Welcome to Part I of the Upcycled Capelet Tutorial. I had this idea a long time ago, found the perfect jacket this Summer, and used Kids Clothes Week over at Elsie Marley to make it happen. It may seem daunting but I am breaking it down into simple steps. Also, you do not have to make the hidden pouch with the lining. You can just skip those parts.
I really love how how this turned out. I found large hook and eye closures so that it could hang open or we can button it up using the jacket's original buttons and buttonholes. I used the Storybook Cape pattern from Grosgrain because it's a perfect fit and uses less fabric than a traditional circle cape. This makes a size 2 - 3 but can be easily enlarged by adding width to the fold line on the pattern back piece and the straight line of the pattern front piece. And, of course, length as needed.
Print out the pattern pieces from this link. You won’t need to print out the hood.
Print this collar pattern. I drafted this from the original pattern's hood so it is a perfect fit.
Trim two inches of the pattern from the bottom edge of both cape pieces.
Carefully remove the sleeves from the jacket.
Place the pattern on the jacket as shown if you want to use the buttonholes. As you can see, the pattern is hanging over the edge of the jacket at the opening because it has the seam allowance built in. Because I'm using the existing jacket edge, I don't need a seam allowance.
Cut 1 of the BACK on the fold from both the lining fabric and the jacket.
Cut 2 of the FRONT pieces from both the lining fabric and the jacket.
Cut the collar from what is left over. If you don’t have enough using a fold, add a seam allowance to the pattern at the fold line and cut from two different areas (like the sleeves).
A 3/8” seam allowance is incorporated into all the pattern pieces.
If you’d like a cleaner look to your arm openings, add a flap as shown.
Cut out and label all your pieces.
You will also need two 3.5” X 7.5” pieces of the lining fabric for the bound opening and two 5” X 7” pieces of something soft and warm like fleece for the hidden muff/pouch.
Trim the original inside seams from the jacket as shown (if they’re messy).
Fold in the “flaps” for the sleeve openings on all 8 pieces and stitch them down.
Mark placement for the bound openings as shown. The marks should be 3” from the bottom, 3” from the inside seam, and 4.5” long. One way to do this is to draw a line on your pattern, fold the paper over, then use the straight edge of the pattern as a guide.
Carefully cut the fabric on the line to make the opening.
Mark the lining fabric for the bound opening.
a. Draw a 4.5” vertical center line on the fabric.
b. Draw a line 1/2” on each side of the center line.
c. Draw short horizontal lines at the top and bottom to connect all three.
Place the lining fabric on the jacket front with right sides together (RST). You can see in the photo the edge of the original pocket. The center line of the lining should match up with the opening slit you just cut.
Stitch the rectangle as shown.
Cut the center line of the lining and cut a triangle from the center line to each outer line as shown.
Pull the lining to the inside of the jacket and handstitch it in place. Getting it to look just right takes a bit of fussing.
If your lining fabric is very slippery, you may want to adhere it to the jacket fabric. I used fusible interfacing (Wonder Under) and some scrap cotton fabric to make the patch. This is not necessary but it was getting on my nerves.
The hardest part is done! As you can see, I didn't do such a great job of lining up my fabrics so one side is wider than the other. Luckily, my 2-year old didn't notice.
We’ll do the lining and collar tomorrow. Special thanks to Kathleen at Grosgrain for the amazing original pattern.
Apologies for the terrible quality of some of the photos. I did most of this sewing after dark while the kid was asleep. Please, please, please let me know if you have any questions. I will answer them in the comments.
For Part II, click here.