children's clothing · kids clothing · sewing

oliver + s cape and skirt

Clare has been growing, as young girls are wont to do.  This means that she didn’t have a winter coat.  While she doesn’t have a huge need for a coat, because in winter we tend to move from heated house to heated car to heated school/houses and back again, there are still times when that extra layer is necessary.  (She does have a light shower proof jacket for the walk to and from school when the weather is inclement).  So I made a cape.

Oliver + S cape & Badminton skirt

And because there was enough fabric left over, I made a coordinating skirt.

Oliver + S Badminton skirt

And because the cape is lined edge to edge, I made sure to choose a fabric that would actually make it fully reversible.

Oliver + S cape & Badminton skirt

So, on to the details! The cape is the Red Riding Hood Cape from oliver + s little things to sew. I made the size large for Clare, which covers sizes 5-10.  One side is cotton velveteen, the other floral cotton pique, both from Spotlight.  I sewed a vintage button on both sides so that which ever way around it was worn, there would be a button to match up with the loop. Clare chose the buttons from stash.

Oliver + S cape

Oliver + S cape

The cape is nicely shaped over the shoulders, and has front and back princess seams that leave openings in the front for hands to pop through. Clare particularly liked this feature. When the outer and inner are sewn together, the cape is turned to the right side through one of the hand openings, then they are top-stitched closed.

Oliver + S cape

I used the skirt portion of the Badminton skort, top and dress pattern for the coordinating skirt. I cut this out as a size 8, just using the skirt and waistband parts of the pattern and ignoring the shorts parts.  I lengthened the skirt around an inch.  I could probably have cut out a smaller size as this is quite roomy around the waist, but the back waistband is elasticised, and I used adjustable elastic and a button so that it could be easily made smaller or larger as Clare grows.

Oliver + S Badminton skirt - adjustable waist detail

The skirt is faced with the same floral used in the cape. The scallops were quite easy to do with a steady eye – the instructions suggest tracing and marking them onto the fabric, but I did them by eye using the edge of my presser foot as a guide to keep them even. I snipped into the point of each scallop and trimmed back the rest of the seam allowance around the curve of the scallops quite narrow with my pinking shears, and the resulting scallops are nice and smooth. The top edge of the facing was simply overlocked to keep it neat and flat, then was hand-stitched to the velveteen.

Oliver + S Badminton skirt - hem facing detail

On reflection, the skirt could have been lined and constructed slightly differently to conceal all the raw edges.  I often think of these things while I’m making the garment, rather than during the planning process.  I’ll make some changes the next time.  Maybe I need to sew it “in my head” first and think through all the steps rather than just leaping in according to the instructions – but that would take more time (a rare and precious commodity) and this week with the children sick and disrupted sleep my brain wasn’t functioning as clearly.

Clare is very pleased with her outfit, and I think it’s rather sweet! The velveteen does wrinkle, and looks more unpressed in these photos than it was. There are more photos of this outfit over here.

Oliver + S Cape & Badminton Skirt

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7 thoughts on “oliver + s cape and skirt

  1. I love the scalloped edge on the skirt. I know what you mean about thinking of things while you are sewing rather than the planning stage, but I think sometimes it’s nice to get to know a pattern first because even when I start changing things I still think of stuff that could have been better when I’m part way through.

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