Today’s post is picture heavy! I’m excited to walk you through our Cloud Cape ‘trimmings workshop’ and to look at some key construction details. When we left off last post, we were building trimmings out of fabrics, using techniques taught by Candace Kling, including cabochon roses, buds, blossoms, and leaves.
Piles of petals! Made of silk organza, acetate rayon satin faille, and silk taffeta, these petals will be artfully arranged to create exquisite cabochon roses.
Leaves and buds line up on crinoline awaiting separation. Once cut apart, the crinoline serves as an invisible foundation for attachment.
Vintage jet beads in a variety of sizes will be used to highlight the organic forms created by vines and flowers. Additional leaves made of peau de soie (bottom right) will be appliqued along the vines.
Leaves and flowers are cut from their crinoline foundations so they can be arranged on our Cloud Cape!
We begin playing with layout. Our vines will scroll from the collar down the front and around the hemline. Cabochons, buds, and additional blossoms will ‘grow’ from the bottom center front out.
Once we like the look of our layout, we move to the cape itself, finessing the arrangement to best suit the shape of the garment.
Now that our trimmings are well underway, it’s time to look at the construction of this beautiful vintage cape! Two of the more exquisite details on this cape are the shirring around the shoulders and the incredible collar, and we wanted to highlight a few methods we used in creating our own sample.
First up: the shirring! This pattern uses an era-appropriate construction technique for creating shirring, by using unwaxed dental floss to create rows of gathers. To ensure we were hitting the key marks of the pattern, we created thread markers on the cut pattern pieces:
Make thread markers by hand sewing through the dots, leaving extra ease between each point.
Once all thread markers are in place, cut between the dots.
You should have sizable thread tails on each dot.
Begin slowly lifting the pattern piece off your cut fabric, ensuring your markers don’t come out.
Et voila! Each dot is marked and easy to see!
From there, we added the floss and zig zag stitched over it, then began to gather the fabric following the shirring guide.
Matching our thread marks to the shirring guide, we pull the dental floss to create gathers.
Ultimately, we find that it is easier to shape the cape on a three dimensional form, so we move to our dress form to finalize our gathers. Once we are happy with the look of the shirring, we tack in place using a washed wool crepe underlining.
Tacking the shirring to the underlining helps prevent the gathers from shifting too far during wear.
Once this step is complete, it is important to admire your handiwork!
I love this sumptuous texture!
Beautiful shirring that creates lovely shaping.
Next up: the collar! The construction of this lovely collar is fairly simple, like a tube with several channels for cording.
Collar laid flat; these channels provide additional texture in the finished garment.
In order to give the collar a bit more body, we opted to use plastic coated electrical wire, which can be molded to maintain a specific shape.
The collar begins to take shape.
We opt to fill the channels with electrical wire for additional body.
From here, we will finalize the embellishments and complete construction!
Join us next post for a look at our finished 1927 Cloud Cape!