Monday, January 28, 2013


I could have chosen any number of half-started ventures for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Un-Finished Object Challenge, as I have several such projects lying around.  I went with the Curtain-Along cloak, which had been sitting folded in a box for months.

This photo makes me feel rich.  :)  
I already had the outer cloak cut out and sewn together, but for the sake of tidiness I had folded it up and put it back in the plastic pouch that the curtain panel originally came in.  In the meantime I gathered more fabric.  The red wool in the top left corner of the box is now the cloak lining, and the black and red velvets on the bottom will be made into a couple of muffs eventually.  I like to organize my fabric by project in these nice flat boxes I get from work.  Up until Saturday, this was as far as I had gotten on the cloak.

Jazz helped me cut out the lining.  
I sewed the lining together and attached it to the outer cloak on Saturday night, and spent all Sunday evening trimming curves and top-stitching the hem by hand.

I used red thread so the stitches would show less on the lining side, as the hem of the outer layer is eventually going to be covered with pleated self-trim.  Here's how it looks on me:

Ignore my  21st Century clothes, of course.  

The photos were taken before I was completely finished top-stitching, so half of the hem still had pins in it.  I also hadn't sewn the clasp on yet, so it was held together at my neck by a safety pin.  Here's the clasp:

All in all I'm happy with it.  I'm calling it "finished" even though I have yet to add the trim, because it is certainly wearable.  Perhaps I will trim it in time for the Embellish challenge... as if I don't have enough candidates for that project already!

The Challenge:  #2 UFO - Un-finished Object
Fabric: 1 Noir Waverly Felicite curtain panel from Lowe's, 2 yds 60" wide red wool from JoAnn Fabrics
Pattern: McCall's 4139, modified extensively
Year: According to The Kyoto Costume Institute, my inspiration piece is circa 1790-1795
Notions: 1 Dritz filigree hook & eye, from JoAnn Fabrics
How historically accurate is it?  The curtain panel is 100% cotton, and the wool lining is 97% wool, 3% other fibers.  As for construction, I sewed all the seams by machine.  All the stitching that will show, however, is done by hand.  
Hours to complete:  Probably 10 or 12, total.  
First worn:  Not yet!  
Total cost:  $25 for the curtain + I believe around $30 for the wool + $5 or $6 for the hook & eye = around $60 total


  1. That turned out so great! I love it! :)

  2. It looks great, I've been considering using my curtain for a cape instead of a dress because I'm having such issues with fitting the bodice.

  3. Thanks! I had mainly decided to do a cloak because A) it was easy, and B) it didn't require me to make any foundation garments first to make it fit properly. I wanted something that I could actually finish in a reasonable amount of time.

  4. Cool! I love the rare printed cloak. If you feel it needs more detail (trim or whatever), you could always quilt it like this one from the Royal Ontario Museum:

    1. Quilting isn't a bad idea, especially since the two layers don't like to stay together nicely like I want them to. :p Thanks!