Sunday, October 21, 2012

Starting on my Curtain-Along Cloak

I cut out my cloak today!

Curtain-Along, here I come!


(Hooded Cape and Petticoat [left] c. 1790-1795 France, Robe √† l'Anglaise [right] c 1790-1795 England. Kyoto Costume Institute)

My fabric is a Waverly Felicite curtain panel in Noir, from Lowe's.  I unpicked all the edges, and was quite surprised to find that the bottom hem was the selvage edge turned under.

How wide was this fabric, originally?  The top edge is cut, and the curtain measures 96" from top to bottom!  Was it twice that wide, and they cut the width in half to make each curtain?  I'd like to see the loom that wove this stuff!  I'm so used to fabric coming only in 45" and 60" widths.

Anyway, once all the hems were unpicked and ironed flat, I folded the fabric at approximately the desired length and draped it on my dress form next to the pattern piece (McCall's 4139) pinned in place:

I liked the look of this length, which hits right at my knees.  To find where to shorten the pattern, I had my roommate measure me from my neck down to my knee at center front (36") and again at my side, down and over my shoulder (40").  Then I marked these measurements on the pattern and folded it up in a curve at those marks.

Time to cut!  I wanted to conserve my fabric as much as possible, which I always do as a matter of course, anyway.  (Thank you, Mom, for teaching me right.)  On this project it's even more crucial because I'm hoping to be able to add the pleated self-trim around the hem, just like the original.  I'll get back to that in a bit.

Back piece - cut on the fold
Front pieces
I did have to taper in the sides of the pattern piece, to fit on the folded fabric.  I think it still has plenty of flare at the bottom, though.

My cloak pieces draped on my dress form
I cut out the hood, and then I had very little fabric left.  I measured the shortest part that I could still get a strip all the way across the width of the curtain, and it was 13" even.

I marked down the center and cut two strips with my pinking shears.  Then I found every other decent-sized scrap I could muster and cut them all to 6 1/2" wide strips - also with the pinking shears.  This way I won't have to hem.  I will sew all these together and pleat them to make my trim.  I need 6 1/2 yards, or 234 inches, pleated.  I have...  195 inches, unpleated.  Clearly I'm going to need more fabric.

So...  if anyone else is using the Noir colorway curtains for a gown and has extra fabric that you don't need, I would love to take it off your hands!  Even the included tiebacks would help.  Leave me a comment or send me an email, if you have extra.  Thanks!  

Oh, and I found this pretty "gold" filigree clasp at Joann's:

I just need to decide what I want to use to line my cloak.  I keep coming back to red wool, which would be both pretty and warm.  And expensive.  :p  Anybody have any suggestions?


  1. Wool would be beautiful but whatever you use I think it should most definitely be red!

  2. I agree. I kinda want to make it reversible.