My mom: “Do you have that blanket thing that I could borrow to go trick-or-treating with Alexa?”
Me: “You mean… my cloak? That I use for re-enacting?”
My cloak is one of my favorite things. It’s warm, it was easy, and it was one of the first things I ever made.
- If you’re lucky and you have a large 60″ piece of fabric – Measure how long you want it to be. I measured from the hollow of my throat between my clavicles down to where I wanted it, which happened to be my ankles. Or you could measure down your back. Use the longest measurement. When it’s all said and done, let it hang for a while, and then cut off what you don’t need. (So the bias can stretch.)
- Cut a piece of string that long, including seam allowance at the neck (if you want to do a neckhole) and hem allowance.
- Pin or sew it to one end of your fabric, and swing it around with a pencil or something at the end until you have a half circle. You can stop here and hem it. Or sew another half circle together with it and have a full circle cloak.
- If you wanted a neck hole, you need to take the measurement of how long you wanted it and add the radius of your neckhole. Then pattern out the half circle or circle.
- If it *really* doesn’t sit on your shoulders, even after a neck hole, add darts at the shoulder that end at your acromioclavicular joint. Human osteology is coming in handy, here, eh? eh?
- So, the chances of finding a giant piece of fabric that big that is also affordable might not be as great as finding a narrower width. Sew a few widths of fabric together. Or pattern it out in fourths of the circle.
- When lining the cloak, sew the layers together at the side seams. Do not sew the layers together at the bottom – it won’t drape in an awesome, swishy, way. Cut the lining layer(s) a little shorter than the outer so it doesn’t show. Or if it’s not swishy enough, maybe weight the hem with a wide hem allowance, facing, or something.
And now mom is going to get her own cloak.
My favorite fabrics for cloaks:
- Wool. Warm, repels water, and classic.
- Twill with fleece lining. Tough exterior, and warm inside.
- Georgette. (Getting married…) I might just become good friends with basting spray…