Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Carnaby Cape Pattern Test - Handmaker's Factory

I was lucky enough to get the chance to pattern test the Carnaby Cape for Handmaker's Factory a little while ago.

www.handmakersfactory.com.au

I was interested to see when I got the pattern that there were no actual cape pictures.  Instead a rather lovely picture on the cover as above, and some extremely clear line drawings as shown below.  

www.handmakersfactory.com.au
 The first thing I noticed when I finished the cape was how much it resembles the line drawings.  This might seem like an odd point, until you see how many pattern reviews have comments like "the sleeves seem longer than in the drawings" or similar. Score one for the cape!

The cape is an interesting take on the usual buttons-to-create-sleeves approach as it uses a tie belt instead.  The tie feeds through some rather lovely bound buttonholes, and I was super impressed by the clarity of those instructions.  The pattern calls for a medium to heavy weight fabric with some drape, which does not fray (unless you want to finish the hem with a bound edge or similar).  I used a ponte knit fabric, which strays a little from the description.  While ponte is a pretty stable and fairly hefty knit, I do think my version could have done with more drape in the fabric, so am pretty sure that any seeming "bulk" or lack of flow in the garment is my bad.

Here is my version, on a very cold Tasmanian winter day:



I really like how it looks, and the flow of the sleeve is particularly nice.  I do think I would have benefited from using a fabric more like the specification in terms of drape, though this matched in that it didn't need any finishing on the sleeves and the hem.  This was SO quick to sew, even with the bound buttonholes, I was quite surprised.

As mentioned above, I love the bound buttonholes being used for the belt tie.  The instructions for how to achieve these was awesome, and they look so good oversized as a belt feed.  I now want to bind all of my buttonholes!  I also like the treatment of the belt, which feels very RTW and I think is quite flattering. My natural waist is quite high compared to normal people, so I did move the belt holes up by about 1.5 inches, but otherwise I sewed to size and it worked well.


As the cape isn't designed for stretch fabrics, there is a buttoned opening at the neck.  I chose some rather lovely buttons from The Stash Cupboard to add just a little pop of colour and detail to my (super chic) grey cape.  The method for creating the button tab on the cape was pretty nifty, and not a sequence of steps I have sewn before.  Once I got my head around it, I was impressed with how it was constructed and plan to come back to those steps to recreate this opening on other garments.


All up a great pattern and a pleasure to test.  Nichola was very responsive to questions and the instructions are a nice mix of detail when required (i.e. the bound buttonholes) without being overly verbose.

I am just about to head North to live in Sydney and am wondering whether a super light voile-type version of this might just be the go for a summer cover up.  I have ridiculously Scandinavian skin (viking heritage!) and so am always on the lookout for a floaty lovely cover up.  Am thinking this might be 100 times more flattering than a caftan type of thing, with the great belting and button neckline...thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. Your cape is lovely! I have my pattern and am waiting to find the right fabric, but getting impatient :-) I think your thought about the summer cover up is a great idea too. I'm always looking for sun covering garments too. And welcome to Sydney! Hope you love it as much as I do.

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    1. Thanks! I wasn't sure a cape was my thing (the large chest makes various items dangerous territory...) but I really like it. It's super cold in Tassie today so I am wearing it right now. I would urge you towards a fabric with some drape, as the sleeve shape would look so much better with it (again, my fault for choosing ponte!). I am definitely planning on making a summer cover-up version when I get there too!

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  2. You are such a neat sewist (I just can't call you a sewer) - this would look fantastic in soft and floaty. You know what it reminds me of - Jenny Agutter in the movie Logans Run - google her - she seriously rocks in her green carnaby cape! http://costumeholic.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/balmain-spring-2010-rtw-logans-run.html

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    1. That green cape is totally amazing! I will TOTALLY look like that in my voile version too :)

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