Vintage Butterick clutch cape

butterick 2556 clutch cape

Until I found the pattern for this I didn’t even realise there was such a thing let alone that I wanted one so much! On Googling ‘clutch cape’ one is presented with all manner of cape styles accessorised with a clutch bag but only one or two images of a vintage pattern oh and one fox fur version for a snip at $1,285.00! I can only assume it came into being and then disappeared from the world of fashion in a puff of smoke through lack of demand.

Well of course, that makes me love it even more!

butterick 2556 clutch cape pattern

The idea is that you can rest your hands in the naturally forming pockets where the shawl collar meets the hem. It is also the only way of holding it on in gusty weather as there is no other system of closure. But even without such gusts it does sit in place quite nicely due to the shaping of the shoulders.

There’s not much choice to be had in the Goldhawk Road faux fur range at the moment. I am assured that it arrives in October. But I don’t have patience of saints and I settled on this textured black fur fabric at £14.99/m. It only takes 1.25 yds but I bought 1.25m to be on the safe side and it was plenty enough. I like the pattern of the texture and it is actually quite silky for being faux.

butterick 2556 clutch cape

There’s some dart shaping on the fronts and back piece which you wont be able to see of course. And there is interfacing sewn into the collar to give a little structure. And so that if I want to look like a wicked stepmother it will stand up and stay up!

Youngest daughter tried to halt plans by saying it was plain weird and even Mr O made noises about me looking like Basil Brush. But they know full well that those kind of comments just roll off my feathered back!

butterick 2556 clutch cape back view

There is very little to construct and therefore it was very simple to make up, however I had to re-read the instructions to make sure I hadn’t missed anything re the lining insertion. The lining consists of the front and back pieces sewn in the same way; sewn together at the hemline, with right sides facing and then, having pressed the seam allowance all round, hand-stitched to the cape. Of course the problem that caused was that the lining was visible at the hemline. It needs to be shorter.

So, given my ever growing annoyance for things I’ve not done properly, I dutifully unpicked it (which is no mean feat if you’ve ever stitched lining to fur with small stitches!) and chopped off the seam allowance from the hemline and reattached. I could have gone half an inch more to be on the safe side but that seems to have done the trick.

It’s perfect for days like today, deceivingly sunny with a sneaky chill in the air. I haven’t begun any autumnal sewing yet and my polka dot Flora dress most certainly would not have got an outing today with bare shoulders. And it wouldn’t look out of place with an evening gown or ‘casualled’ down with a pair of jeans if that’s what takes your fancy.

butterick 2556 clutch cape front

In an effort to find a location with no gawping passers-by, these photos were taken down the side of Shepherds Bush Empire. I knew this building was quite old, built in 1903 in fact, but didn’t know that of all the acts performed there, Charlie Chaplin was one of them!

I was just saying to Mr O how sewing and blogging and photography has changed how we have taken notice of our surroundings. There is so much history to be had, right on our very doorstep!

36 thoughts on “Vintage Butterick clutch cape

    1. Indeed it could. Though I quite like that my arms are very free. I forgot that I have some long gloves which would have looked great paired with this. Next time!

  1. Oh how very smart looking 🙂 I love how these little capelettes look from the back, and how they make waists look tiny. You do have very cool settings around where you live, always so much visual interest 🙂 I love old buildings.

    1. Ha! I like that kind of comment, thank you. My waist is everything but tiny! And yes we are very lucky indeed. Just need to get out more to appreciate them!

  2. I do so look forward to reading your blogs – wonderful clothes, writing and photography. You brought pleasure to my Monday morning at work! x

  3. Boom boom! You don’t look anything like Basil Brush my lovely, elegant friend. I absolutely LOVE this Janene, in fact I may have to come begging to see if I can trace the pattern as I think I need one desperately!
    Jon and I recognised Shepherd’s Bush empire immediately btw. You look beautiful, even down a back alley! x

  4. I actually have a caplet similar to this pattern that my mother wore. It’s far too worn to wear, but I kept it for the pattern. Thanks for the inspiration. Love how your turned out.

  5. Ooo! I LOVE this! It’s so elegant, and looks like you pinched from Elizabeth Taylor’s wardrobe. Would it work with a hook and eye to close it at the front?

    1. Best comment ever! Thank you Lynne. And good suggestion about hook and eye. I saw some giant ones in Shepherds Bush market. Will investigate 🙂

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