Fashionable Capes for Spring and Summer Wear

The current fashion of Capes and Mantles differ from their predecessors, principally in the length and fullness worn; attention being directed more to the trimming and braiding, of which there are several elegant specimens to be seen in the shops of well-known caterers to this branch of the trade. The styles we have chosen for this issue are of the plainer types, these being of more practical utility to our readers than those of the fanciful styles which are more frequently made by dressmakers and drapers.


Figure 1 shows the combination of the Half-Circle and Three-quarter circle cape, tastefully trimmed with three or four rows of narrow braid. the collar is of the new Medici shape, and is fastened at the neck with a tab with two holes and buttons. the length of the former is from 20 to 25 inches long, whilst the latter is cut to come slightly below the shoulders.

Figure 2 shows the latest adaptation of the Three-quarter Circle cape, with a frill or hem seamed or stitched along the bottom. The jointure or seam is covered with a row of braid, but this must be accomplished to harmonise with the general style of trimming, rather than the purpose of utility served. The frill must be cut much fuller than the bottom of cape, otherwise the style and character designated will be lost. A reference to Diagram 2 shows how this is cut. If the frills depicted on the illustration are required to be more pronounced, this may be done by shortening the cape and increasing the depth of the hem. The reverse operation is effected if the opposite is desired. The measure necessary to draft these capes are few and simple, viz, the length, the size of the neck, and the breast measure. We will suppose these to stand thus; Length, 25; neck, 15; breast, 36. Draw line O 25½, and mark off from O to 2½ inches. this may be taken for the average slope of the shoulder, reducing it for square shoulders, and increasing it for sloping shoulders. O to 25½ the full length desired, plus ½ inch; square lines across from O 2½. O to 2½, one-sixth of neck; mark up ¾ inch, and shape back neck.

2½ to 6, one-sixth of breast; connect points ¾ and 6.

Make 6 a pivot, and sweep from ¾ to C.

Take out a V equal to one-twelfth of breast, 3 inches.

Measure out in a line from C, and mark out to S one-sixth of neck, and continue line O 25½ up far enough to square lines S, H, G at right angles.

S is the same distance from point H that O is.

Make S a pivot, and sweep for gorge from C to H.

To find length of side deduct the shoulder slope (2½ inches) and place it on point 6, measuring down to N the same length as at back. For the front, measure from C to G the length of back, plus ¾ of an inch.

Three-Quarters Circle Cape. This, as will be seen, is cut much shorter than the former, and consequently more full, which necessitates a somewhat different arrangement. There is no V taken out on the shoulder, the shoulder seam being dispensed with altogether.

We commence with point O as in the former instance, measuring out to 2½ one-sixth of neck, and rising ¾ inch.

From ¾ to P is one-sixth of neck.

From O to 1½ is 1½ inches.

Now draw angle of front edge from 1½ through P E to A.

From P to E is one-sixth of the neck measure.

Now arrange the length at points B, M, and A in the same manner as the Half circle Cape.

No provision is made in either of these capes for buttoning, so that if this mode of finish is required, a button stand must be added on.

Both backs are generally arranged on the crease, though if the length of the former cape deters this, a seam down the centre of shoulder from O to N may be added.

The lining is generally of a contrast colour to that of the material, and if the fronts are finished with hooks and eyes, this is brought to the front edge. If the fronts are arranged to button, a narrow facing is sewn along the edge for the holes and button, as well as to impart a firmness essential to this style of finish.

The materials worn are various, comprising all shades and colours, although blue, grey, and drab cloths are mostly seen in wear. Many of the firmer cloths of the last named colour are ornamental with strappings and various designs, though this refers principally to those for winter wear.

The Collar. The collar is of the new Medici shape, although many favour the Panteen style, which undoubtedly rivals the former for smartness of finish. The foundation partakes of the Prussian style of collar, cut with a heavy fall, and slashed with a series of V’s to give the fullness of upper edge required. The method of cutting this is as follows:-

O to 7½, half the size of neck; O to 3¾, midway between O 7½.

7½ to 1, from 1 to 1½ inches.

From 1 to 2, the height of stand in front; O to 2, the height of stand behind.

O to 5 the depth of collar behind, shaping the upper edge according to style required. Now insert the V’s, starting from the sewing-on edge, and overlapping them 1 Inch or more, according to the length of edge required.


The August number of the Ladies’ Taylor will be of special interest; it will contain articles on West-End Tailoring. “Cutting by the ‘C.P.G’ System,” and the “Part Measure Method.” Some magnificent Plates of Fashion, and an Essay on “How to Make a Costume Skirt” by the First Prize Essayist, illustrated by diagrams.

One comment

  1. […] Capes for Women: Dracula isn’t the only one who can work a cape; they were once a fashionable choice for outerwear. Adapt your garb for any season with historical layers. […]

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