Monday, March 30, 2015

Pattern review: Pegee of Williamsburg cloaks pattern

I needed an 18th c. short cape to wear with my francaise gown for an event at the end of March. Evenings are still a little chilly, so outerwear is a good idea.  Something like this:

A google search led me to: 

Perfect!  Yeah yeah I could draft one using online sources, but I hate reinventing the wheel and this is exactly what I wanted.

I bought an old copy probably from the 1980s on Etsy.  It's printed on paper -heavier than the Big Three tissue, but not quite as heavy as Truly Victorian or the new Laughing Moon paperstock.  The directions have a few pictures, but nothing as detailed as Big Three patterns.  Basically, if you've made a cape before, you'll be fine because you know how to fill in the blanks such as clipping seam allowances, etc.  It offers a little information on cloaks of this era such as what each style was typically made of and for what events they were worn.

I made the capuchine view and it was pretty easy.  The hardest part was the pleating on the hood.  I believe there is an error:  Under "sunburst pleats" it says, "...making three pleats folded on top of each other."  For me, it was four pleats folded on top of each other.  Judy also used this pattern and had the same experience.  We either both misunderstood or it's an error.  Not a big deal.

back seam sewn up:

Turned right side out:

I repeated the same steps for the lining and sewed them together.

Here's the hood!

As you can see, it's not very large. You can't put that over a fancy tall hairstyle or wig.  So enlarge yours if you want to use it for such a purpose.  Simple solution!  Next time I will.

For the capuchine, they have 8 extremely narrow pleats to give it a curve around the shoulders.  I changed it to 4 slightly larger pleats because I was using a thicker style lining and it worked out just fine.  

So here it is!  Made of shot purple poly taffeta, quilted black silk batting for lining, black net lace trim, and black moire ribbon for ties.

Sadly, despite lining it with quilted batting, it was just not enough against the bitter cold winds the night of my event.  It was unseasonably bitter cold!  I ended up wearing my modern wool coat with the muff.  Oh well!  Best laid plans and all!

So here it is the next morning before we left to drive home...

Matching muff with rusched trim made using the pattern from The Lady Detalle

Hopefully Judy from Learning To Costume will post her experience making the full cloak version of this pattern!


  1. The only other issue I had with this pattern was how much pleating to do on the main body of the cape to attach it to the neckline. I followed the pleat markings on the pattern, and it was just way too big. It could have wrapped around my neck at least three times.

    I had to undo and re-pleat down to a much smaller size. It worked for the weekend but it can probably stand to be a little smaller. But it was warm so I was happy!

    Thank you again for letting me borrow the pattern :)

  2. Yes, the pleating on the long cloak is totally different from the pleating on the view I did. I will keep that in mind when I make the long version, thank you!!

  3. Oh what a gorgeous cloak. I guess I am going to have to start dressing Revolutionary so I can have the excuse to make one of these gorgeous things! You are so fun and adorable!

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