dress.


Click here to take you to the step-by-step tutorial to make this tunic.


Click here to take you to the step-by-step tutorial to make this roll neck sweater.



I anticipate there will be more versions of this pattern popping up very soon.  I’m sure that it will look vastly different from the original in no time!  Stay tuned…

Happy hacking!


BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater Hack – Sweater dress with gathered sleeves and gathered side seam options.

This sweater dress has gathered tie-up sleeves and the option to gather the side seams also.  I can imagine this looking lovely and drapey without a belt on a tall slim person.  I’m quite small and bootylicious so I NEED my waist to be defined so I don’t look like I’m wearing a sack! Apologies for the dark fabric.  I hope you can still see the images well enough to understand what I’m showing. I have used a wool/acrylic cable knit from Textile Traders for this garment.


Here we go…

So this is the original pattern.


Now, I wasn’t too fussed on the front pockets, so the first thing I did was eliminate them from the pattern like this…

I simply put them together as they were intended to be sewn, traced over the top, added some length to make it the length I desired and re-cut the shape.IMG_8251IMG_8252IMG_8253

Next, I eliminated the pockets from the back and ensured that the length and shape was consistent.  I did this by laying the front pattern piece underneath the back pattern piece so the shoulders were matching and again traced over the top.IMG_8254IMG_8255

Then I altered the sleeves to the desired shape.  This time, I wanted the sleeves to create a bit of a ‘batwing’ so I left the top as it was and tapered the sleeve in towards the wrist so it would be fitted.IMG_8256IMG_8257

Now you’re ready to cut your pattern pieces out.  There will also be a neckband and 4 ties, so you will need some fabric for these pieces too.IMG_8259IMG_8261

To create the gathered tie sleeves and side seams, I used bias binding and attached it to the inside of my seams.  Begin by sewing it face down along the seam edges.  Flatten out the fold on the fabric edge and stitch along the fold line.  This will later be caught in your seam.  The other folded edge should be folded under towards your fabric.  This will be stitched on later. Ensure that the top and bottom edge of the bias binding are folded under to leave a clean finish. Don’t extend your binding all the way to the end of your fabric or there won’t be room for your hem.  I have left a split hem at the wrists and bottom of the dress to accommodate the ties. Once your binding is secured, you may choose to finish the edges of your fabric with an overlocker/serger as I did.IMG_8262IMG_8263IMG_8264IMG_8265IMG_8266


Next pin the shoulder seams together, right sides of fabric facing and sew together. Press the seam allowances to the back.IMG_8268


Place a pin at the top and bottom of the side seams to indicate where to stop sewing.img_82691.jpgIMG_8270

Sew the side seams and iron seam allowances flat.IMG_8271IMG_8272

Finish the fabric edge along the bottom of the skirt hem and then pin the seam allowance of the side seam.  Sew along the edge of the seam allowances to finish the side seam slit at the bottom of the skirt hem.IMG_8281IMG_8282IMG_8283


Now fold up, press and hem the bottom of the skirt.  I usually use a twin needle to hem stretch fabrics.  I didn’t this time, but wish I did. I must have been too lazy to change the needle! lol  The twin needle makes such a difference as it reduces the permanent stretching of the fabric.  A walking foot helps also.  Then give the hem a really good press with the iron.IMG_8284IMG_8285IMG_8286IMG_8287

Repeat the steps for the side seams and skirt hem when sewing the sleeves.IMG_8292IMG_8293IMG_8294IMG_8295

Attach the sleeves, matching the front and centre top sleeve marks as shown in the original pattern.IMG_8296IMG_8297IMG_8298


Now comes the fun part! Inserting the ties. Cut 4 strips of fabric long enough to match the length of the bias binding you used. Fold in half lengthwise and then stitch along the long edge. Use a looping tool to turn the currently inside out tie, in the right way.IMG_8299IMG_8300IMG_8301IMG_8302


Pin one end on the tie to the top of the bias binding on the inside of the sleeve and then pin the lengthwise edge of the binding down, ensuring to trap the tie inside it’s tunnel.IMG_8303img_83041.jpg

Carefully sew in the binding beginning at the sleeve hem, up the sleeve, across the top of both bindings making sure to sew in the top of each tie and down the other open binding edge towards the hem.  Be careful not to catch the tie along the lengthwise edges as you are stitching the edge of the binding. Repeat for the side seams.IMG_8305IMG_8306IMG_8308

Next, measure the length of the neckline all the way around (or the circumference).  I usually make my neckband 2/3 the actual length of the neckline when using stretch.  This ensures I don’t end up with a floppy or warped neckline!  Cut a piece of fabric 2/3 the length of the neckline, with the stretch going lengthwise across the fabric.  Sew the short edges together, right sides facing.  Fold in half lengthwise wrong sides facing and press.IMG_8310IMG_8311IMG_8312IMG_8313

Find the centre front and back points by folding the neckband and the neckline on the garment.  Place a pin or mark each point.IMG_8314IMG_8316img_83181.jpg

Attach the neckband matching the centre front and backs.  Stretch the neckband and pin in place around the edge of the neckline.  Sew in place. Press seams down towards the bottom of the garment.img_83211.jpgIMG_8322img_83241.jpgIMG_8325IMG_8326


Give it all a good press and you’re finished!!

Happy hacking!

BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater Hack – Tunic


Here’s another hack of the BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater pattern.  This time as a tunic to wear over leggings. Once again I have used a wool/acrylic cable knit fabric from Textile Traders.

Here’s the original pattern.


I began this version with an already slightly hacked version of the pattern.  It basically has just omitted the pockets and tapered in the sleeves.  You can find further information about that here.

Next I used this pre-hacked pattern and hacked it a little further! lol Because really, why not?

First I reduced the width a little by folding in the back and front of the pattern as shown. I then altered the neckline using the Megan Nielsen Rowan bodysuit pattern.  You can use a neckline from whatever pattern you like and this should still work.  I have also used a v-neck on another version.IMG_8330

Ensure that the centre front is aligned and also the top of the shoulder at the neckline.  The Oversized Sweater pattern has a low, sloping shoulder, so you may need to fold down the outer shoulder on the other pattern you have chosen to smooth out that shoulder line.IMG_8331

Repeat for the back.IMG_8332

I used my pre-hacked, tapered sleeve for this pattern.  I decided on my desired sleeve length and folded the hem up.IMG_8333

Once all your hacking is complete, You may want to trace over your freshly hacked pattern for future use! Then cut your pattern pieces out and add relevant markings.

Now pin together the shoulder seams with right sides of the fabric facing.Sew together.  I used my overlocker, but you can use a zigzag stitch also.  Then press your seam towards the back.IMG_8334img_83351.jpg

Make a small cut at the armpit marking. Sew your side seams from the small cut down to the bottom of your garment.IMG_8337IMG_8338

Pin together the seams of the sleeves, right sides of fabric facing.IMG_8340

Sew together and then press the seams to the back of the sleeves. Turn the sleeves in the right way.IMG_8341

With the sleeves turned in the right way and the tunic turned inside out, place the sleeve inside the tunic. This will make the right sides of the garment facing. Ensure that you match the front sleeve mark to the front sleeve mark on the front of the tunic and the top sleeve mark with the shoulder seam.  Pin together.Sew and press seams towards the garment.IMG_8342img_83432.jpg

Finish the edges of the sleeves and tunic hem.img_83452.jpg

Pin up the hem allowances and press.  I used a 3cm hem at the bottom of my garment and a 1.5cm hem for my sleeves.IMG_8346

Sew hems on the right side of the garment using a twin needle with low tension and if you desire, a walking foot.  This will reduce the amount of permanent stretch that will occur when sewing.IMG_8347

Press the hemline.IMG_8348

Repeat for the sleeve hems.IMG_8349

And press.IMG_8350

Now for the neckband.  Measure the circumference of the neckline.  You can stay stitch around the neckline if you wish to limit stretching.  I didn’t bother and it worked out fine.img_83442.jpg

Cut a length of fabric that is 2/3 the length of your neckline.  This fabric has a lot of stretch, so you may need to alter this if your fabric doesn’t have quite as much stretch. The width is entirely up to you.  Just keep in mind that the width will be folded in half and requires seam allowance.IMG_8351

Sew the short edges together.IMG_8352

Fold in half lengthwise and press. I usually pin my raw edges together to ensure my fold line stays put when pinning it to the garment.IMG_8353

Fold the garment in half so that the shoulder seams of the neckline meet.  This will give you the centre front and back fold lines.  Pin or mark the centre front and back of the neckline.img_83542.jpg

Fold the neckband so that the seam line is at one end of the fold.  The front fold line will give you the centre front of the neckband.  Pin or mark this.img_83562.jpg

Match the centre front and back points of the neckband and the garment neckline and pin together.  Stretch out the neckband and pin along the rest of the neckline evenly.  It should have to stretch a lot.  It is important to have this stretch so that the finished neckband will sit flat on your body and not warp.img_83572.jpg

Sew and press seam allowance towards the bottom of the garment.img_83582.jpg

At this point your garment is finished!

I choose to add wristbands to my sleeves.  If you would like this option, read on…

Cut two pieces of fabric that are wide enough to wrap around your wrist with room left over for seam allowance.  Double the desired length of your wristband and add seam allowance to each end.IMG_8359

Fold your wristbands in half, ensuring the ribbing or stretch is going across the width of your fabric.  Sew these side seams.  This ‘tube’ should comfortably fit over your wrists.Fold these in half lengthwise.  This is now the desired length of your wristband plus seam allowance.IMG_8360IMG_8361

Pin to garment as if the wristband has been folded up towards your shoulder and sew.IMG_8362

Press seam allowances and you’re done!IMG_8363

I also made a tie to go with.  It was simply a long rectangle of fabric with the lengthwise seams sewn together. Sew one end of the tie together. Then turn in the right way.  Stitch the other end of the tie together and press.

Happy hacking everyone!

BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater and Megan Nielsen Rowan Bodysuit Hack – Rollneck Sweater


So this hack is a hybrid of two patterns, the BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater and Megan Nielsen’s Rowan Bodysuit.  There are two versions of the roll neck above.  One is a more structured rollneck and the other is a softer version.  I initially used the more structured version, but later changed to the drapey soft version.  This is the beauty of sewing, you can change anything and do anything you want! I have used a wool/acrylic cable knit fabric that I purchased from Textile Traders.

I will give detailed instructions for hacking the pattern and then I will include a slideshow of the construction.  The construction is very similar to that of my other hacks and you can find detailed instructions of those here that will assist with the construction of this garment.

So lets take a look at the pattern hack to begin with.

IMG_8436Here is my previously hacked BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater pattern.  You can find details of that here.  All I did was eliminate the pockets.  I have removed some of the bulk of the sweater by folding it in along the length of the garment as pictured.  I also wanted a step hem, so i pinned the hemline at the front to the desired length and then left the back hemline about 3 cm longer.

The following three photos are a closer look at how I have removed the bulk by folding in along the length of the garment.IMG_8437

IMG_8438IMG_8439It is important to ensure that the front and back widths are the same. You can also see the step hem in the above photograph.

IMG_8440Next I altered the neckline to accommodate a roll neck.  I laid the Rowan Bodysuit pattern under each of the Oversized Sweater patterns and then laid them all on top of each other, matching the back and front necklines and centre fold lines of all 4. This is really important.  If they don’t all meet up in the right places, you will end up with an ill-fitting garment at the end.

img_8441.jpgHere’s a closer look.


img_8443.jpgOnce aligned pin the two front patterns together and the two back patterns together.

img_8444.jpgTrace the new back pattern.IMG_8445I then laid the traced back pattern on top of the pinned front pattern to ensure all my lines would perfectly meet.img_8446.jpgOnce I was certain that all lines would meet, I traced the front pattern.

img_8447.jpgNext I hacked the turtle neck.  The Rowan Bodysuit comes with a small turtle neck pattern.  I simply extended this both in width and length (I quadrupled the length).  The measurements are photographed.img_8448.jpg

And finally, I had my new pattern!  I didn’t modify the sleeves.  They are the original BurdaStyle Oversized Sweater pattern.IMG_8450

Here is a slideshow of the construction.  You can find detailed instructions of this in my other versions of this garment here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I altered the roll neck after I’d finished constructing this garment.  It didn’t feel like it matched the garment quite right.  So I cut the existing rollneck off and made a looser fitting one.  I simply cut the neckline about 2 cm wider than the original and increased the width of my roll neck.  I made the width of my roll neck almost the same size as the circumference of the neckline as I didn’t require it to pull in flat against the body. It worked out really well and seems to match the look of garment a lot better!

Happy hacking!

My Version of the BurdaStyle Cape

Here I am in my sewing room.  I can hear the rain and wind outside my window.  I have The Bodyguard playing on the TV with Whitney Houston belting out those epic ballads.  What better day to be sewing a warm, cosy cape?

I’ve chosen the BurdaStyle Toggle Cape and a polyester/rayon Soft Molten fabric in grey from Spotlight.  I was lucky enough to nab this when it was on sale! IMG_8066IMG_8079IMG_8097

So, after constructing my ‘aeroplane blueprints’ as my husband calls these PDF patterns, I ALWAYS trace over them using McCall’s Trace and Toile.   I do this with all my patterns to ensure the originals stay intact.  It also makes modifying patterns that much easier.  Remember that BurdaStyle patterns DO NOT include seam allowance so you will need to add this either to your pattern or when you cut your fabric.  This pattern also requires you to draw up a front band.  The measurements vary for each size and you will need to alter the length depending on the length of your cape.IMG_7940

I modified the length of this pattern slightly.  I made the centre front and centre back 13cm longer than the line indicated for the cropped version.  I have made the cropped version previously and loved it with the lighter knit I used, but for this heavy fabric, I felt it needed to be a little longer. I also eliminated the centre back seam as it felt unnecessary. The last modification I made was to line the hood.  This requires you to cut an extra set of the hood pattern pieces from a lining fabric of your choice.  I then pinned the main pattern pieces together and onto my dress form to check the sizing.

After cutting out and marking the lines on my pattern pieces, I began prepping the front yoke and pockets by turning in and pressing the seam allowances on the specified sides. These had some curved edges which needed to be clipped before turning in.  This eliminates the bulk in those areas and creates a neat curve.

The pattern instructions call for the pocket opening to be hemmed first.  I decided that I didn’t want a raw hem on the inside of the pocket opening, so I used bias binding (follow the link for an instructional video on attaching bias binding) to neaten up and protect the edge of the fabric before hemming it. Once this was complete, I used my twin needle to stitch along the front of the pocket opening.  It’s not necessary to use a twin needle, I just liked the detail it would add.

Once the pocket opening is hemmed, it’s time to pin the yoke and the pockets in place.  It’s important to ensure these are properly aligned before you begin stitching, otherwise they will be askew on the finished garment and will spoil the overall look.  I again used my twin needle to stitch these to the front of the cape as I really liked the added detail.  Be sure to stitch close to the edge of the yoke and pockets so that you catch the seam allowance and the edges sit flat.

This next step is completely optional, it takes extra time and effort and I simply used it to create a clean finish on the inside of my garment.  I decided to bind my seam allowances using bias binding before stitching my seams together.

Next, pin the front and back pieces of the cape together along the outer sides, front sides of fabric facing, and stitch the seams.  Press the seam allowances open so they lay flat.

Now it’s time to hem the bottom of the cape.  I decided to use bias binding along the hem to give it a nicer finish.  This is once again completely optional.  The pattern calls for a simple hem, but I know that parts of this hem are exposed when wearing and moving around in this cape and I wanted it to look nicely finished on the inside.

You now need to begin attaching the front band.  Pin it along the edges of the front of the cape, leaving a seam allowance at the top and the bottom of the band.  Sew in place and the press the seams with the seam allowance facing the centre front of the cape.  Leave the band at this point and begin constructing the hood.

I decided to line my hood as I like the clean finish it creates.  The pattern provides instructions for facing the edges instead, so if you choose not to line your hood, then you need to follow the pattern instructions.  To construct the hood, pin and sew the darts in all 4 pattern pieces (2 of the main fabric and 2 of the lining pieces). Press the darts towards the front of the hood.  Then pin and sew the centre piece of the hood to the sides.  This was a little tricky because of the curve, so you may need to fiddle with it as your pinning to get it just right.  Clipping the curves may also help. Then pin the fabric and the lining hoods together, right sides facing, along the front edges.  Sew these together and then press the seam allowance towards the lining of the hood.  Sewing close to the edge of the seam, understitch on the lining, fold the lining under the main fabric and press.

Next, attach the hood to the neck of the cape.  You may want to baste the lining to the main fabric along the neck edge first to keep it in place.  Pin the curved bottom edge of the hood to the neck of the cape.  The outer edges of the hood need to line up with the halfway point of your front band. Baste in place – trust me, you’re really going to want to baste first. Now fold back your front band, right sides facing so that your hood edge is enclosed inside. Ensure that the edge of your hood is sitting at the fold line of your front band.  Sew along the neck edge. Now, if you’re using thick fabric like I did and you have a very basic sewing machine, like I have, you’re probably going to break a few needles and get extremely frustrated, like I did! I broke four in fact. But persist, it’s worth it. Of course, if you have a decent sewing machine, you’ll probably breeze through it.IMG_7992

To neaten up the seam around the neck, I used bias binding again.  I’m really glad I did as when you wear the cape, this seam is exposed at the front.  It also feels more comfortable on the back of your neck than an unfinished seam would.  As my machine was really struggling with the thickness of the fabric at this point, I decided to hand stitch my binding on.  When you turn your front band in the right way, the edge of the hood should be aligned with the centre of the band and the seam should be nicely concealed.

To finish off the front band, fold the bottom of the band back on itself, right sides facing and sew along the bottom edge in line with the bottom of your cape.  Turn it in the right way to conceal the seam.  Press the fold of the centre band and baste it in place so that when you sew along the seam edge on the front of the band, it will catch the seam allowance on the back of the band.  Sew along the seam edge of the band and press.

The pattern calls for toggles to be attached to the front of the cape and metal snaps along the inside of the front band.  I decided to leave this step as I like the clean look of the front band with this particular fabric. (I know my toggles are on upside down, they were the wrong colour on the front).IMG_8007

Finally, pin together the front and back of the cape along the stitching line to create a sleeve.  Stitch in place.  I moved my stitching line in towards the centre about 5cm.  This is a personal choice.  I suggest you pin it first, try it on and see how you feel about the original stitching line.

And you’re finished! This cape does take some time to construct, especially if you include the added details I did, but really it’s just a lot of small processes come together to make a really beautiful and warm cape!  If you wanted to add some extra warmth and detail, you could always line your cape.

It’s your project, have fun and MAKE IT YOUR WAY!IMG_8010