My daughter was married this past frigid December in Boston. Planning for a winter wedding has its difficulties and one of them is keeping the wedding party warm! In August, my daughter asked me if I would make capelets for all her bridesmaids and even though, yes there were going to be 7 of them, I was happy to oblige! I had planed to head in New York's fashion district to pick up the fabric, but luckily I thought to do some checking on the web before I went into the city. We definitely wanted a cream or white wool and I wasn't finding any through my online search! I finally found this amazing wool, along with the flannel backed lining at Farmhouse Fabrics in South Carolina - go figure? When the package arrived in the mail and I realized just how bulky and heavy nine yards of wool and lining can be, I was so happy I found it online and wasn't trying to tote it home from NY on the train! By the way, these capes only took 6 yards so I have a full 3 yards of this beautiful wool and lining to make a coat for myself! #makenine2018.
I used McCalls 3033, View B for the capelets.
My daughters (the bride and the maid of honor) were both concerned that the full capelet, along with the full skirt of the bridesmaid's dress might be less than flattering, so I used a french curve and cut away the corner of the capelet. The opening made sure that the waist of the bridesmaids could be seen.
This particular pattern doesn't have defined shoulders, but just a gentle curve. It made the sizing very forgiving since the bridesmaids were from all over the country and so there was no possibility of a fitting before the wedding! I just made a size medium for everyone and we were all set.
I did a test run of the pattern using a black wool that I had in my stash to check the sizing and to work out the construction details.
The original pattern doesn't call for a lining, and I thought it would be warmer and more comfortable for the bridesmaids if the capelets had one. (It would also be easier and quicker for me from a construction standpoint also!). I talked through the project with my sewing friends and as usual, Jill and Julie had some wonderful suggestions - namely that I eliminate the neck facing since I had a lining- again more comfortable for them and easier for me!
To construct the capelet with a lining, cut the two fronts and the back from the fashion fabric and sew together as instructed. Do the same with the lining. Placing the lining and fashion fabric with right sides together, sew up one side, across the neck, and down the other side. Press and trim the seam allowances. Turn right side out and get the top neckline corners turned out nice and crisp. Understitch the neckline sewing the seam allowance to the lining. You won't be able to get all the way to the front, but start on the front part of neckline seam allowance, stitch across the shoulder, across the back, and across the other shoulder into the front. Turn right sides together again and sew the bottom of the cape together from each front side leaving a 6 inch opening in the center back. Press and trim seam allowances. Turn right sides out, press again, and slip stitch the opening closed. Attach a metal clasp to the fronts. I spent more time pressing than sewing for this project. The wool was so lovely to work with, but getting a professional finish was so dependent on taking the time to press everything well!
The bridesmaids loved their capelets and given how cold it was in Boston for the wedding, several of them even wore them during the reception (at least until the dancing started!) Making one of these is a simple afternoon project so consider trying McCalls 3033 if you have an event that could use a special wrap to finish off your outfit!