Autumn can be hard for fashion – some days it is cold but often the sunshine breaks through leaving you too hot for your winter coat. I love to wear a vintage cape and ponchos at this time, which work really well layered over a polo neck and your skinny jeans, keeping you at the perfect temperature. Here, I show you how to make your own from an old wool blanket – this one belonged to my Great Uncle – and will now keep me snuggly and looking good while watching my son play football at the weekend!
- A wool blanket with a fringed edging
- A vintage button
- A suitable belt
- Dressmaking scissors
- Sewing machine (although can be hand stitched)
- A tape measure
- A side plate
- Dressmaking pins
Fold the blanket in half with the fringing along the longer side at the base
Measure the centre point of the blanket which hopefully will be against a vertical line within the check pattern. Using the chalk, mark a straight line from the base to the top. Place a side plate centrally at the top of this line, with half of the plate above the blanket, creating a semi-circle shape. Chalk around the plate also.
Cut along the line ensuring that you are only cutting the top layer of the blanket. Cut around the semi-circle of the plate, again the top piece only. Next cut off the semi-circle at the fold in a straight horizontal line.
Using your sewing machine, sew a zig zag stitch around all cut edges. You could use an over locker instead if you have one.
Fold all the edges to create a small hem and stitch using the sewing machine or by hand if you prefer.
Next you need to create the belt slits on the front of the cape. The positioning of this all depends on your size. Place the cape on your body and measure from the top seam to your waist – mine was 30 cm. Then measure where you think you will need the belt slits to be from the central edge – mine was 23.5 cm and I am a size 10.
Choose a suitable belt and measure its width. Then carefully cut a slit in the right position to the same width of the belt.
Stitch the edges of the slit using a blanket stitch.
Use a contrasting cotton for the blanket stitching of the belt hole for added detail
Add a large vintage button at the neckline for more detail. I added a popper behind it rather than a button hole as I may wish to change the button in the future.
(photos of Dakota Hunt wearing the cape by Claire Macintyre)