Vogue 8776: Oscar de le Renta Double Wool Cape

With an unexpected two days off from work from Hurricane / Tropical Storm Sandy back in November, I got to business in my sewing room. I decided to sew three ‘quick’ unplanned projects that could be finished within three weeks. Ha! First, I finished up my Tracy Reese Dress (Part I of the Sandy Collection), sewed up my second Purple Friday dress (Part II of the Sandy Collection) and then moved on to this Vogue 8776 cape (the closing piece in the Sandy Collection runway show). I like my style. But, I am NEVER quite this ‘fashionable’. It’s a step outside my box that I plan to return to!

I first spotted this cape on Erica B. in 2011 and it was lust at first site. I wasn’t sure what to sew the cape with but wildly decided to use my Oscar de le Renta double wool that I purchased locally in Baltimore back in 2010. It was a random remnant piece in the store. They’d gotten it from a closing fabric store down south. So, it was by happenstance that I was able to buy it. But, Mood Fabrics online  is still stocking it in this and a second colorway! The lush (and expensive) fabric quickly became ‘too good to cut’. I consulted with my sewing bestie Trena and she said it was a bigger waste to let the fabric sit for years than sew something I wanted *now*.

Plus, the fabric is Linus Approved. How does this dog manage to sit on every piece of fabric in the house? It’s like he has a Warm and Cozy radar.

The first thing to note is this material is crazy thick. So thick  and warm that I  started regretting not making it in to a nice, every day work coat. But, as I progressed, decided the material is not suited to a structured garment. A cape was just about right.

I found it impossible to mark the wool layers with waxed tracing paper. So, for the first time in 20+ years of sewing, I made tailor tacks using my basting thread from the Netherlands.

Because the material is so thick, I didn’t want to use a double layer of the double wool  for the facings. So, I used two different scrap pieces of thinner wool I had laying about  (black and charcoal) for the inside collar and front facing. Which all required hand-freaking finishing. I’m sure there’s a way to do it by machine. I just didn’t think of it in time. I got it all done during a football game last Sunday. And I’m not handsewing for at least a six months. I detest it. From the facing to all those snaps, hand sewing is the worst. I don’t find it soothing, I don’t care how much control it gives me. It’s why projects languish unfinished for three months in my sewing room :)

Oh, speaking of which, Piece 2 (center front) isn’t marked with how many to cut. You’ll need four from your fabric and two from interfacing.  As for interfacing, I didn’t use any. Again, material was so stable with the fused wool, it wasn’t needed. But, I regret not using stay / twill tape at the center front seams. I think my edges are a bit wonky because it needs some stabilisation and the seams have stretched out a bit.

Buttons. You’ll see that I just have two placed at the in-seam buttonholes. I wanted to use all buttons, but with all the layers and double woolness, its was too thick to easily make buttonholes. So, I stuck with the already sewn in-seam buttonholes, and used snaps like Heather suggested in the comments from my last post on the cape. I like that they were already black (except the very last one) so they blend in nicely.

In honor of this cape (and to support two vintage coats in my wardrobe), I bought the cashmere-lined leather gloves I started looking for last year. Neiman Marcus Last Call had them for 50 percent off so they were “just” $47. I was pretty happy with them until I saw Oliva Pope’s cream colored, opera length, leather gloves on the latest Scandal episode. I swear that woman is *owning* winter white!


I know capes can by super impractical. But, they are great for warmer winter days and going in to fall. After a week of 30 degree temps, we’re back up to 50s this week. You never know what the weather will bring! I seriously now believe in having a coat wardrobe.  My blue cape is crazy popular and I get stopped on the streets.

I was so sad when I couldn’t tell you where to find this fabric. It was a total random find for me.  Here’s a link to the black and white herringbone version.  It’s pricey, but seriously luxurious. I’m glad I didn’t let it fester in ‘too good to sew’ land.

Thanks again to my Dearest Lizzie for her photography. Can you believe she has no photography experience?? When she offered to take pictures for me, I was hesitant. She’s big on the dark photos on a camera phone for her Facebook page. But, she blew me away!! Turns out, all she needs is a flash! It was her idea to go under the overpass at our office to get these shots. I apologize for the bitch face. All my smiling photos showed my increasing laugh lines in HD.

I also got several unsolicited compliments on my outfit. I’m wearing a blue bubble skirt I made to bike in the Netherlands with my recently completed black turtleneck.  It’s probably a little short for work but with the tights it seems to be o.k.

Onward! I need a palette cleanser. Two final sweater knit projects are coming down the pike.

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72 thoughts on “Vogue 8776: Oscar de le Renta Double Wool Cape

  1. Absolutely amazing!! What a great use of that wool. I am just speechless.
    I’m with you on the hand sewing. There are a million facings and other details that remain flapping under my garments because as soon as I see ‘slipstitch’ I’m outta there.
    Can I borrow Lizzie? I desperately need a good photographer.
    And you’re right–Olivia Pope has a killer wardrobe.
    Great job. Another stunner!

  2. Wow. Just, wow! That cape is beautiful. Even more so with how you were creative with the facings and buttons. Such skill. A great addition to a coat wardrobe. I’m guessing you’ll get a ton of wear out of it.

  3. I comment little, but so enjoy your blog, your fab style,and unique way you make trends yours. You look so elegant in this cape, and actually in all your makes! Congats for being a style icon for me. I’d love to meet you in person sometime!

  4. Love the cape! It’s not costumey at all, so I think you’re totally solid to wear it as much as you want! The purple color is divine!

    First comment, by the way. I’ve been reading your blog for several weeks and it’s so fun to see a fellow Baltimore girl online! Especially one with a kick-ass wardrobe. ;)

  5. This looks so gorgeous on you! The color is perfect for your complexion, and the style suits your body well. So chic! And you did a terrific job of sewing it. Very nice!

  6. Super impractical? Pffft. This is so gorgeous is almost hurts me. That fabric. And that shade of purple and how it so wonderfully highlights your skin. This is art, and it makes me want sew a cape right now, even though I’m sweltering in the heat. You look fabulous!

  7. It is stunning. Hey, that purple cape will also work on the Raven Spirit Days that you have at work, although I guess only when you leave the building :) I have a cape pattern and some black wool that I want to make, but probably not until later this summer or fall.

  8. You look great in that beautiful garment! I have a theory that one is genetically either a machine sewist or a hand stitcher. I fall in the latter category, which is why I don’t have beautiful clothes like you do…takes way too long!

  9. Another absolutley stunning outfit. So glad that you left the very big country of too good to be used fabrics. You did this terrific fabric find a great service by getting it out in the public view.

  10. “It’s a step outside my box that I plan to return too!” – Wait, are you saying you are going to return to your box? Or stay outside it? ‘Cause outside your box is pretty freakin fantastic!

    Coat wardrobe: Amen! Especially living in the northeast! We spend 8 mos/yr wearing some sort of coat or jacket.

  11. Beyond fabulous! I’ve been wanting to do a cape for ages, and you’ve now lit 2 fires under my backside about it. First with the gorgeous blue cape (and I have that BWOF issue too!) and now this. I totally understand about wanting a coat wardrobe, I’m feeling the same. I’m currently in London for 6 months and they have such beautiful coats here, I want one of each! My fall/winter wardrobe is pretty paltry for a Canadian, I will be doing something about this come end of summer this year! Thanks so much for the inspiration!
    And it’s a pity I don’t live closer to you (even when not in the UK, lol) as I love handsewing. I’d be happy to trade that for, say, marking – I HATE marking.

  12. Absolutely stunning coat, I don’t think that it’s too fashionable for you, the style and cut really suit you well and the color-OMG the color is just so perfect!

  13. Oh, meant to also mention-the gloves, when you factor in the cost per wear after you’ve had them a few years, works out to a real bargain for something you’ll use probably more often than any other winter clothing article (and…CASHMERE!!)

  14. This Cape is everything!!!! Bookmarking this to make at another time when my sewing skills have improved. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  15. Boy do I hear you on handsewing, I freaking HATE it. The cape looks fantastic! I had questioned the design, but seeing it made up makes a huge difference.

  16. I’m usually not one for capes, they look too Sherlock or Superman. But holy cats, yours is georgous! The purple is stunning. So glad you didn’t let it languish in your stash.

  17. Beautiful cape – and great photos as well! I’ve got the Vogue 1332 Pamella Roland pattern – the one that looks more like a Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtle shell. I think with the right fabric it will look cute though!

  18. You have only just stepped out of Vogue magazine, haven’t you? You look absolutely fabulous! The new Burda is great, just picked up a Feb. copy this weekend….we prolly get it before you do.

  19. I love it… I hope you and your family are doing well from Sandy.. I sending my blessing 2 all. God Bless Each and everyone. Love it all. love it love it love it…

  20. I made the same pattern in a faux leopard and love love love. It’s not the most practical outwerwear for really cold days but with long sleeves and teh right gloves… what a look. LOVE your purple wool!

  21. Oh, I love this! Coats seem to be your thing- I was totally in love with that grey one you did a while back. Well done!

  22. Love this cape, in this colour. Looks just smashing on you. This cape project is on my wishlist too, at some point in time. Nice to see your are enjoying it.

  23. What an incredible piece, it suits you so nicely! I’m glad you cut into that fabric because it is smashing with that pattern, the design lines are flattered and flattering. A beautiful and inspiring project! *adds pattern to wishlist*

  24. OMG!!!! Thanks to you, I am fast going to make this cape, the pattern waits for a long time. It’s SUBLIME, SMART.
    Beautiful fabrics, beautiful work;)
    MAGNIFIQUE!!!! Sorry for my poor english ;)

  25. This is really, really beautiful! And, just what I needed to see. My own version is sitting as an unfinished project:(. I started it just before christmas and am about 3/4 finished. Just the collar, hand sewing and snaps to go!

  26. Pingback: Capes. Yea or Nay? - The Finished Garment

  27. Love it!!!!!!!! I’m about to start making this cape & googled the pattern # to see what others had done & I’m glad I found your slice of the World Wide Web!

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