The summer is winding down, there’s a sharp breeze blowing in the evening and the crisp mornings are filled with the scent of pumpkin spice. I’ve started thinking about what garments I need to add to my autumn wardrobe, other than sweaters and jeans. I decided to peruse Mood’s selection of wool coatings, desperately in need of some fashionable outerwear, and I came across this Bright Blue Brushed Twill Wool Coating. I was struck with a vision as I fingered the fabric. I saw myself walking through pumpkin patches, and laughing in an apple orchard, or boarding a train in New York City heading for the country in a knee length circle skirt and a short capelet. I had to share my vision with the Moodosphere, so I grabbed a lining and some thread and got to work on this circle skirt and capelet set.
The embroidery in this post is definitely optional, but I would highly suggest you go for it. I was inspired by a lot of the designers at New York Fashion Week, who seem to be just as enamored with embroidery as I have been for the past few months. I am relatively new to embroidery, and it came out awesome so it’s not difficult, just a little time consuming.
Fabrics & materials used:
- 4 Yards Bright Blue Brushed Twill Coating
- 4 Yards Oil Green/White Conversational Printed Polyester Lining
- 968 Antique Gold 100m Gutermann Silk Thread
- 800 White 100m Gutermann Silk Thread
- Black Frog Closure – 3″ x 1.5″
- 074 Bright Navy 9″ Invisible Zipper
- 3-Pack DMC Size 6 Embroidery Floss #742 Light Tangerine (Embroidery)
- 3-Pack DMC Size 6 Embroidery Floss #814 Dark Garnet (Embroidery)
3-Pack DMC Size 6 Embroidery Floss #310 Black (Embroidery)
- 3-Pack DMC Size 6 Embroidery Floss #890 Greener Pastures (Embroidery)
I started with the cape, and used the cape pattern from this Sequin Cape tutorial. I did the embroidery before attaching any of the lining. Simply pin the pattern to the fabric, and outline it with black thread. Then, fill in with the colors of your choice. I based my flowers on pansies, so the center color kind of spreads out from the middle in an uneven fashion, and then I layered in the outside color. For the leaves, instead of doing one straight line across the the leaf, I started from the center and moved outward, giving the appearance of a stem and adding some depth to the leaf. Make sure you put them about 2″ from the edge of the fabric, for the seam allowances. This will take a little while, so make sure you’ve got the latest season of Project Runway all queued up.
Next, sew the lining onto the cape, without sewing the neckline so you can attach the collar. Sew the faces together and trim the excess, and then flip the faces out.
Then, I attached the peter pan collar to the cape. To make the collar, fold the cape in half, and measure how long the neckline is. Then, sketch out the shape of one side of the collar and cut it with the back half on the fold. Sew the collar on, with the face of the cape attached to the back of the collar, and then fold it over.
Finish sewing the lining on by slip stitching the lining to the collar.
I attached the frog closure by hand, and then embroidered the vine around the collar. I used a vine stitch, which is similar to a back stitch, but instead of reinserting the needle at the end of the previous stitch, you do it to the side. I did that all the way around, and then did the leaves. These took me a minute to figure out but it’s simple once you get the hang of it. Insert the needle from the bottom and pull it all the way through, so the needle and thread are on the face of the fabric. Wherever you want the leaf, insert the needle so that it pokes through to the back of the fabric, and then comes back out through the face of the fabric. Don’t pull the needle all the way through just yet. Wrap your thread around the end of the needle that’s poking through, and then pull the needle all the way through. Make sure you keep a hold of the thread, so it doesn’t get tangled. Then, finish it up by inserting the needle right in front of where you’ve pulled the needle through, so that the thread and needle are back under the collar and the leaf is secured. I would recommend practicing a couple times on a scrap piece of fabric, just to get the hang of it, and then starting on the collar. Practice different shapes with the leaves, if you pull it tight the leaf will be thin, but the looser you leave it the fatter the leaf will be.
I ended up adding a top stitch to the cape, so I simply used gold thread on the top and white thread in the bobbin, and stitched along the edge of the cape.
Circle skirts are notoriously easy to make. Basically, measure your waist (this will be the circumference) and the length you want the skirt. Then, take your waist measurement, add 2 inches, and divide that by 6.28. Take your fabric and fold it in half twice, and you’re going to cut where the fabric bunches up and there are no openings in it, at the corner. Measure from the corner to the number you got after dividing by 6.28, and mark that every few inches. Then, measure the length you want your skirt from that line, marking every couple of inches. Cut along those two curves, and you have a fully formed circle skirt, ready to be sewn together.
I did that with the lining and the wool, so there was no need to make a seam anywhere on the skirt. I sewed the face of the lining to the face of the wool at the bottom of the skirt. I had measured a little excess lining, so I let it bunch up in one place, cut the excess, and made that a seam. Then I flipped the skirt back around and slip stitched the top. I pulled it taught, but not tight, so that the skirt didn’t bunch up on me. I trimmed the excess lining, and then tackled the waistband. I wanted a thicker waistband, so I did 3″ and I made it a little longer than my waist for seam allowances. I cut that out in the wool and the lining, and sewed the faces together on one side. I flipped the right sides out, and then slip stitched the bottom of the waistband that hadn’t been sewed to the top of the skirt. Last, I put added top stitching to the bottom of the skirt, and the top and bottom of the waistband.
Finally, find a funky place for a fun photo shoot!
This was by far my favorite project, it came out beautifully and the wool was so easy to work with. It’s surprisingly warm, so get ready for a wonderful winter with this circle skirt and capelet set! All I need now is a matching beret and a fur muff…
What colors would you do? Would you do anything differently? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to show me your version with #madewithmood on Instagram!