A Velvet Cloak and Other Coats


Isn’t it lovely? I am very pleased with this – sorry for my lack of modesty….

It’s made from a pair of long velvet curtains which a kind  friend saved from being thrown into a skip. I’ve used most of the good parts of the curtains to make it. It’s three quarter circles and I used the method from DIY Couture by Rosie Martin to draw the wedge shapes – pivot & a piece of chalk. The hood pattern comes from this coat – Sewaholic’s Minoru Jacket.

Day 15

The lining was new fabric – it’s cotton I bought specially from a retailer of manufacturers’ overruns, end of lines etc. £4 a metre anyway. It looked just right because I like a fancy lining if I can get one. The buttons are handmade ceramic – I’ve been wanting to find a use for them.

The cloak isn’t a very practical coat. I imagine I’ll wear it now & again so it’ll probably last for ever. It’s one of those fun things that sewistas make from time to time, purely for the joy of it.

However, I was reading this post by Naomi at Spare Room Style and it made me think about wardrobe planning as an urgent matter. This was the scene in my sitting room this morning:


Drying my clothes by the fire

Yesterday was one of those days where it never really gets light. The temperature was between 2 & 3 degrees centigrade all day and the hens called it a day and went to bed about 3 o’clock. There was snow / sleet / rain/ howling wind and I had two coats and two sets of boots,some gloves and a hat to dry by the time I’d taken the dogs out, brought in the firewood and sorted out the hens. That was the absolute bare minimum outdoor work. My lovely husband is away at the moment so I’m doing it all myself.

One of the coats is not meant to be waterproof but it’s so thick that rain doesn’t usually get as far as me. The waterproof one sadly let me down. I reproofed it there & then (in the washing machine with Nikwax) but I know it won’t be long before the fabric won’t reproof. I’ve replaced the zip and experience tells me that the fabric will only go on for a year or two after that. So, to cut a long story short, I’ve decided to make a waterproof coat ready for next winter.

I’m thinking of the Minoru (see above wool version) but adding a pleat to the lower back so it doesn’t catch on my bike seat. I love that it has a hidden hood. All other suggestions welcome – I am inclined to keep on using patterns I like forever, so do please tell me what you would use.

And the weather?


Today it’s cold but dry and we had a delightful walk (and I’ve hung my washing out for good measure).

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x







Filed under Clothes, dogs, dressmaking, fashion, recycling, sewing, textiles, Thrift, upcycling

36 responses to “A Velvet Cloak and Other Coats

  1. Your plans sound great! And loving that your life also includes hens and bikes. A waterproof coat is on my radar too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brag all you want – that cloak is fabulous!


  3. It’s wonderful, and from curtains! just like Scarlett O’Hara’s dress she wore to see Rhett Butler. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I love your cape – can’t believe it was a pair of curtains! Looking forward to reading how you get on with making a waterproof coat, sounds like a good plan. (Also, I love the wellies with plants growing in them – how cool!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the cloak and what a great way to save cast off velvet curtains. Never did understand velvet curtains – velvet is furry and lovely and should be worn! Know what you mean about the waterproof coat – my coat isn’t waterproof anymore and did I find that out this week! Think we are just resurfacing from Monday’s deluge here. Think it’s supposed to be dry-ish for the rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Deb

    The buttons and inside fabric were lovely additions to your cloak. The dogs are doing a good job posing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norma: One day I’d love to see a posting of how you create the ceramic buttons. This is one of your signature touches. I’ve not come across any sewistas or custom dressmakers who vary the types of buttons used on the same garment.

    I think cloaks are lovely for home wear. Yes, the hooded cloak makes one very comfy when meditating or sitting for long periods of time such as when reading a very enthralling novel. I had a hooded terrycloth robe once that was not just a bathrobe it was an at home robe. I think a cloak can also serve as a leisure garment for times when one is lounging around and needs to keep warm.

    I hope you have many occasions to wear your cloak. The color is very becoming on you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The cloak looks amazing! I particularly love the buttons and lining, they add some wonderful interest to it.
    I sew with a person most of the time. I like to create things that I can mix and match with other garments and I always try and figure out what I missing. It makes my clothes much more wearable. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My red ripstop raincoat has actually been perfect for the mild weather we’ve encountered in the UK, but I did buy some really heavy duty waterproof fabric at Misan Textiles in Berwick Street. I haven’t been able to find anything like this in a year of trawling the internet. I look forward to seeing how your new coat progresses. I love your velvet cloak – the perfect end for a beautiful pair of curtains. The buttons are glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. If I haven’t found anything by then I will look there in March as we are going to London for a wedding. I think it’s a task for spring / summer.
      I need something tough & very waterproof for this coat. I’ve never done anything like it before so it’ll be a bit of a learning curve.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a luscious cloak! I’ll be interested to see how you get along with your waterproof coat too – can you even buy waterproof fabric? (she asks naively)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love it and it looks so luxurious! I should seriously make one. It doesn’t typically get cold enough here to need a winter coat but I’ll probably end up taking a trip north before too long so I’ll need something warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The fabrics and buttons for your cloak are fabulous! and very cute photo of your dogs waiting for you – looks like it’s time for a long walk!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Definitely much too beautiful for curtains!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post, Norma! I love your new velvet cloak, with its great hood and ceramic buttons. And that you have chickens. They must be a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree with the “Gone with the Wind” Comment. LOL. Love the cloak–especially the buttons. I too will be interested in seeing the waterproof coat. The dogs are so cute.

    Liked by 1 person

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