The Hooded Blouson from Zero Waste Sewing is another garment created using an exact square of fabric.
Here it is in the book:
I sort of imagined if I had a dog and lived by the beach, I would wear this top to walk my dog early each morning. Reality: I live inland with chickens.
Here’s the sketch:
The book’s sample is in a thick, soft cotton fabric from a Mexican-themed selection of fabrics at Spotlight.
I had in mind to make another one (for myself!) from some yellow nylon-y stuff I bought at the op shop. It’s extremely light-weight with a plastic backing. On close inspection, patches of it are starting to de-laminate. No matter, I went ahead and made it, enjoying all the topstitching I could add.
It was a pleasant discovery to find I could iron this fabric, provided I didn’t touch the plastic backing.
The top looks good with the zero waste maxi wrap skirt from the book (an earlier version of this skirt is free here).
I finished the yellow top and had it hanging on the bathroom door awaiting photography for this post. As I idly brushed my teeth that night, I thought how much it looked like a cape. What if I omitted the side pockets and hemmed the lower edge? Hey, I’m hacking my own patterns before they’ve even been released!
The next day I tried on the book’s sample with the armholes pinned closed to test the theory. Hmmm….do-able.
I dug out some brown tartan and cut out the biggest size (the yellow top is a 10. The book’s sample is a 16, which is the biggest size – it also fits an 18 and 20 sized body).
I had one of those terrible tummy-sinking moments when I couldn’t get the hood to fit in the neckline (neckline too big). Whaaat? How was it possible? I’d done enough samples! I started sweating. I thought of all the books I’ve ordered for the book launch in 3 week’s time. I forced myself to breathe deeply and went back and checked it against the size 16 sample. Whew! I’d merely forgotten to sew the shoulder seams.
I just love this cape. It’s so comfortable and easy to wear, and I look forward to wearing it when it’s cool enough.
If you’re reading this post at a later date and would like to make a cape, here are the changes I made:
- Cut the biggest size, which is 16.
- Don’t cut any pockets.
- I stabilised the back neck with a strip of fusing to stop it from stretching. I did this before I cut it. Btw, I didn’t do this for any of the other hooded blousons I’ve made.
- Sew the armholes as a regular seam, and at the top curve the seam to sew the shoulders:
- Along the lower edge, round off the (four) obtuse angles a tiny bit to form gentle curves and finish the lower edge using 25mm bias binding with this tutorial.
- If the fabric is wool, consider neatening the seams with a Hong Kong finish for a beautiful interior. I overlocked my seams but used bias binding inside the hood.
- I haven’t tried it, but with some tweaking you could probably use 150cm wide fabric for a longer cape; cut the hood pieces 37cm square.
- This cape took a lot of hand sewing, because I didn’t think topstitching would suit the woollen fabric. I hand sewed the hem facing in place, the zip, the triangle behind the zip, and the hood on.
- If you’re using tartan like me, is it an unbalanced check? (ie the intersections are rectangular not square). Mine is; I wanted the side seams to match but it’s not possible for unbalanced checks. Luckily, the fabric looks identical on both sides, so I flipped one over to make them match. I did the same with the hood pieces too.
- Jane from The Drapery suggested running the front zip the entire length of the cape. A fun idea, provided the fabric is stable enough since it’s on the bias. After that conversation, I thought: maybe it doesn’t even need to have a zip, just an edge-to-edge front opening. It could be finished with 25mm bias binding like the hem.