Men’s Bias-Plaid Wool Cape


Capes are back!

I’ve made all kinds of men’s outerwear over the last few years — anoraks, parkas, pea coats, varsity jackets, raincoats — but I’d never made myself a cape. Readers, it was time, and what better cape season than fall?

At Mood’s NYC store, I’d recently purchased four yards of beautiful plaid wool coating in red, creamy white, and blue. (Mood’s extensive online selection of wool plaids can be seen here.)  This was a large-scale plaid and needed to be used in a garment with enough drape that the repeat of the pattern would be apparent. After much experimentation, I decided that this plaid really needed to be cut on the bias.  Fortunately I had enough yardage to make this happen. (Plaid patterns usually require more fabric so the criss-crossing stripes can be matched.)

My pattern was a combo of an out-of-print Vogue cape pattern and a Daisy Kingdom unisex parka pattern (mainly for the hood).


Working with bias fabric is definitely more challenging than using the straight grain: bias tends to stretch, so I had to be careful to interface my front edges to stabilize them before carefully hand-basting the (two-way) front zipper in place.  I decided to shape the sides of my cape so my hands would be visible, and as a result the cape has more of a poncho-like shape.  To showcase the bias, I cut the back as one piece, rather than the two pieces the Vogue pattern called for.   I worked hard to match the two front pieces at the center.

Naturally, a large-scale bias plaid is not for the shy.  Still, it’s cheerful — just the thing to add some vibrant color on a gray day.  I love it!









Anybody out there also feeling the plaid cape love this November?

See you next month!




  • Connie Turner
    November 25, 2016

    This cape is spectacular. I would love to own and wear it myself. Good work, Peter. BTW congratulations on your new title of Uncle.

  • Pat gardner
    November 25, 2016

    Absolutely flawless work in that cape ! It is gorgeous !

  • AM
    November 25, 2016

    Stunning cape, you did a great job and it looks amazing. I want one too!

  • Annushka
    November 25, 2016

    I love it too!

  • Chris Griffin
    November 25, 2016

    It’s gorgeous!! Your abilities to pattern-make and see the design are amazing. I was fairly anti-cape, however your version is immaculate and classic. I hope someday to have even a touch of your skill and grace.
    PS- If you published this pattern, I would pay for it!

  • Lauren
    November 25, 2016

    Oh, this is beyond awesome. Great job!

  • wendi
    November 26, 2016

    I love capes and you’ve made a beautiful one. The only problem for me with a cape is carrying a purse. It’s either gotta be a tiny cross body bag to “hide” under the cape or a hand held number which is often not practical. Great job!

  • Fiona
    November 26, 2016

    You look so fantastic as always Peter! Great idea to use the plaid on the bias, it really makes the most of it and works with the circular shape of the cape. Love the shaping to show your hands too, your projects are always so well thought out

  • Robyn
    November 26, 2016

    It looks great! This is one of my favourite makes from you for sure, well done!

  • Ustabahippie
    November 26, 2016

    Fabulous!! I think leaving the hood unlined looks great…if you can stand that wool around your face and neck.

  • Danvillegirl
    November 26, 2016

    I love your cape, very impressive!!! I have not been one for plaids, but seeing so many sewists and fashion mags showcasing garments in plaid, I am going to have try making something using them.

    Great job as usual.

  • Annushka
    November 27, 2016

    OMG, I just noticed your shoes — your cape matches your shoes! First I must get two-tone shoes, then . . .

  • Misty Wright
    November 28, 2016

    This cape is spectacular ! Great job

  • Cennetta
    December 2, 2016

    Nice job! Love the hood and the bias cut of this beauty.