Seamwork Camden Cape
Bust between 33-54
The Camden comes in sizes 0 (bust 33” / 84 cm) through 26 (bust 54” / 137 cm). Since the cape widens below the shoulders, fitting the shoulders/bust and length are the only parts that matter.
WHAT SIZE DID YOU MAKE?
I made a size 16, shortened by about 3”. I made a muslin of the shoulders and bust and didn’t find I needed any bust adjustments.
WHAT ARE YOUR MEASUREMENTS, HEIGHT, AND BODY TYPE?
Bust: 45”, 38G bra
I’m 5’3.5” tall. My shape is apple-ish.
WHAT ADJUSTMENTS DID YOU MAKE AND HOW LONG DID THEY TAKE?
The only changes I made were to shorten the pattern and add a pocket to the lining. I took 2 inches off the main body pieces below the arm openings and cut the length to a size 10 to pare off about 3 inches overall. I wanted my cape to be fingertip length. I thought that would work better with my height. The changes were very quick because the shapes are simple.
My calculations for shortening the lining must have been a bit hasty because I made it a little too short. It doesn’t bother me.
The pattern doesn’t include any pockets, but I’ve seen versions online with welt pockets by the arm opening. I opted for a double welt pocket in the lining. A patch pocket would have worked too.
This pattern would be a great choice if your size varies or if you want a maternity jacket that will fit later.
WHAT FABRIC DID YOU USE?
My fabric was a heavy wool blanket that I was given. It was about 64” by 84”. Since the blanket was a light camel beige, I dyed it brown using wool dye from Dharma Trading. I cut the blanket in half to make dyeing the pieces more manageable. Dyeing wool involves keeping the fabric in the dye bath at just below boiling temperatures for 30 minutes. I then washed out the extra dye and let it air dry.
My lining is an inexpensive faux-silk. Glimpses of the lining will show at the arm openings, so I chose a dark lining to coordinate with my dark fabric.
WHAT WAS THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS LIKE?
The construction is easy and quick. Seamwork patterns are supposed to take about 3 hours. This took me a bit longer, but it is a quick sew. All the pieces line up and fit well. If you want to try a jacket with no fitting, this is a great pattern. If you opt to print at home, be aware that the pattern is 75 pages. Taping it up takes some time.
The pattern does not call for top stitching, but that’s something to consider if you’re using heavy fabric. I top stitched the horizontal seam in the back because the thick fabric was creating a bump right across my butt.
I struggled a little with the lining. My machine didn’t like the slippery fabric. I tried a few tricks to get smooth seams, but the hemming gave me problems. This was completely my lack of experience and choice of fabric.
The only part of the construction that I was hesitant about were the buttonholes. My fabric is really thick, and my machine doesn’t like doing buttonholes in thick fabric. I decided to use magnetic snaps for my closure. They are designed for purses, but the flat ones work beautifully on jackets. I think they give a neat finish and are less fiddly than toggles. After seeing the photos, I might add one more to hold the bottom front together.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THE PATTERN’S FIT? DO YOU THINK THE DESIGN WORKS WELL FOR YOUR PARTICULAR BODY SHAPE?
I love my finished cape. The shape is clean and modern. It feels light and comfortable to wear. I think capes are perfect for any body.
WILL YOU MAKE THE PATTERN AGAIN? IF SO, WHAT FIT OR DESIGN CHANGES WILL YOU MAKE?
I don’t know if I’ll make a second cape because I don’t think my wardrobe needs a second one. Even with thick wool, this cape is not suitable for very cold or windy weather.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON THIS PATTERN FOR OTHER CURVY SEWERS? ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES (BLOG POSTS, FITTING BOOKS, TUTORIALS) THAT HELPED YOU SEW THIS PIECE UP?
If you want to start sewing outerwear, this might be a great first pattern. Because the pattern is a simple shape, consider whether you want to add to it. Pockets are one option, but a hood or collar could also change the look and style.
Overall pattern rating
Size Range (1-5): 5 — Seamwork has a inclusive range, and this pattern is loose fitting.
Instructions (1-5): 5 —The instructions are clear with ample diagrams.
Construction Process (1-5): 5 — The cape sews up quickly with no problems.
Final Fit (1-5): 5 — I love my cape. I feel comfortable and chic.
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation: 5 — This is a great pattern for anyone. The only downside is taping together all the pages.