A Cape to Match Aster

Here it is, the December Burda Cape! The cape that may have pushed me too far into crazy pet lady territory. I made Aster’s rain jacket first, in desperation, last winter after we brought him home and life was endless puppy walks in the rain. I used a coated cotton that had been in the stash a long time, and had enough left to make me something as originally planned.
I debated making the long version of the cape, but ultimately thought it would be too much lightweight fabric blowing around. I think that was the right choice, but I do wish I had added a few inches.

I left off the patch pockets and did not seam the arms, though I think I may go back and do it. I envisioned wearing this to work with my bag tucked up dry inside, but it’s really too short (my sweaters poke out!). If I’m not wearing it to work, a bit of anchoring would help–it’s windy up here on the coast! The other major design flaw is that the roomy hood blows off in the slightest breeze. I’ve put another snap right under the chin, which keeps it on pretty well.

This was my first time sewing with a plaid. I didn’t do so well. The pattern did include helpful match lines, but even then I wasn’t careful enough and there is some unfortunate seaming at the back and front bands. I hated it at first, but now barely notice!

I lined Aster’s jacket with a cheerful floral, and added a bit of bias at the cape neckline for a little more subtle matching. But the matching. I love it in theory, but was pretty self-conscious outside the house. It’s a little crazy, right? I think it will work, though. Aster doesn’t like his jacket so I only use it if it’s pouring, and in that case I would probably wear something heavier.

All together, I think it will be a great cover up for dog walking and running, particularly during the foggy days of summer. The fog can be so thick that you can’t really tell if it’s raining or just foggy, but with temps in the 60s it’s too warm for a jacket when exercising.

Side note: The amount of beige in these photos is alarming. This appears to be my photo spot, so I’d better figure something out! Curtains instead of closet doors, perhaps. The cat would like that, too!

Flowercat shirt

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I tend to totally fail at social sewing projects, but when Erin announced the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge I knew I had to jump on the bandwagon – a special cat is part of my identity after all! There’s a ton of great cat fabric out there, but not so much that I would wear, being the quiet, subtle, deeply inhibited person I am. Searching for Japanese fabric on Etsy saved me, though, and when I saw these little cats peeking out from fields of flowers I just had to have it. I wanted an Archer, but thought the print would be too loud by itself. Luckily, Rochelle’s western yoke modification came at just the right time and the whole project came together just like that. It’s got an extra special cat lady connection too, since Jen and Rochelle both have their own beloved cats!

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The cat fabric was made by Cocoland in Japan, and is heftier than quilting cotton but a bit lighter than canvas. It would have made a stiff shirt by itself, but it was perfect for the yokes. The rest of the shirt is a Robert Kaufman chambray that was dreamy to work with. Maybe it’s the experience or maybe it’s the well-behaved fabric, but this is the best shirt execution I’ve done yet.

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Most of the cats are smooth, but the one closest to the collar is all fuzzy with closed eyes! Eric thinks he’s probably getting stung by a bee, as Dandelion did a couple weeks ago…

I’ve been loving following everyone’s cat-themed projects on Instagram and am really looking forward to Erin’s round up. Thanks for hosting, it’s been really fun!

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Cat and moon sweater

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I am absolutely terrible at social sewing challenges and sew alongs, but when Erin announced the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge I knew I had to participate. I looked for cat fabric all over the internet, and settled on a Japanese print with little cats peeking through fields of flowers for a flowercat western Archer. But then I saw this double knit and decided to go ahead and get it too, just in case October flew by and I didn’t have time for a more involved project… and it’s a good thing I did because October is flying by. I may still get that Archer done, but it feels good to not have a looming deadline on something that’s supposed to be fun.

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These photos were taken in a southwest-facing room on a foggy morning. Even dress form photos are difficult in this house!

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I had visions of a cozy Cation Dolman Top, and ordered two meters of this 60″ wide cotton fabric to be absolutely sure that my sleeves would be long enough. Clearly that’s not what ended up happening – when I pulled it out of the dryer it had shrunk to half its original size! I ended up making a Renfrew instead, and made the sleeves as long as I could. I like the finished sweater, but I’m still a bit disappointed. The fabric is thick enough that I can’t wear anything over it, and with sleeves this short I’m worried about being too chilly…

For a knit tee this was also a difficult sew. The fabric has that double layer, and is so thick that the bindings are bulky and look homemade. The fabric also has a huge amount of stretch and near-zero recovery, which resulted in a seriously stretched out neckline. I added a hefty pleat center front, and I think it looks okay in the end, but ugh, this was not the breezy project I expected!

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I do love the print, though, and it’s very soft and cozy. I’m sure it will get wear, either like this or as a sleeveless tank under cardigans if this sleeve length proves to be too awkward. Hooray for cats!