Military-Style Double Breasted Scalloped Edge Cape!

10:30 AM

Have you ever seen a garment that totally blew your mind and you became completely obsessed over it? I'm talking sending you into a state of fashion sewing frenzy of I must have this! No? Just me? 
It all started with this cape! It's R.E.D. Valentino Scalloped Trim Wool Cape. It originally retailed for $1,100, so the idea of purchasing this was never on the table. I knew I was going to hunker down and make this baby!
First, I needed to find a cape pattern with a similar shape and then I needed to figure out how to make those scallops happen. The luxury brand created theirs using laser cutting. Since I don't have the ability to do that, I needed to find an easy way.
I also knew the details I wanted to incorporated into my cape to give it that military style, so I put my thoughts down on paper during my planning stage.
My base pattern is Simplicity 8263. I started out with View A and the collar piece for view B/D.
My fabric is a wool-blend coating that I picked up at Joann's. I cut the size 14. My first modification was to the front piece. To create the double breasted front, I extended the front edge 4" from the center front. And I also used the front piece to create facings because the original pattern intended for the lining to extend to the edge. I didn't like the idea of how that would look when the cape is worn open.
What's outerwear without pockets? Absolutely useless, that's what. Like my inspiration, my cape needed slanted welt pockets.
So I had to make those happen. 
Next was the collar. The pattern only supplied a single pattern piece that is supposed to be used for the upper and under collar. A well-tailored garment has separate pattern pieces for each. 
The under collar is cut in two pieces on the bias, interfaced and sewn with a center seam. And it's also cut smaller than the upper collar to create a "turn-of-cloth" allowance. One of the most unsightly things you can see on a tailored garment that will give that "homemade look" is when you can see the sewn seams on bagged edges. I created my cloth allowances by trimming the under collar down 1/4" on the top and sides (you can go smaller on lighter weight fabric), but NOT the neck edge. When you sew both pieces together and turn right sides out, you'll have that beautiful roll.
And most importantly, no visible seam line.
I added epaulets. I created these the same what I did with my cropped trench jacket.
My cape is lined with a black crepe back satin.
It feels very luxurious and also feels pretty warm.
I created machine buttonholes and notice that I spaced them out every other scallop.
And also, an inside snap.
I absolutely love how my cape turned out! I've never been the biggest fan of scalloped edges. I always thought they were twee and cutesy. But pairing them with hard military style details is such a good match. And to make it even edgier, I wore deconstructed denim. Now, about those scallops...
My Scalloped Edging Tutorial is on BERNINA's We All Sew blog. Enjoy!

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44 comments

  1. I love how everything you make looks so high end. This is stunning.

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  2. Erica, you did an awesome job and your impeccable work shines through! I am positive you'll have loads of compliments (and wear) with this beautiful coat!

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    1. Our weather returned to mild temps again. I'll be glad when the cold comes back just so I can wear it! Thanks Myra!

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  3. So amazingly drop dead gorgeous! you nailed it!

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  4. This cape, your leopard coat and the oop blouse you just did have all been phenomenal. Just all so wearable pieces and beautifully done. You're on a roll!

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  5. You must be so proud of this, it's absolutely beautiful! Your craftwomenship is spot on. I was also inspired by a cape I spotted, a Kate Spade and it sent me on the most incredible sewing journey. I used a vintage cape pattern, Simplicity 6680, and also added slanted pockets. Its one of my favourite pieces. I remember all the work that went into making it and that it was worth all the work. Yours looks like you put a lot of work into it as well and its stunning. Enjoy it.

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    1. I think statement capes are always essential and your red cape is beautiful! Thank you Graca!

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  6. Without reading all the detail, when I saw you in the coat my first thought was/is - that is a beautiful and unique coat!! You did an amazing job. Your scallops are so precise. This is definitely a statement piece. I can see this in red also. Lovely.

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  7. It's wonderful! And, no you are not the only one who obsesses over designs - IT'S ME TOO!

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    1. Glad to know it's not just me! Thanks Faye!

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  8. That is one beautiful cape!!! It is so high end looking....Your sewing talents are very impressive. A previous poster described this project as drop dead gorgeous.....I agree....Happy New Year Erica!

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    1. Thanks BPatricia! And Happy New Year to you!

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  9. Your cape is gorgeous in every way! I can see why you fell in love with the design in the first place! Oh, and how come your fashion flat looks so good? Ha, I am not good at drawing at all.

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    1. I've been doing the fashion flats for years, just to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Thanks Vanessa!

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  10. EEEEEEK! I absolutely adore this !!!!! I want one! You recreated it to perfection!

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  11. LOVELY!!! LOVELY!!! LOVELY!!! ❤️

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  12. I've followed your blog for years and admired nearly everything you've made but this cape has moved me to comment for the first time. It's taken my breath away. It's just totally stunning and you look so good wearing it. I'd love to know how much it actually cost you compared to the $1,100 original? But it's beyond price...

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    1. Fabric, notions, buttons, and other odds & ends... probably $75. Only a fraction of the original. Thanks Jan!

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  13. This really is a show-stopper! Wow!!

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  14. Um, not sure why my comment is from "unknown".

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  15. Lovely! I am all about military style and capes. You did a fantastic job.

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  16. Boy oh boy, is this cape just fabulous! Very impressive! Love the scallops and thanks for the tutorial!

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    1. Thanks Belle! Glad you liked it!

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  17. Another coat make that will go down in history! Beautiful!

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  18. This cape is so beautiful - I love it!

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  19. This looks fab on you! Beautiful work as usual. I'm working on a grey boiled wool cape currently.

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    1. Thank you Eve! Happy sewing your cape!

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  20. Wow! Your cape is beautiful!

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  21. This cape is simply fabulous and you did a brilliant job capturing the designer details that you loved in the original.

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