Vampire Vamps! McCall 4459 by Miler Soeurs
November 21, 2011 § 5 Comments
For Naomi to wear over her Halloween flapper dress by Patou (see last week’s post here), I made McCall 4459, a perfect little cape by Miler Soeurs:
The cape has a high collar, pointed yoke, front tie, and inside pockets. Miler Soeurs was a Paris house located on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 1920s and early 1930s; for more details see Past Perfect Vintage’s recent post. Here’s the colour illustration from the 1926 catalogue:
When I posted Naomi’s dress on Sew Retro, someone asked about the instructions. Here’s a partial scan of the patented ‘Printo Gravure’ for the cape; No. 1 is the pattern layout:
As you can see, the verbal instructions simply spell out what the numbered notches already tell you: the order in which to join the pieces together. The pattern pieces are printed with further notes, though, such as markings for the pockets and a general indication of where the ties should go.
We found some beautiful grey Dormeuil wool-silk on sale at Designer Fabrics as well as a silver moiré lining. The pattern gave no instructions as to interfacing, but to give the yoke/collar some structure I used some hair canvas left over from my wedding dress. The yoke’s curved seams and points were actually a lot of fun to sew. The pattern gave two lengths for the cape; I cut the shorter length, which was also the exact length of the Patou dress. Perfect!
Here’s the finished collar yoke, complete with topstitching:
Here are some pictures of Naomi wearing the cape over the Patou dress:
And here are side and back views that show the shape of the collar/yoke when worn. I love how the collar curves outward at the top:
Naomi wanted the contrast pockets shown on the pattern illustration, so I made the pockets in wool with the lining inside. The flap is decorative, and I left off the buttons for now.
The cape also gave me the opportunity to try out mitered corners. (This is probably more exciting for me than for anyone else.) I adjusted the angle of the miter to accommodate the 3/8″ seam allowance.
For something made of such light wool the cape is surprisingly heavy—the right weight for spring or early fall here in Toronto. It was a real pleasure to work with such luxurious fabric; somehow knowing it came from an almost 170-year-old French family company made me more patient with the meticulous finishing details required. I was tickled to see the company opened its London flagship, Dormeuil House, off Regent Street in 1926, the same year as our four Halloween patterns. The yoke may be the design’s focal point, but I think the finishing contributes to the cape’s general élan.
(Cross-posted to Sew Retro.)