Vintage dressmaking love: a 1930s velvet evening cape 

Popular through the 30s, 40s and 50s, an evening cape made of a luxury fabric like velvet is an instant wardrobe pick me up. 

Because of its propensity to be crushed if not cared for properly, I had been aware of a length of velvet that I have had in my little studio for a while. 

When looking through my sewing patterns last night I came across a gorgeous 1930s evening cape marked July 1938 in pencil. It would be a perfect marriage, I decided and I took a deep breath, fortified myself with a cup of coffee and finally cut the treasured velvet.

To say the pattern was light on in instructions is an understatement but at the time the pattern was produced most women would have some experience in making their own clothes if not access to a seasoned dressmaker. 

I made a decision to stabilise the Cape front with a selvage edge of silk organza attached with catch stitches and added silk organza to the “Medici collar”. I hemmed with catch stitches….

I plan to make a satin lining today and wear over a black dress for my sons kindergarten performance this evening. Nothing like a deadline!

In the interim here is what Constance Talbot had to say about capes and evening coats in my beloved “The Complete Book of Sewing”…

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