Quite awhile ago a commentator on this blog left me a link to some red brocade they believed was quite close to Ruby's cloak on "Once Upon a Time." When I got a commission to replicate this cloak, my customer was willing to go with the $25 per yard price tag and when it arrived, lo and behold, I realized it was the exact same fabric used by the show's costumers! And wow, was it ever amazing! It's a damask velvet, polyester but very soft to the touch, and extremely thick and heavy.
I am no longer taking commissions for this Cloak. HERE'S WHY.
The fabric likes to fray (as anything velvety does) so I serge every single seam. Huzzah for sergers. In the picture above you can also see the interfacing we use for the hood brim and cloak border to give it the structure seen on the show's version.
Velvet is so interesting to work with, and velvet damask even more so!
It takes between 5 and 6 yards to make this cloak nice and full - and since it is a directional print, it requires some specific fussy laying out.
There is so much of this fabric, that it is way easier to use pattern weights (I use tuna cans) rather than pin it down.
I don't actually have my own replica of this cloak. However, I did make (finished with a friend's help!) a white version for my wedding:
(Why am I outside on a January night? Read more here if you want the story!)
Back to business. Both layers of the cloak have to have level hems before being sewn together. This can be easier to accomplish if I put the dressform up on one of my sewing tables.
A wise woman once gave me this tip: when gathering heavy fabric, don't use a basting stitch. Instead, zigzag over some dental floss, then pull the floss to gather as desired. This eliminates the high risk of thread breakage.
What was I gathering on this project? The hem of the cloak, so that it could be folded up and eased into the higher and thus shorter hem of the lining.
here you can see everything lined up, with the damask coming up on the inside to meet the lining.
Red has two cloaks on the show, and the damask cloak has two incarnations, one of them a repaired version. We decided to go with the undamaged version as it was simpler to work with. I didn't have to cut and rotate panels on the bottom, but I did still have to add borders along the front openings.
Her actual cloak also includes a ripple hem, which is a ton more work and which only took replicating once to realize I didn't want to do it again.
As close inspection of pictures revealed, the show's version included slits in the side front seams for the wearer's hands to emerge. I did a couple different variations to figure out the best method for binding the slits.
This was okay, but difficult to keep smooth and very time consuming. So I decided to finish them in the same method that you would do a bound buttonhole. It worked a lot better. This required narrower seam allowances - too narrow for serging, so...
All that was left was to sew the hood and cape together, and cover that final seam with a lovely red ribbon!
Voila! Look at all that scarlet!
I am no longer taking commissions for this cloaks (or any cloaks). Here's why.