Once upon a time…I made a red hooded cape.

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Ooops. How did that happen? Does she know this looks a bit…a lot...like a fairytale costume?

Yes, she does!

Sewing a hooded cape using a bright red knit fabric, I was aware of that. And I love it. Not only do I love fairytales, I also think that the cape looks chic enough to be actually worn, not only on costume parties. (I hate these by the way. Except for when they’re Star Wars or Burlesque themed.)

How did it happen?

Well, I’ve been wanting to sew a cape for ages (A proper cape, though. One you wear instead of a coat). But I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it this season. And I’m Stash Dieting, as you know.

I bought this red knit fabric about a year ago (Yes, I’m a hoarder). I wanted to make a cardigan originally, but when draping the fabric over my dressform the other day, the drape looked like a hood and I immediately wanted to make a hooded cape. I started looking for inspiration and then made these sketches:

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.comlittle red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com
little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.comlittle red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pretty close, eh?

No, no magic happened between making these sketches and the finished garment.
What actually happend was hours of research and drafting.
If there was some magic involved, then it came from this book, which is awesome btw.

Patternmaking for Fashion Design – Helen Josph Armstrong

Following the step-by-step instructions, I drafted a cape pattern and a pattern for a loose hood. (This book is wonderful, but veery expensive. It’s worth it though. It also helped me immensely when drafting the bridesmaid dress.)

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Drafting the cape, based on a standard Burda bodice pattern.

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Drafted hood pattern – really no magic involved. Just a lot of measuring, drawing and patience.

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I was afraid that my 2m of knit fabric wouldn’t be enough, but in the end I even had some left. Whoop, whoop!

After cutting out, I sewed all the darts. Then sewed the hood and cape together. Then I cut out a 13cm wide rectangle of the leftover fabric and sewed it on the right center front (right sides together) like so:

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Patience, young padawan. It will (hopefully) make sense in a minute.

Folding this strip over, I sewed it onto the left center front of the cape (left sides together!!) like so:

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I ended up having this: little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I folded it over, so both center front parts overlap and the corners of the hood meet at the center.little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I decided to skip making real buttonholes (after making sure I could fit the cape over my head) and sewed on 10 buttons which also secure the flap and help it stay in place.

I spent most of my sewing-time hemming the cape and hood by hand. Yes, it’s masochistic, but it looks so much better!

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.comAnd garment #18 of my challenge was done! (Less than 10 left – happy dance!)
little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.comlittle red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.comlittle red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

As I said, there was no magic involved but there was a unicorn. A grumpy unicorn:little red riding hood cape by thisblogisnotforyou.com

I’m really happy with this make, especially since I’m quite proud that the final result looks so much like what I had in mind.

Although the drafting process was quite tricky and took most of the time, the sewing was super quick. A handful of straight seams and a few darts. Super easy! Should I ever be bored and have loads of time left (haha!), I might even manage to upload the pattern for you guys. Let me know what you think!

In the meantime, may the unicorn be with you! Peace out.

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12 thoughts on “Once upon a time…I made a red hooded cape.

  1. The cape looks so cute on you! And I am impressed that you drafted it yourself! Maybe I should take a lesson with you about pattern drafting! Also thumbs up for using a fabric from your stash!!!

  2. Wow! I want one for myself since a while and I was waiting for someone on the Internet to make one to see if it was worth it. TOTALLY! Your coat is just amazing, congrats 🙂

  3. Wait, pause. Before I start- where did you find blue dot paper? I haven’t seen any online or anywhere and it’s what I was taught to draft in in L.A. I thought it didn’t exist anymore!! Help please:)

    Okay, now that that’s out of the way, I LOVE your cape and really enjoy the fashion sketches. I love sketching womenswear too:) I especially like the oversized hood. And yup, totally wearable.

    P.S I believe you if you say you are a hoarder…but fabric in the stash for one year does not qualify as hoarding. At least in my book. So you are good!

    1. Thanks Amy! Haha, no really. I am a hoarder. My stash is so big it’s spreading over three rooms.
      I just ordered the paper (150m/38GBP) two weeks ago. I noticed that I’m more and more into drafting and it also great for tracing patterns. I love it! There are several retailers here in the UK. I ordered mine over Amazon.co.uk, retailer was http://www.homecrafts.co.uk. But I would be surprised if you couldn’t get it for an even better price in the US!

  4. I have been searching for a good book to help me further my understanding of pattern making, but it is hard when looking online because you can’t have a good flick through the book before taking it to the checkout. Would this book be the one you would recommend above all others? xxx

    1. Yes! It’s the best I found so far. It’s really expensive, but it’s worth the money. Over 800 pages and step-by-step instructions on drafting patterns. They also have many variations and design ideas that go beyond the normal scope of pattern drafting books (that often stop after the basic bodice and skirt blocks). It’s still not super easy, though. You have to have a lot of patience since drafting takes so much time…

  5. Beautiful Article. My work, for instance has ranged from Fashion Design, Digital Pattern Making service and Technical Design – woman, man, children apparel, uniforms and workwear, technical wear, underwear and sleepwear. Been working with Gerber Accumark pattern design software V9. I am very passionate about designing. contact me to have broad discussion : tech2rk@gmail.com

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