|Red 18th century cloak form the met.|
Red cloaks where all the rage in the 18th century and very common wear in the country and for the less fashionable set well into the first decades of the 19th century. I lust after a scarlet cloak!
|I just love the hood. From theManchester Galleries.|
I have a perfectly lovely fur trimmed heavy blue wool cloak but for some reason my heart is set on making myself a new red one.
|Woman's hooded cloak. Museum of Fine Arts Boston|
Since I already have a full length winter cloak I figured it would be a good idea to make a cloak for fall, a short cloak from a medium weight wool would be just the thing.
|I need a cloak lie thins in my life! The Comtesse Tessin sure had good taste!|
And I happen to have just the right fabric in my stash! I dug it up a couple of days ago and discovered to my dismay that I don't have enough of it. Such a bummer! So there went my dreams of a spiffy red short cloak. I have some very nice tan cashmere wool in the stash and it's enough but somehow that color is just not calling me...
|The color just does nothing for me....|
I could go out and buy some red wool but I'm stingy and won't buy any unless I get it for a steal like the stuff that's currently languishing in the stash, I just refuse to pay upwards of $15 for wool when I have perfectly nice stuff at home that i paid $5 a yard for, even if I loathe the color! So I resigned myself to being short cloak less for now. But the red cloak idea just kept nagging me. So to get it out of my system I decided to make a cloak for my daughter Charlotte instead. First I considered using the fabric I initially wanted to use for myself, but it's only medium weight and Charlotte really needed a heavier cloak for winter wear. So I decided to save the medium weight wool to make myself a spencer from in the future sometime. Instead I turned to a solution that had been in the back of my mind for a while. I cut up one of my old winter coats.
|I loved my white coat, it was kind of retro looking|
|I dyed it red, it did not look so good...|
While the coat fabric is wool the thread used to sew it with is most likely polyester, which means it stayed white when dyed. This added to the fact that the dyed coat looked like crap. So here I was with a ruined coat that I could not bring myself to trow away, cause even though it's ugly it's still wool!I figured that perhaps i col cut it up for a craft project . So it lived on a hanger hidden in my guestroom closet for about a year. Until a couple of days ago I remembered that I had perfectly good red wool sitting in my guestroom, so why cut into a virgin length of fabric when I can cut up a coat for free! I pulled out a kids costume cloak pattern i got on sale at JoAnns for 99 cents and set to cannibalizing my once beloved winter coat.
|Kids costume pattern|
|What remains of my coat.|
|All the pieces cut out including the original coat collar.|
I did not want to piece the hood because I figured it would look all wrong. While I was mulling over what to do about the lack of a hood I noticed the coats collar laying discarded on the floor. Eureka! I had an idea. I had a perfectly nice pre made collar just sitting there why not attach it to the cloak! I did. and it turned out pretty nice with none of the tedious cutting and shaping that usually goes into making and attachung collars, it fit the cloak neckline perfectly!
|18th century Men's claok, with collar. Colonial Williamsburg|
So while it may not have a spiffy hood, the collar looks dashing and is perfectly period! I lined the little cloak with crimson cotton flannel for added warmth and added a red velvet ribbon for a tie and voila!
|The finished little girl's cloak!|
|She had to wear the Snow White dress underneath to model her new cloak|