NOTE: My design is a lavender cape with purple tones and silver embroidery, but adjust as you need.
FIRST STEPS - EMBROIDERY
1. Cut out your cape. I always cut out my cape as a full circle, hence the 6 yards. But adjust as you need to. Remember, capes are just neck skirts. If you are going to line your skirt, do not line it yet; we want our craftsmanship to be clean as possible.
2. (Optional) I dyed my cape into a specific shade that I needed, but if you can get your fabric in the color you want, skip this step. But after dying your fabric, make sure you iron it out because it will make the embroidery process so much easier.
3. With your Janome Skyline S9 on embroidery mode, start decorating the entire perimeter of the cape. I used the preprogrammed designs on the machine and adjusted accordingly. With the embroidery option, you are able to import designs files into your machine via USB as well. This process will take a while if your skirt is floor length like mine.
MOVING ONTO FLOWERS
While your machine embroiders, which could take days, we will start making flowers from scratch. If you choose not to make flowers from scratch, skip this section. Remember, there are no right or wrong ways to do this. We aim for diverse looks and not uniform, as nature itself is diverse.
There are multiple tutorials online on how to make millinery flowers, so always look to those, but here’s the gist.
1. Cut your various organza and chiffon pieces into circles (does not have have to be perfect). Aim for various sizes.
2. With your candle flame, melt your circular edges. Most fabrics nowadays are made with polyester threads, so the flame will seal the plastic-based edges.
3. Hand stitch each circle on top of each other in various directions and folds with the base circle being flat.
4. No two flowers will be the same or perfect, and that’s completely okay. Hand stitch your flowers onto your cape. I stitched my flowers with the upper half condensed and scatter as it reaches halfway down at the elbows.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
1. After the embroidery and the flowers are all on the cape, cut out your lining in the same shape as your cape.
2. Pin your lining to the cape. Pinning is a given, but the flowers will make it difficult, which is why you need the pinning to ensure everything perfectly line up with each other.
3. With your HD9 machine, which can sew through multiple layers, start sewing the lining and the external cape fabric together! Some embroidery might get in the way, which is perfect because the HD9 can withstand the thickness.
4. Cut out your collar and sew (or insert the interface) to your own liking. The collar should be able to fit your neck. Attach it together via the HD9 machine.
5. After you successfully lined the cape, it’s time to add crystals, Start adding crystals everywhere onto the cape. I aimed to have the top and bottom parts of the cape condensed with crystals and disperse into the middle.
While the steps here seems fairly easy, I should also warn that it is very time consuming and would dare say that this is a master level of sewing because of the amount of patience you will have to undergo to achieve this perfectly.
And there you have it! A floral embroidered cape to match your fairy dreams. Keep on dreaming Janome sewists!