Winter started off slowly, luring us into the false sense of security and moderate temperatures. This past week the cold really snuck up on us! While the Pacific Northwest hasn’t been hit with the snow the rest of the country is dealing with, the bitter cold is making us looking for as many cozy layers as we can find!.
I already have a new winter coat in my sewing plans, but with lots of tax prep and other computer work to catch up on the Opium Coat just isn’t in the cards…yet! As a compromise, I decided to sew up a cozy cape using I AM’s Mimosa pattern. For fabric choices, I had in my head what I wanted for my Mimosa since the pattern first arrived—this stunning brushstroke wool double knit. A little abstract, ultra soft and my favorite color (teal!), this choice was a no brainer.
Cutting took no time since there are only nine pieces and six of those are for the welt pockets! I will give one word of warning, I didn’t allow any extra fabric for pattern matching and I was short about 4 inches. I ended up cutting out my cape front and back so that hopefully the “stripes” would match up along the shoulder seams and then I created the funnel neck out of two pieces. You don’t notice the change but it did add a couple extra steps.
Sewing was also pretty straight forward. I wouldn’t say I am an expert at welt pockets but these went in rather easily….when you follow the diagrams correctly.I might have sewn all of my pieces in the first step on the opposite sides of where they should have been, but we won’t talk about that. I love how flat they lay and the pockets are nice and roomy for your hands. If you are scared to tackle the welts, I AM offers a free patch pocket alternative.
The Mimosa pattern calls for a fabric that doesn’t ravel, which let’s you get away with not finishing any of the seams or edges, if you want. For scratchier fabrics or when you might want to finish the raw edges, you can opt to line the funnel neck with another fabric. I went in a slightly different direction—since this fabric is soooo soft I knew I wanted that against my skin. I didn’t have enough fabric to create another whole neck piece since the pattern piece is quite large. I decided to just fold the funnel in half, wrong sides together, matching the top edge to the bottom and then attaching it that way. That gave me the softness I wanted, but also shortened the funnel by half. I like the way this fits and feels and I don’t think I miss having the extra layers around the neck. It is a slightly different look but equally stylish.
My last change came at the hem. I finished the neck seam and shoulder seams with the serger for a nice clean finish and I left the welt pocket seams as is. For the hem I didn’t want to leave the edge unfinished but I also thought the bias binding would have added too much bulk and let’s face it I was a bit lazy as well. I pressed the hem edge up 3/8″ to the wrong side and then stitched it in place with my coverstitch machine. I love how this finish turned out and it was so quick and easy! You could also uses a zig-zag stitch or twin-needle if you don’t have a coverstitch. While I did this with a double knit, this finish would also work great for wovens as well. And just like that, my cozy winter cape was finished!
I love how my cape turned out! This is the first cape/poncho pattern that I knew I could actually wear/want to wear. The style and length are perfect to throw over any outfit on a chilly winter day and it provides a surprising amount of extra warmth. The fit is just drapey enough to still give you some shape and isn’t too large that you look like you are drowning. I also love this fabric choice, although I am already dreaming of another one in a colorful boiled wool or even a cozy sweater knit or fleece. Here are a few great options:
Hopefully you are surviving everything winter is throwing at you! Maybe you are even getting a few snow days trapped in side with nothing to do but SEW! It you are looking for a little extra warmth for your handmade wardrobe, be sure to check out our “Toasty Warm” category!