Though I haven’t made anything for a while and even though I had plenty of ideas, I didn’t have the time. I was over the moon to be asked to make a garment using A W Hainsworth fabric, they were fabrics we often used for projects at university. Better yet they are local to me. So it was my pleasure to take on the challenge and make a garment using their wonderful fabrics. I chose a 60’s style cape as the fabric suited the style so well and would look lovely on. Here is how I got on…
I received my package in a lovely wrapped padded envelope and with some extra goodies inside. I was lucky enough to find the exact pattern I wanted in a local charity shop…UNCUT! I know right and for a 3rd of the price online which was amazing. I was so excited for the Hainsworth fabric turning up I bombarded my relatives and friends, not that anyone would understand my passion. But Oh well…
I pulled out my fabric, lining, sewing box and set up my machine ready. I also got my sewing pattern out and began to copy the pieces I needed. Hint: If you are wanted to reuse a pattern again in a different size or style use paper or baking paper to copy the pieces you need to save cutting into the fabric.
First thing is first, I transfer my pattern pieces onto baking paper or large pattern paper. This saves me cutting into the pattern and I can use it again and again for different styles and sizes.
After that, I gather together my pattern pieces, work out 2 or 3 piles. The first pile is for fabric only pieces, the second for lining and the third for interfacing. I create the layout to fit all my pieces on and pin into place. I like to make sure everything is cut out first so I don’t have to clear the table again to lay the fabric out.
I was sent 100% wool from Hainsworth fabric to create my cape in the colour Melton Fig. They have some lovely collections of fabrics, colours and styles for any project. It was hard for me to choose but I did and I was so pleased with the fabric when it arrived.
These are my three piles ready for transferring to fabric. I make note of any that need both fabric and interfacing etc. Pin into place and cut out, some patterns may state whether you need to add seam allowance but for this one, I didn’t. When cutting the Hainsworth fabric it was a dream, I will admit that my scissors are great but working with the fabric was just so easy.
After cutting out I transfer all my information such as darts, clips to join seams and gathering points onto the fabric.
I will then get to constructing since I was working from a pattern and not from my own design I followed the instructions. Starting off with sewing in the darts of the front panel, back panel and sewing them together.
After adding the darts to the main body of the Hainsworth fabric pieces I then started sewing them together. The Hainsworth fabric was great to work with as it wasn’t slippy, awkward or hard to manipulate, making sewing darts a dream.
I repeated the same process with the lining. I created the darts ready to sew together. The Hainsworth fabric really matched so many colours of lining but I choose the pink to create a contrast.
Once the lining was sewn together I then moved to the pockets which I found the hardest as the instructions were confusing. I decided to do them my own way in the end to save time and stress. I initially thought having the fold edges of the Hainsworth fabric would create bulk. But actually, it was really simple to do and smooth to sew over. Placing on the pockets was quite simple and sewing over the 3 layers was a dream, especially as my machine has been a little stubborn lately.
With the pockets in place, I moved onto the front facing and collar. The layers came together well and the Hainsworth fabric ironed beautifully, making my life easier. I added the interfacing to the front facing and collar pieces for stability.
The tricky part of the collar was creating a natural gather on one edge to allow the collar to stand. The Hainsworth fabric I was working with was wool and so thought it would be much harder than it was. I did find it a little tricky to pull the gathers together but managed in the end.
One of the final steps on making the cape is to add the front facing to the cape. It took some time to work out, (I wasn’t sure I was doing it right) but got it right first time. I found using the Hainsworth fabric in multiple layers much easier than I have with other materials in the past.
I am not usually a fan of adding lining to anything as it can get messy and not quite work out. In the end, I managed to get the lining and hem in neatly. I decided hand sewing the majority if not all of the lining in was the best way to do it. I was aiming for a streamlined look of the cape so didn’t want too many exterior sewing lines on show.
Finally adding buttons, I will openly admit that buttonholes and I don’t go together. So I opted for false buttons and snap fasteners on the front of my cape. I know it is cheating but after all the work I put into the cape I didn’t want to ruin the beautiful Hainsworth fabric with my dodgy buttonholing. Here is the finished product.
I was really happy with the shade of wool I chose as it is perfect for Autumn and will look lovely with some pumps and skinny jeans. Or even add it to a dress and shoes look for an evening out. I can’t say enough how easy and simple the fabric has been to work with. I have managed to create a professional looking cape without having to pay for it.
As always if you have worked with A W Hainsworth fabric before let me know what you made. I would love to know what you love the most about the fabric company in the comments below. If you have a favourite cape pattern let me know below.
If you are interested in making more clothes for yourself or try something new check out my other posts. Also, check out my summer dress without a pattern to help you start making the most out of your wardrobe.