Pattern Review - Sewaholic Cypress Cape

Just in time for an El Nino winter, I just completed the Sewaholic Cypress Cape. Described as 

"perfect for cycling, dog-walking, and long walks in the rain. Wide semi-circular sleeves allow you to easily stretch your arms and reach in front, with pleats at centre back for extra mobility. A hood keeps you dry in wet weather.
The Cypress Cape is unlined, to keep it light and packable. Hems are bound with bias tape. The cape closes with a centre front zipper, which is covered by a windflap with velcro closures. Add optional reflective piping for extra visibility. Flap pockets give you a place to keep your keys or cards."

My old raincoat was disintegrating so I decided to sew up this pattern.  I headed to Fabric Outlet in SF in search of fabric - they always have a good selection of water-resistant/proof fabrics, but back in November I hit the jackpot - in addition to the neutrals they usually carried, they had bright pink, yellow, turquoise, blue, was amazing! I purchased a gorgeous teal (for ~$5/yard, making the 4 yards requirement a lot less painful).  It cuts easily and doesn't fray.  I chose white bias tape to bind the edges.

I cut the size 6, and made no adjustments other than omitting the pockets.

I used an 80/12 needle and didn't use pins, just clips, so as not to put unnecessary holes in something I wanted to be watertight. 

There are a lot of pattern pieces, but it came together much more quickly than I thought.  There aren't any really difficult sewing techniques involved, just a lot of  pieces.  Skipping the pockets probably saved me an hour or two, though.  I omitted them because I didn't like the idea of cutting and turning this fabric as a welt - it's too stiff, its waterproof. I also wanted to put as few seams on it as possible, to prevent leaks! And I really don't walk with my hands in my pockets, I'm an arm swinger.

 It's longer on me than on the model, but I'm only 5'4".  It's the sort of thing I don't mind being too long.

It started raining just as I put the hood up...
Side view
 Back view
Flying nun view. Seriously, this is hilariously voluminous.  I am concerned about being a human para-sail on a windy day....I love the pleats. That's what sold me on the pattern actually, was the pleats.
Just a closeup of the  back.
This is the hidden zipper and velcro along the front.
 Even my giant head fits in the hood!
View of the inside, bias bound arm holes.

Comments - I am pretty satisfied with this pattern.  I feel like the instructions were a bit skimpy for Sewaholic standards, especially at the end where you're putting in the facings and zipper and putting everything together.  I'm used to feeling totally confident in what I'm doing with a Sewaholic pattern.  Usually her instructions are ridiculously detailed, and these seemed a bit half-assed.

*2015 was, for me, the year of being underwhelmed and disappointed in indie pattern companies.  From a lack of creativity or inspiration in the designs themselves to slacking in instructions or techniques....For $3.99, I can have Vogue tell me to finish the neckline of a basic knit dress by turning under and stitching (that's not Sewaholic, that's.....someone else. You know who you are!).  I spend the extra money for excellent instructions, or clever sewing or finishing techniques, or inspired design....and this year was pretty ~meh~. I'm over the indie pattern design thing.*

 Where was I? Oh, the only other kind of weird aspect is that the sleeves are attached to the body. So when you move your arms you may end up lifting up the entire front of the cape. But its fine for walking, dog walking, cycling, etc.

Ranting aside, overall I like this cape. I'm going to road test it this week, with rain forecast almost every day it looks like.  I love the color and the unique shape - it's not the sort of exaggerated silhouette I would wear with a regular garment, but it's fun in a jacket! 


  1. I have had this cape on my list for quite some time. I've not been able to decide whether to cut the 8 or not! I'm also 5'4" but an hourglass shape so I'm concerned about fit across the bust and the volume at the hips....I must be mad to even consider this pattern, but like you I have been swayed by the pleats! I might just go for it tonight and cut the 8 and then figure out how much seam tape I need!

  2. New to your blog.... lovely. I love your cape. I love the design but I don't really have any need for one where Iive. I agree with your comments about indie 'designers'. Drafting isn't designing.


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