Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Yeah, I Made It Myself - The Bed Cover Capelet




Whenever I volunteer at the jumble sale before the leftovers are gathered together, bagged up and sold off as rags, I can't resist one final rummage. Zips are removed, buttons snipped off and interesting fabrics, no matter how tatty, are snaffled for future projects. In my seven years of sewing I've yet to buy a brand new zip or a button.

McCall's 3542 1970s cape pattern, all pinned out and ready to cut - pincushion made by Emma's fair hands, pro scissors a most welcome birthday pressie last year from Liz.
At some point in its past this vintage bed cover had been chopped in half but, too small for its original purpose, it remained unsold . Thinking that it looked like the perfect fabric for a capelet, I rescued it from its inevitable sad fate of becoming a factory cleaning rag.


The pattern called for a frog fastener which I didn't have, so I concocted a military-style closure instead, finishing it off with a couple of 1960s brass buttons chopped from a moth eaten blazer (a previous rag bag rescue). The original blue fringing awaits a future project. The thread, bias binding and concealed hook and eye fastening (at the neck) all came from the biscuit tins crammed with sewing notions I can never resist buying at car boot sales. The only new purchase was the interfacing which I buy in bulk from eBay every few years.


Recognise the vintage Scottish Plume brooch?


 Another jumble sale leftover as the pin had broken. I've made do with a safety pin here but I'll do a proper job using an old brooch eventually.


The best thing about making your own clothes, other than creating something totally unique for  pennies?  Its getting emails and Facebook messages from women who've read my blog and been inspired to have a go at dressmaking themselves. Even with no training whatsoever (like me!) you'll be amazed at what you can knock up if you give it a try.


Go on, I dare you!


Now its back to the day job, repairing a mountain of clothes ready for our debut at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair this Saturday (see HERE) . Thank goodness for my thrifty ways, all those replacement buttons and zips would cost a fortune if I hadn't salvaged them for free.

Me-made cape worn with vintage Compass, Australia lurex maxi (courtesy of the lovely Nelly who no longer blogs), 1960s tapestry & vinyl bag (£1, car boot sale), River Island leather knee high boots (£2, Salvation Army)

See you soon!

PS I pinched the title from my sewing bible Yeah, I Made It Myself  by Eithne Farry. 

65 comments:

  1. That's a gorgeous bit of fabric, and so very you. And it goes so well with the dress (which sort of looks like it would make a great sofa).

    When I did a printmaking course, it always amazed me what pretty things could be dug up from the rag bag, I still have a blouse I rescued... I love those Eithne Farry books, I keep looking at them longingly in the bookshop.

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  2. I love how creative you are Vix. The caplet looks great! x

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  3. What a great eye you have (love the finished cape!), and now I'll be on the lookout for interesting buttons at yard sales and flea markets.

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  4. Another reason that I love you, upcycling and repurposing clothes and things! Yeah, I'm using trendy terms. Hehehe! ;)

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  5. Another brilliant piece by the very excellent sewing magician Vix.

    I love the layering of patterns together. 3 different ones with the bag. So eclectic.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  6. You are looking very Autumnal today Vix, in your shades of yellow, brown and orange. Great job on the capelet, it looks fab! That dress is a beauty too.

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  7. I feel a sewing mood coming on , your cape looks really good , I might finish that winter dress i started last year , if it still fits me lol xxx

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  8. That's a yummy cape, and you look smashing in it. xox

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  9. Oh be still my envious heart, Vix stop making this look so easy! This caplet is a thing of beauty and original is an understatement! I love the pattern, print colors everything is friggin amazing! One in every color print imaginable, I think you need to add this your line of goods, for reals it's gorgeous like you!
    Can't wait to talk tomorrow!
    I love you!
    Xxxxoooo

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  10. I love the capelet. I've just made my first cape and have visions of making a shorter capelet when I've spotted the perfect fabric.

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  11. as a basic non-sewing person this just thrills me. i can sew a straight edge but have the worst time with my actual sewing machine. threading it is the worst and it always comes unthreaded while sewing. is this normal? i have no idea but you def have inspired me again vix. you look beautiful!

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  12. You have only been sewing for seven years? Incredible! And look at how perfectly you matched the stripes.

    I am thinking of knitting up a short poncho for the winter. My aunt had made me and my sisters ponchos back in the 60s, and I really want one again. You inspiration, you!

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  13. You should patent Ragbag Rescue lol - new buttons are the best for making something meh sing again. Some of my clothes are held together with iron-on interfacing :) Fab capelet, fab book. A noodle around the webbisphere can turn up some really good DIY projects... Eithne Farry here!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUOl2WwQ8gE

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  14. That's a pretty piece of fabric you have repurposed but what really caught my eye was your Scottish feather brooch thingy - I love it!
    Betty

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  15. Wow, you rock Vix! What a beautiful creation. :)

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  16. Loving the cape, the fabric is stunning, and look how well you've lined up the pattern! Brilliant fastening too. It's definitely the right way to go, collecting all the notions and buttons for next to nothing, the price of all that stuff new can add loads to the price of a project. As always, you have a great eye for what will work best for any given fabric, and the combination of the cape and dress is superb. And you KNOW I'm going to have bag envy (I'm still mourning the theft of my 1960s black tapestry/vinyl bag, I really need to get over it, don't I?!)
    Maybe I'll get something sewn over half term, I'm letting the side down badly by being so slow.
    Not tonight though - The Apprentice instead! Love ya! xxxx

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  17. That's an ace use of an old beadspread. It definitely doesn't look bedspready now though! And I bet it will be lovely and cosy :)

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  18. you are a genius at the sewing machine!
    that cape is sooo cute! and of cause i spotted the scottish brooch! love such things!
    just finished shooting (the lack of daylight and a photographer made it a job) my new renovated 2.hand wool suit........
    you and me are totally lost for the fashion industry
    :-D
    xxxxxx

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  19. Wow! I love your caplet. It looks amazing.
    Dx

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  20. Oh, that turned out perfect! I love a good cape, as you know! :)

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  21. What a brilliant cape. It looks great on you and so smart. xx/Madison

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  22. Feck me backwards! Is there nothing you can't do? This bedspread capelet is nothing short of bloody marvellous. Love everything about it...the design, colours and fabric, all stunning and the military fastening is a perfect alternative (or even an improvement, I'd say) when one lacks a frog fastener. Hope you've got something yummy for dinner xx

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  23. That is utterly beautiful! What a splendid idea!!!! X

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  24. What a great job you've done with the cape! I can totally see you flaunting it around throughout Fall!! :)

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  25. i came across your blog awhile ago, as i was looking up images of 'vintage suede coats', and think i've gone through nearly your whole archive at this point…thank you for sharing your beautiful, colourful life!
    love from canada

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  26. Pretty look! I love both the style and the combination of colours and prints of the capelet your very own retro haute couture! Best wishes for Kinky Mellon's debut at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair this Saturday!

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  27. Oops! Sorry for not proof-reading. I meant to say "I love both the style and the combination of colours and prints of the capelet and your maxi-dress comprising your own beautiful retro haute couture outfit!" Sorry, I seem to be fumbling with my verbiage. Regardless, your outfit is gorgeous!

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  28. Feck YES! Love this capelet! I have a pile of fabric earmarked for capes and capelets (love the word), and one of these days I'll bloddy get to it when I'm not distracted by square dance frocks! The fabric is perfect, and I love the fastening.
    Hurrah for being inspirational! Even if only to do hems, a teensy bit of sewing know-how is invaluable!
    That fucking bag KILLS me, I love it so much! Digging the Scottish brooch thing too! (I want to say Scotch just to be annoying...but I won't...ooops)
    HUZZAH!
    Love Helga XXX

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  29. Magnificent Vix. How many people could look at a cut up old bedspread KNOWING it could be an awesome cape? Your cape is unique and so are you. Inspiring people is a gift! xxxx

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  30. Oh I love this! The capelet is so cute and looks fantastic and the feather brooch - amazing! I love your sense of style Vix, it always inspires me to be myself! - Tasha xxx

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  31. This outfit is so beautiful. That wonderful red dress with your amazing homemade capelet, you look like a medieval Queen in sparkly brocade and tapestry. See, I would never have looked at that scrap of fabric and seen that outfit in it. I especially love the way you have modified it to fit what you have, most ingenious. I wonder how the fab trim is going to be reincarnated. I don't know that book, but it must be good if it inspires you. I am hoping to fit a bit of sewing in this weekend. Good luck at Judy's, i think they are quite well known, so hopefully will attract the throngs. Xxxxxxx

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  32. A stunning combination of colors and patterns, Vix! The military closure is so much more appropriate to this capelet's fabric than a frog (which would work with brocade), and suits the Scottish brooch's pert attitude.

    I cherish my mum and grandmum's button hoards in old French apothecary jars. Not a seamstress for many years now; however, I do substitute vintage buttons as faux cuff links and placket decorations.

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  33. This outfit is amazing! Love how you combined all together with this gorgeous purse too. You are such a vintage & thrifting & sewing creative goddess! You look beautiful, dear, keep shining on and inspiring others! xxxxx

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  34. I like the closure you made instead of the frog. That means your a designer now. Always take the buttons, zipper, trim, etc off of old rag bag clothes. Buttons hardly ever break and can be used over and over again. Yeah, to sewing!

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  35. I love this look. Like a turn of the century - get out of my way- I mean business - beauty. Does that make sense? Probably not. But you look amazing in your made it yourself cape. You have me eyeing the furniture covers in my house as possible clothing!

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  36. That color is a great match for your hair and complexion. And btw, you have the healthiest looking dyed hair I have seen!

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  37. Wonderful! The fit is perfect and I love the brooch with it.

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  38. If you get two comments from me it's because I love this cape so darn much, and not because my iPad did something silly like eat the first attempt!

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  39. Hi my dear! Totally gorgeous the fabric is very very nice and the capelet looks fabulous, well done indeed xx

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  40. Thank you sooooooooo much for your words, such a clear mind, my dear Vix.
    Love your craftmaship in everything you touch
    Tons of love and admiration ALWAYS
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  41. What a fab make Vix! I love little capes. I'm itching to get sewing again but my pedal has broken :(
    x

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  42. Absolutely gorgeous! Well done Vix :-)

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  43. Oh my heart! what a beautiful cape! oooooh you have got me pondering now if I should have a bash at one (I do love my capes!) it's so gorgeous with your maxi, colour I need right now - I'm looking forward to more sewing after I've made the girls Halloween outfits, it's quite a thrill to make something yourself! ps still gutted I didn't get to Walsall, it looked bloomin' fantastic x x x

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  44. I love it ... another clever creation from Vix ... that should be your next title ;0)
    xx

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  45. Hi Vix Gosh, I love your caplet you made. What pretty fabric too. :-)

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  46. You are the Queen of reusing, repurposing and of course, of vintage clothing! I love the colours of this outfit and the way your lips match it! My pile of things to mend, alter or figure out what to do with sits on my closet shelf and mocks me. I have good intentions but then I go and paint or write instead.

    Oh I love that bag too!
    xoxo

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  47. That cape is absolutely gorgeous, and the brooch looks perfect on it. You're truly inspiring, for so many reasons.

    Have a wonderful weekend. ♥ xx

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  48. You amaze me with how you can see the potential in a bed cover that is going to be ragged! I am also amazed at you not having to buy a zip or cotton for all those years, that is amazing. This is why you are such an inspiration Vix, you have such good vision for everything. Good luck at your next market.

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  49. the cape is so awesome! ...but the bag i wanna love to steal from your closet!

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  50. Isn't sewing the best? I haven't made an item from scratch for years. I feel the itch!
    Lovely use of the fabric, and I'm sure the fringe will surface in some other amazing creation.
    I also enjoyed reading your last post about the bloggers day out. I can just imagine the ruckus!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful day, and town with us on the other side of the world. xo JJ

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  51. I love that fabric so it would have been a tragedy to consign it to the rag trade - love that you made it into a cape! Love your maxi too xxx

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  52. Wonderful as ever Vix! I always love the idea of capes but I know they'd bee to impractical for me IRL - I need to be able to sling my bag over my shoulder out the way for instance. You've got me inspired though, I'm eyeing my vintage bedding stash...

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  53. As a lover of caplets, this creation is a beauty. Brilliant use of gorgeous found fabric! The Scottish Plume brooch is the perfect access to your glorious color combination. Brava!

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  54. I've had that book for a few years and made sod all. I really must have a bash. You look lovely.
    twiggy x

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  55. My eyes are boggling this is so brilliant! I love the colour and the little fastening is so wonderful. Those Scottish brooches are so lovely too, I've picked up a few over the years at car boots; they always seem to go perfectly with Autumnal outfits. XX

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  56. The caplet is wonderful and I just love the bright yellow and blue together quite a fav combo of mine. I'm certainly itchy to give sewing more of a go at the moment. I've recently bought a simply pinny pattern the op shop. But just the other week I'd some transformations and turned a maxi dress into a maxi skirt and a round retro fringed tablecloth into a a circle skirt. My sewing and techniques need work but I'll get there.

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  57. Love this Vix, both the fabric and the design. If you ever give sewing lessons count me in!

    X x

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  58. Oh gosh I love everything about this outfit. The frock, the bag, and that cape. It looks amazing on you. Sometimes I feel capes don't look so flattering on but this one is such a lovely shape. Well done. You most certainly inspire me to play one the sewing machine. Xx

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  59. YAH!! The fabric of your frock and new caplet are MADE for each other! I am so happy your blog makes more women want to sew. To be honest, even if you doubt your sewing abilities, whatever you make will be better than something from the "high street" stores. Also for me personally, being a professional who works with their brain all day (well so they tell me....) I love sewing because I can create things that people can see and use and its so satisfying. I also love that you save all those sorry wee zips and findings! This post just makes me happy :D

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Love from Vix
xxx