Tuesday 24 March 2015

A tartan Ta-Dah....

May I present in all it’s glory my Gordon’s tartan cape.  
Oh boy is my heart jumping with joy looking at it.  
I’m ridiculously pleased with it, hence the photo heaviness on this post.  

It looks so simple and yet very elegant.
This tartan cape has been on my ever long list of must makes for a while.
A few years back I made a similar cape in a 
beautiful sandy gold vintage brocade fabric, 
that I love wearing to this day, on evenings out.  
It is the perfect cape for a smart night with it’s 
sparkly vintage Swarovski buttons. 
Unfortunately though it’s not warm enough 
to be worn on cold nights and too sparkly for daytime.

With this cape I wanted to take care of these two shortcomings.  
A cape that is warmer and wouldn't look out of place when worn in the day.
My fabric choice wasn't hard I knew I wanted something that was timeless,
a real classic, something I wouldn't get bored of
looking at after a few months.
And here I have to confess….  
I have a real soft spot for woollen tartan & tweed fabrics.
They are classics that never go out of fashion in my eyes 
and I LoVe working with them.
After all if they are good enough for designers like 
Ralph Lauren & Alexander McQueen why shouldn't they be for me.  
One of my all-time favourites has to be the Gordon’s tartan. 
I can't quite put my finger on why, 
possibly it’s to do with the fact the Mr Mc was a Gordon Highlander 
when we first met and he always looks rather dashing (sexy)
in his Gordon's kilt or maybe it’s just the richness of the blue & green
interfused with the yellow that draws me to it, 
I let you decide, all I will say is that I just LoVe this tartan. 

So Gordon’s tartan it had to be for the outer
 lined with a midnight blue paisley satin fabric.

Gordon’s tartan has a large pattern repeat, 
on a small garment like this cape that causes quite a few problems 
especially if you are joining curved & straight pieces together.
I can tell you it took quite a bit of playing around 
with the paper pattern pieces on the rolled out fabric to get it right. 
You have to be able to imagine how the finished sewn piece will look 
in order to choose the right areas of pattern repeat in the fabric for each piece

Naturally a perfectly centred tartan is key to a beautifully looking finish.

Another must is perfectly joining lines at the side seam

Getting the collar right was challenging in this project
It took me some time to finding the right area in the tartan that not just matched 
the centre back line from the main back piece

but also joined the side lines of the front pieces on the shoulder.

Making a perfectly rounded Peter Pan collar with 
double thickness wool fabric wasn't easy let me tell you.

By far the biggest challenge for me in this project, 
were the two button holes closest to the outer edge of the front flap. 
It took a few & a few more test button holes, it was a little frustrating 
but practice makes perfect or in this case stern perseverance got the job in the end done.

Regimental Gordon Highlander buttons would have been the obvious choice, 
but I didn't have four same size ones. 
So looking through my stash of odds & end buttons
I stumbled across these ones.  
I think not having the Gordon's buttons was a blessing in disguise really.
This once just add that little sparkle, perfect for day or night.
Depending on the light, the stones sometimes have a hint of
sea green within them.

For me they are the perfect finishing touch.

I know I have said it already in this post 
but I just can't help saying it again 
I LoVe LoVe LoVe this cape!

I'm very happy to tick another beautiful must make off my list.