Carnaby Cape

Carnaby Cape

Winter is definitely here in the southern hemisphere and thanks to a recent pattern testing gig I’m feeling all prepared…


The Carnaby Cape is the Handmaker’s Factory’s debut pattern.  It features a neck opening fastened by two buttons and a tie, which threads through four bound buttonholes, to clinch it in at the waist.


The cape has was a real pleasure to sew.  The shoulder seams, neck facings and button band came together quickly, but then I opted for the slow and steady approach for the remainder.  I know I’m being all sewing nerdy, but I got such great satisfaction out of sewing the four bound buttonholes.


My practice bound buttonhole was rather wonky, so with the real deal I used a running stitch to mark the sewing start and finish lines (chalking these wasn’t accurate enough for my liking).   With bound buttonholes, accuracy is king!  I also found that hand stitching the welts together before top-stitching gave a much neater result.


Strangely enough, I also really enjoy top-stitching the waist tie.  Be warned though, it’s a thread eater.  For the record, I cut my waist tie 30cm shorter than recommended and it’s only just long enough.  If you’re planning on making the cape, don’t follow my lead, follow the instructions!


As mentioned earlier, the cape neck opening is secured by two buttons.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the cape only just goes over my large (23 inch or 58 cm) head.  I’m sure for most, this won’t even hit your radar, but if the case/container that carries your brains is big, consider yourselves warned!

My machine is usually a happy camper when it comes to buttonholes, but it refused to even attempt to sew through two layers of felted wool (the cape & the neck facing).  I opted to hand work the buttonholes.  By Gum, By Golly’s Making Buttonholes By Hand post was a life saver.  I used pearlised cotton to reinforce the buttonhole and worked the buttonholes with the same polyester thread that I sewed the garment with.  Let me just say, I got neater with each buttonhole (and there was even a practice one!).


My button placement wasn’t ideal, I so I sewed a sneaky little press stud (so sneaky you can’t even see it!) to keep the neck edges together.


I just realised I haven’t told you about the fabric…  it’s a felted wool that I picked up at the Clear It store on Brunswick Street over 12 months ago.  At the time I thought I was onto a good thing so I brought 3m.  With only 1m left, I wish I’d brought more as it’s now sold out!


Pattern:  Carnaby Cape (pdf only) by the Handmaker’s Factory’s 
Dark Forest Green Felted Wool from the Clear It (Alanah Hill) Outlet
My waist tie is 30cm shorter than specified.  Don’t follow my lead, follow the instructions!
Accessories:  Sophie Digard scarf from Scarlett Jones and yellow brooch from Elk.

Interested in purchasing this pdf pattern?  Until Wednesday June the 18th, you can receive a 10% discount by using the code: carnabycape

As this is a new pattern release, I thought you might like to see Carnaby Cape on another body type.  A big thank-you to my my lovely sister-in-law LH for modelling.  She looks great in it doesn’t she?  I beginning to think the cape might belong in her wardrobe more than mine!




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  • What a great winter pattern and I think it looks great on both of you 🙂

  • Ooh, it’s lovely! And they look like good tips for bound buttonholes, which I’ve never tried. I’m of the giant noggin variety too so another good tip! I love the look of the belt with all that stitching – worth the thread.

  • Wow outerwear! You are a pro Anna. This is lovely and I agree it looks fab on both of you. I’m thiinking of making a lightweight jacket (we are entering summer) but I’m thinking if the evenings when the sun goes own and you start to feel the chill in the air.

  • I want one!!! This is more fun than the average shapeless cape- must have!!!

  • That is one fab cape! Love it. When I was at clear it a few weeks back (the day after i saw you) they definitely had that super black boiled wool – might be worth checking. Was $10 a mt and I’m KICKING myself that I didn’t get any for a clover cape.

  • Wow those ound buttonholes are very impressive! I have a big head too, I have to buy all my hats in the menswear section!

  • OMG I need a cape for this fall! That is gorgeous!

    (I totally buy hats from the men’s section…but mainly because my head is big and those hats are larger)

  • Hi Anna, the cape looks great! I’m planning on making one (this winter I hope) and I was wondering how the raw edge works. I’m anticipating that would irk me and I’d have to add a hem facing or work out how to line the cape….

    • Thanks Shelley. I used a felted wool (as the pattern suggests) for my cape and the raw edges haven’t frayed at all. I must admit at the start of the project I was skeptical that the edges would hold (and yes, I thought it would irk me too) so I prepared metres of bias binding. In the end, I realised it wasn’t required so I’ve popped it away for a future project. I cut out the cape with my rotatory cutter so no jagged edges either. I always get jagged edges with my scissors…

  • Nice work on the cape – and I like the colour, wintry but still colourful. But my immediate reaction was that I love your scarf, and I recognise your buttons! I used them for Simplicity 2172. I also have a big head so thanks for the tip about that.

    • Thanks Kathleen. Sophie Digard scarves and accessories are so lovely, but quite the investment! I had a terrible time narrowing down my button choice for this project. I’m one of those people that often buys two button options for the same project as I can’t make up my mind in the shop!

  • […] Fabric:  Dark Forest Green Felted Wool from the Clear It (Alanah Hill) Outlet (leftover from this project) and trim from Darn Cheap Fabrics Alterations:  None! Accessories:  Bangle by Sonia Rykel […]

  • Absolute gorgeous,and so well made, WOW!!!