Sewaholic Cypress Cape

Sewaholic Cypress Cape
I’m back from my trip to Hot Springs National Park. Unfortunately, it didn’t rain so I never got to use my newest creation while I was there – hence we get some moldy-backyard-fence-photos of my Cypress Cape.

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

The Sewaholic Cypress Cape is essentially a gussied up rain poncho but it has some nice features that made me want to sew it – semi-circle sleeves for range of movement, those awesome back pleats, pockets, and options for fun piping in the body and hood seams.

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

Fabric is the same as my Prefontaine Shorts – a supplex nylon in Pewter from Rockywoods.com. It’s the perfect fabric for this pattern – lightweight, breathable but water resistant (rain just beads up and rolls off), drapey and with a slight texture.

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

Best of all – it’s cheap! Only $6/yd which is a big deal ’cause this pattern uses FOUR YARDS. And they ain’t kidding about that amount. Yes, I had some fabric left over but those big, awkward, semi-circle pieces make cutting the fabric efficiently a challenge. You need those four yards.

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

The flat-lined piping is some “safety yellow” from the Joann utility fabric section (it matches my shoe laces!).

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

I made an executive decision to nix the velcro on the zipper flap. The only velcro I could find locally was black and I didn’t like the look of it exposed next to the gray fabric if I wore the cape unzipped. If it’s not windy the flap stays flat anyway and if it’s both raining and super windy out, well, I shouldn’t be running around in hurricanes, should I?

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

My only complaints in this design are the hood and the pockets. The pockets are unnecessarily fussy and the hood facing wants to flop out even though it’s understitched.

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

This brings me to some notes I took while assembling. This pattern is labeled as “advanced” and there were some things I wish I had considered before beginning.

Cypress Cape Sewing Notes

  1. If your fabric is very light weight, support the welt pocket opening with some stay tape when you attach the pocket bag.
    • Better yet – skip the pockets. If you’re already wearing a bag or have pockets on your clothes, the cape itself is roomy enough you can just stick your mit up under the hem and reach your phone from your pants pocket.
    • If you must have pockets, might I suggest converting them to inseam pockets. The seam will support the pocket weight without the need to cut an entirely new hole in the fabric. You can even sew the pocket flaps in that seam as well. Save you lots of time and hassle…
  2. The cape looks roomy but if you know you need to make an FBA with Sewaholic patterns (as they are designed for a pear shape with an A-cup) make the FBA with this pattern, too. Only the back and the sleeves are roomy – the panels under the sleeves and the front sections are snug to the body.
  3. Flat fell every seam possible to help flatten those seams allowances, especially if you’re adding piping.
  4. Often times you’ll be sewing through several layers of fabric so pin carefully and check your stitching as you go, especially around the curved neckline.
  5. Tack the hood facing to the hood along the two seams at the top of the head (you can stitch in the ditch or sew along the topstitching). Unless you want stitching to show, this is the only area where you can secure the facing – it does want to flop out, even though it is under-stitched and attached at the neckline.
    • You know what – scratch all that – just fully line the hood and be done with it.
  6. As you are sewing the front zippered sections to the facings and the neckline, pay attention to the direction your zipper teeth are pointing. In order to correctly create the folded flap that covers the zipper, those teeth need to point out a certain way, and it may not always be the direction you think they ought to go. Look very closely at the instruction illustrations for help. (This was a common note in the few reviews that I read – that the zipper section is confusing.)
  7. This is the kind of pattern where it is important to follow the order of assembly exactly, otherwise you might get confused when it comes to tricky bits like the welt pockets or making the zipper flaps attach to the hood. Don’t skip around or you may end up accidentally sewing on your velcro bits too late and have random square stitching show up on the visible outer layer of the garment…

Sewaholic Cypress Cape

In the end I think it’s worth all the head scratching and work. Plus, what other item of handmade clothing is going to make you feel like a flying squirrel?!?Sewaholic Cypress Cape

While it doesn’t rain much here in Texas I plan to use this garment on future hiking trips to more rainy locales. It’s a piece I can keep in my wardrobe for many years – the kind of thing I’ll be glad I have when I really need it. That makes all the sewing struggle worth it and I’ll rarely ever find an off-the-rack rain poncho as stylish as this.

First Coat of the Season

Simplicity 4109

Well, sort of. This is more like a slightly cropped, three quarter sleeve jacket, but since it never gets too cold in Texas, this counts as a coat!

Can you believe that with all my undying love for Wendy Mullin’s designs that I didn’t own this pattern (Simplicity 4109)? Now it is out of print so I tracked it down on ebay. There is another one of the Built by You coat patterns out there that I simply cannot find for less than $30, whoa!

Simplicity 4109

I used this wool fabric that I bought at a recent estate sale and while I did “pre-steam” it ala Sewaholic’s tips for sewing coats, I should have dry cleaned the fabric because it still smelled musty. Instead I dry cleaned the finished coat at an eco-cleaners in Austin (which I prefer to regular dry cleaning because they don’t use such harsh chemicals and therefore it doesn’t have that terrible nasty chemical smell that I despise).

Simplicity 4109

I loved the pattern. It is a boxy shape (no darts or curves) so I know some might not like it but to me it’s modern and it’s a coat so I don’t expect to look super svelte. I really liked the bell sleeves (cut on the bias) with the front facing seam (as opposed to a regular under arm seam). Some may not like the big sleeves either but it fits my style and I like how it shows off the plaid pattern.

Simplicity 4109 Simplicity 4109

The only change I made was to add a lining which was difficult for me because I rarely make linings. I worked with the facings included in the pattern so I had to cut my new lining pieces to fit. First I finished the raw edges of the facing with black bias tape, serged the edges of the lining, then layered the facings over the lining (wrong side to right side) and stitched through. If the wool hadn’t been so itchy I could have gotten away without the lining.

Simplicity 4109

I think the design is cute and different from a regular jacket or coat. It almost has the look of a cape and I think it would be cute in a heavy knit with an added hood.

I want to make the other version of this pattern maybe in a nice twill, something that I wouldn’t have to line.

I love the Built by Wendy asthetic – sort of casual refined with modern cuts that are youthful and easy to make your own. Maybe I will shell out the $30 for that other BbW coat pattern? I suddenly feel the need to complete my pattern collection!

Simplicity 4109

Have you ever sewn a coat or jacket? What is your favorite coat pattern? I’m looking to make a few different designs for this season.