Vampire Vamps! McCall 4459 by Miler Soeurs

1920s party couple Sidney (Lenny Schmidt) and companion (Kim McKean). True Blood s2
Sidney (Lenny Schmidt) and companion (Kim McKean), 1926. True Blood, Season 2.

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:

McCall 4459 Miler Soeurs 1920s pattern
McCall 4459 by Miler Soeurs (1926) Cape.

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:

McCall 4459 Miler Soeurs 1920s cape pattern McCall Quarterly Summer 1926
McCall 4459 in the McCall Quarterly, Summer 1926. Image courtesy of Debby Zamorski.

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:

1920s Printo Gravure McCall's instructions for cape pattern 4459 Miler Soeurs

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:

McCall 4459 collar yoke 1920s cape pattern Miler Soeurs

Here are some pictures of Naomi wearing the cape over the Patou dress:

Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459

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:

side view Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459pointed yoke detail Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459

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.

pockets Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459inside pocket 1920s cape McCall 4459 Miler Soeurs

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.

mitered corner on 1920s cape Miler Soeurs McCall 4459

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.

Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern McCall 4459

(Cross-posted to Sew Retro.)

Next: My Halloween flapper evening dress.

McCall 1920s flapper evening dress pattern detail

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