Sunday, February 16, 2014

Making a Wool Blanket Capote – Part 2

In Part 2 I’ll show how I cut the blanket and how the capote looked after my first round of sewing.

First, I cut/tore the blanket to make the body. I'm going to use buttons to fasten the front rather than a wrap, so I narrowed the blanket by a few inches. If doing this again I'd leave it full width for more overlap, but this will be OK. I made it with a 40" length, which brings the bottom hem to the back of my knees (I am 5'6" tall).

Note that one blanket came with the stripes while the other did not. IMO, the stripes add a nice detail to a coat.

Next, I folded the body in half and made the slits for the arms. The instructions say to make them ~7", to be lengthened later. IMO, you could make them 9" right from the get go.

Next, I cut out the sleeves. Here is one laid out on part of the blanket. I would normally use chalk to mark the lines but didn't have any handy, so I grabbed a bar of soap.

I then used this as a pattern to trace around for the second sleeve. I forgot to take a pic of the hood before cutting it out or sewing it onto the body.

And here's how the capote looked after a lot of hand stitching:

The instructions for the pattern aren't the greatest when it came to attaching the hood but I eventually figured it out. Also, I changed the sleeve design a bit to omit the fringe, but I now have holes in each armpit that I need to fill with a gusset.
To sew the pieces together I used black carpet and button thread. I'd planned to use artificial sinew but couldn't find my roll. The black thread is inconspicuous from more than a foot away so it's probably a better choice, anyway. I used a blanket stitch for all seams.

Here’s a detail shot of the hood after I sewed down the triangular flaps.

I went to the local Joann Fabrics to look for buttons but didn't see any I liked. So, I ordered some copper capote buttons from Track of the Wolf.

Work remaining includes:

  • Add a couple slash pockets,
  • Sew on the buttons and make button holes, and
  • I may add a storm flap to the right side from the front opening. The instructions I followed said to cut/tear the blanket to the width that I did, but I’m thinking I want more overlap. So, I can take some leftover material and sew it to the right side (as worn) going from the collar down to the bottom of the stripe. This should keep drafts out.

In Part 3, I’ll get the buttons sewn on, button holes made, and the pocket linings sewn.

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