Burda Style 10/2014 #146: Trench Cape

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The trench cape marries the dramatic shape of a cape while maintaining the classic details of a trench coat. It’s a staple and a standout piece in one fantastic amalgamation of style. Sadly, this pattern only comes in children’s sizes – one of the few perks to being a petite/ “tiny little Asian” lady. Here, I wanted to focus on one challenging aspect of this pattern and break it down so that it’s easier to understand. And that would be the double welt.

The eight sets of double welts.

Not only are there many welts to assemble, but these welts come in unusual sizes: two oversized ones for the hands to go through and four tiny, short ones to thread the belt through. (And to think that buttonholes can be made via double welts!) Diane Deziel’s Youtube tutorial helped me make sense of the process, so you can watch that for reference. The following will explain how to assemble one set of double welts:

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 1. Mark the outline of the welt onto the right side of the cape as indicated on the pattern pieces.

2. Your welt pieces should be cut as specified in the Burda Style instruction with seam allowances included. Run a basting stitch through one longer side of each welt piece in accordance with the seam allowance allotted. With right sides facing, match that basting stitch with the longer edge of the outline.  Place pins at the starting and stopping point. Sew along the guideline. It is crucial that you start and stop exactly where the outline begins and ends. Do that for both sides. Oh, and remember to backstitch for all your stitches!

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3. Once both welt pieces are attached, carefully cut through the centre of the box – up until a point. Each end will finish off in a triangular shape/ duck tail. Cut to the stitch, not through the stitch.

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4. Turn the welt pieces to the inside and press the seams open. Fold each welt piece so that the folded edges meet at the centre and press. It is likely that you’ll have excess fabric, but that can be trimmed later on. You can also press the duck tails as a guide prior to sewing them down. This will help to ensure that the corners of the welts form a 90 degree angle. Stitch the duck tails to the welts. Then sew along the longer edges of the welt. I’ve used a zipper foot here to get as close to the pre-exisiting stitching line given that the bulk of the welt is similar to the bulk of a zipper’s teeth.

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5. Trim off excess seam allowances and neaten with an overlock machine. Alternatively, you can finish the edges using the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine or trim with pinking shears.

6. Flip it over to the right side and topstitch at 0.7 mm – as per instructions.

7. Multiply that by 8, and you’re sure to become an expert at assembling double welts.

DESIGN TIP: Select components of the trench cape for contrasting details. For instance, I’ve utilized both sides of the fabric. The main components of the garment and the welts are done on the “wrong side” while the collar, flaps, shoulder tabs, and the pleat underlay are constructed on the “right side”. To prevent the contrasting details from appearing top-heavy, I balanced the look with the belt done on the “right side” as well.

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