The Green Caped Crusader, In Butterick 3642

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist

Capes are amazing, don’t you agree? Superheroes wear them. Medieval warriors wear them. Little Red Riding Hood wears one. Movie starlets wear them. In short- you should wear one too. (Except if you are talking to Edna Mode in which case she will advise you “No capes!”) I had a black cape once, a few years ago, but unfortunately it hit me right at the widest part of my hip and I discovered that was a rather unflattering length. So after many years of admiring capes, I decided that it was high time I finally made a cape for myself. After all, how hard could it be to make a cape?

Well, considering that it is now March 17, and this is the first project I have completed this year… apparently it was a little more work than I first thought it would be. . .

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, portrait

The first step to making my cape was choosing the fabric. My first thought was a length of plaid wool I picked up a few years ago. However, the mistake I made when I bought it was that I only purchased 1.5 metres, which is not enough to do much of anything with. I thought that I might be able to squeeze a cape out of it, but, alas, a cape takes a surprisingly large amount of yardage, and it was not to be. I was on the lookout for a nice wool, but the fabric stores didn’t have anything I wanted. Then, in January, when I was at the local thrift store, my sister noticed a length of green wool for sale for $10.00, for 2.8 metres. Thrift score!

I decided to line the cape in a gold/tan, because there was no green lining available. The other choices they had at the fabric store were brown or black, but I like how the gold picks up the warm tones of the wool. If you look closely at the wool, you will see that it is woven with gold, green, brown, cinnamon and russet coloured threads. If you can’t match your lining, it’s fun to contrast it so it becomes a feature.

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, cape lining Butterick 3642

Now that I had the fabric picked out, the next step was the pattern. For a pattern I chose Butterick 3642. This was for no special reason, other than that I was at my local fabric store and this was the only cape pattern they had. I could have bought an indie pattern, but I never really thought about it, and this one seemed fine. I think that this pattern is actually out of print, and there was just one lone pattern left at my local shop! I was planning for a WWII nurses cape style, and the drawing on the back of this pattern looked quite similar in style to that. I decided that I wanted to make the cape knee length, which would put it at the hem length of most of my dresses and skirts. The pattern had two choices- mid calf and mid thigh- but it was simple enough to adjust the pattern to the length that I wanted it to be at.

At this point, I was a bad blogger and dove right into the project without taking any pictures! All, I got was a picture of the stack of fabric before I started cutting it. Oops. The cape went together fairly well, although it took forever to cut out the pieces as there was just enough fabric to fit all the pieces on, and it was like a puzzle to lay them all out exactly! It took me about two days to sew together the pieces, the lining, the collar and the buttonholes. . . and at this point you might wonder why I am writing this in March, not January.

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, collar detail

Well, once I got the cape pretty much together, I realized that whoever designed this pattern must have planned to dress football players. The shoulders in the cape were much too wide and the shoulder point hung way off the edge of my shoulder. This resulted both in throwing the direction of the fabric off, as well as looking way too big. I was swimming in fabric. I didn’t know there was such a thing as a cape being too large- but this one was. At this point I was in the depths of despair at the thought of all the work I had done so far, and now had to undo, so I threw it away in disgust and didn’t pick the project up again for a month. (In defence, I was also busy during February preparing for my art show, so I didn’t have a lot of free time to devote to working on a fussy project that was turning out to be more complicated than I originally thought.) So, the abandoned project sat there until last week. I knew that if I didn’t do it now- it would never be done- and I really wanted to wear it! When contemplating what to wear for St. Patrick’s Day, I remembered that I own very little green, and knew that this cape would be the perfect thing. There’s nothing like a deadline to force you to hurry up and sew 🙂 (ps. I do have a small bit of Irish heritage, but have never done anything more to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than dressing in green!)

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, cape neck detail

In regards to fixing this pattern, I ended up pinching out about three inches of fabric from the shoulder and tapering it to the hem. Taking out that fabric made all the difference to the shape and fit of the cape. Instead of looking like I was wearing a blanket, it now falls somewhere between the fit and flare of a nurses cape, and a 40’s swing coat style.

The two things I do not like about how the cape turned out are, one, that the collar likes to roll out. I did everything, including cutting the under collar smaller, and steaming it in shape, but it does still like to flip out. However, if I decide that it bothers me too much, I can always wear it with a fur collar over top. The other thing, is that the hem puckers a bit. I’m planning on taking it in to my local dry cleaners for a pressing. I have gotten garments pressed before (without getting them dry cleaned), as it is actually quite cheap and gives a much more professional finish to a project that you just can’t achieve with an iron. I think getting home sewn garments professionally pressed is totally worth it- especially where wool is concerned.

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, cape details

So there you have it. After all the trials that the fitting gave me, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the finished cape. I do have a history of getting my projects finished and then not liking them, but I actually love how this one turned out this time! I think I will be able to get a lot of wear out of this piece. This colour of green goes very well with so many colours, and capes are great for those chilly days where you need some form of outerwear, but not a buffalo robe. In other words, because I live in Canada, I am going to get a lot of wear out of this before Spring and Summer come around 😉

Would I sew Butterick 3642 again? I don’t think I would. The pattern doesn’t actually call for a lining, and adding a lining to a pattern is always tedious. The aforementioned fit problems were kind of bothersome too, so even though I have fixed them now, I don’t know if I would want to sew it again. I would also like to try a different style of cape, with a different kind of un-seamed shoulder. Maybe I’ll try an indie pattern next time!

Do you have a cape, or wish you had one? Do you have any recommendations for a different cape pattern than Butterick 3642? And, do you observe St. Patrick’s Day, and are you wearing green today?

Outfit Details:

Cape: Butterick 3642, now out of print

Hat: gifted

Shoes: Hispanitas

Dress: Thrifted

Brooch: Gifted

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, green cape

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, twirling

It passes the test: it’s perfect for twirling in!

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, twirling, vent detail

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, brooch detail and cape

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist, shoes

The Green Caped Crusader, Butterick 3642, the artyologist

A St. Patrick’s Day Fashion Moment With Creative Hands

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, green collectors piece, fairytale, the artyologist

A fashion moment with Creative Hands is long overdue, and in this case, a St. Patrick’s Day fashion moment means, of course, all shades of green. Not that a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is only about wearing green, but in the realm of fashion it sure is 🙂

Apparently green was not as popular a colour in the 1970’s as I thought it would be. When I started looking through my books, I thought I would find an abundance of olives, but rather I found plenty of tan, harvest gold, blue and cream, with very few images of green sprinkled throughout. These pictures I am sharing here today are the sum of all twenty-one volumes. (Minus one picture of a creepy looking man in a quilted vest!) As with most fashion images from the 1970’s, there are plenty that I would not hesitate to add to my wardrobe today. . . and plenty I would steer clear of too! I hope you enjoy these pictures, and that they put you in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day this Friday!

The fairytale influences were very strong this past season- and I think that they will be with us for a while yet. The dress at the beginning of the post is a beautiful example of a medieval and fairytale inspired garment. I would add this to my wardrobe in a second!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, green collectors coat, the artyologist

This is another “Collector’s Piece”, which is a section in the books where they showcase textile designers projects. Can you imagine the work that went into this coat? So amazing!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, maternity dress, the artyologist

This one looks better in the illustration than in real life, I think, although it’s hard to tell because she is sitting down (and obviously wanting that guy to Leave Her Alone, don’t you think?)

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, green tulip skirt, the artyologist

Not only is this an absolutely lovely skirt, and the entire ensemble is perfect for Spring- but let’s also take a moment to appreciate those shoes. Seriously- those shoes!!!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, mint and green pantsuit, the artyologist

You knew that the pantsuit was coming, didn’t you?

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, girl's dress, the artyologist

So cute!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, knitted vest, the artyologist

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, green pleated dress, the artyologist

Such a classic style of dress- I can see this masquerading very well as the 1940’s with a couple of tweaks- mainly fabric choice and a less pointed collar.

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, classic green wool coat, the artyologist

A classic coat never goes out of style. Raise your hand if you want the tapestry coat on the right!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands, green pants and smocking, the artyologist

It wouldn’t be the 1970’s without some smocking and flared pants!

St. Patricks Day Fashion Moment Creative Hands,  green fortrel dress with collar, the artyologist

And, lastly, this is a really nice green ensemble. I kind of think that fabric might be Fortrel, in which case that is too bad as that stuff is nasty, but I’m not sure if it is. What do you think the fabric looks like? 

Which image is your favourite? Would you add any of these pieces to your wardrobe, given the chance? Do you plan on wearing green on Friday, for St. Patrick’s Day?

Favourite Internet Finds, Vol. II

Favourite Internet Finds, Vol. II, the artyologist, typewriter

It has been a while since I shared a “link round up”, so I thought it was about time for another. I love the posts that other bloggers put together, sharing things that they’ve found interesting and have been inspired by. Isn’t that the whole point of the internet anyways- sharing information? So, here are some posts and other internet finds lately, that I thought you might find interesting too.

  • Fashion Revolution just put out a fanzine called Money Fashion Power. You can read it here for free. There is seriously so much good information in here. I read through it once- but I know that I am going to be referring back to it over and over again.
  • Fashion Revolution Week is also coming up soon- April 24-30, 2017. Fashion Revolution has set up an entire page with ideas for how bloggers and vloggers can join in to help create awareness and promote change in the fashion industry this April. I’ve already started thinking about how I am going to take part this year. Are you planning on taking part in Fashion Revolution Week?
  • Have you ever thought about fashion “fakes” as being that big of a deal? I had no idea of what a sordid and terrible industry the counterfeit fashion one is. This story from the Associated Press reveals how fake fashion adds an entirely new and appalling level to the cheap fashion industry.
  • This Make Do and Mend blazer that Leea refashioned from a men’s jacket is absolutely beautiful. She has included the diagram/image of how to lay out the pattern from the 1940’s. I really want to try this out sometime! Maybe when I am feeling the need of a new and challenging project 😉
  • This is a fun story about an accidental fashion icon, Lyn Slater. She is a 63 year old lady with a killer sense of style, who was mistaken for being a famous fashion icon and ended up starting her own blog!
  • The LACMA (Los Angeles County Museaum of Art) has released some patterns from some of their collection, and they are available as free downloads. There are pieces from the 1700’s up to the mid 1900’s. There are both men’s and women’s patterns- including a ladies harem pants pajamas pattern from the early 1900’s and a redingote from 1790. Who knows if I’ll ever make them, but that’s no reason not to save the patterns anyways!
  • I’m always excited to see what Jessica of Zella Maybe has come up with, and this recent outfit she shared is making me want all the embroidery! She has such a great sense of style, and her shoots are always so atmospheric.
  • Bianca of The Closet Historian recently did up a tutorial on embellishing a knit top. Hop over to her post to see how she turned a basic black top into a beautiful showstopping 50’s inspired sweater, inspired by one of the costumes from the movie “Brooklyn”.
  • As part of my Creative Goals for this year, I did this free 5-day Still Life and Food Photography Course, by Christina Greve. She has tons of free tutorials and courses on her blog, and though I haven’t had a chance yet to check them all out- the tips that I’ve gotten so far have been helpful.
  • Emileigh’s post this past Wednesday, for International Women’s Day was very beautiful. I love how she focused on the different roles and positions that women are in, and spent time thanking them for that.

And that is some of what I have been reading and been inspired by on the internet these past few weeks. Happy Friday everyone!

What’s In My Bag?

What's In My Bag, the artyologist

For the majority of history, women have not carried purses or handbags wherever they have gone. In fact it’s only been the last hundred years or so, that women have done so and yet, for many of us, we can’t imagine leaving the house without our purse. I’m always curious as to what different people consider to be the “essentials”. I personally don’t like carrying too much around with me, as it is too heavy and cumbersome, but if I don’t bring some things with me, I always end up needing them. (Like bandages. Always bandages. . .)

This little purse I bought last year in England is small, yet mighty. It doesn’t look like it would be able to hold much, but it is actually like Mary Poppins’ bag. 😉 So here is what’s in my bag.

what's in my bag, toiletries, the artyologist

  1. I find it hard to apply lipstick without a mirror as I always end up getting it crooked, so I like to carry around a neutral/tawny shade. I like it as it is light enough in colour to apply easily without being too obvious if I get it crooked, but it dresses up my look just a bit. 🙂
  2. In a dry climate (hello, Alberta!) lotion is an absolute must! I always just grab some random lotion samples from hotels whenever I stay at one.
  3. I got this cute little pill box at a vintage sale, and it is a pretty way to hold some painkillers.
  4. Nail clippers, because NOTHING is worse than getting a snagged nail when you don’t have clippers with you.
  5. I like to keep all these loose little items in a bag (and even better if it is a sparkly beaded fair trade bag), so they don’t get lost in the depths of my purse. Also, I switch purses with each outfit, and it is so much easier to just grab the bag and toss it into my new purse, rather than trying to rummage around and find each individual item.whats in my bag, mirror and lipbalm, the artyologist
  6. I got this lipstick case many years ago from my aunt and I love it. I don’t carry lipstick in it, but rather my lip balm, since I started wearing it long before I wore lipstick. 😉 Also, it makes finding my lip balm easier. Because again, Alberta is dry. And lip balm is a necessary part of life.
  7. A little compact mirror. Because apparently I need to see what I look like at all times. 😉whats in my bag, mending kit and notepad, the artyologist
  8. A little notebook made out of a greeting card with my initial on it, and a pen. Because even though my phone is great, sometimes you just need to write things down.
  9. A cute little vintage mending kit. Yes, I have definitely used this before to save the day! And the scissors are invaluable.whats in my bag, the artyologist
  10. Not pictured, because I found it afterwards, is a bandage. Because I am prone to getting inexplicable cuts and wounds, and always seem to need one. . .
  11. Also not pictured, because it is ugly and broken, is my phone.

What essentials do you carry with you in your bag? Do you switch purses with each outfit, or do you have one purse that you always use? And have you ever been out and about and wished you had remembered to bring something with you?