Amanda vs Tessuti New York Cape

Names have always been important to me. People I love get super awesome rad names that I feel denote their splendour. People who are my nemeses (rude lady at the café, I’m looking at you) earn names of disdain and jerkiness. And for some reason material possessions that I am fond of get named as well. My first car, a purple and pink Mini, was Mable. My laptop is Gregor. So it stands to reason that the most delicious Angora wool of yumminess got a name. So let me take a moment to formally introduce you to Captain Bunway, my Tessuti New York Cape of Awesome.

 Tessuti New York Cape

The Captain (as he shall be known forthwith) has been hanging in my stash since Frocktails last year. And all credit for this purchase goes to the lovely Kat (this post is totes thanks to your enabling!) who convinced me it is perfectly fine for a lady to add 1.5 metres of Italian boiled angora wool to one’s stash if it is 50% off. This is the softest fabric I have ever felt and it feels like an old soft teddy bear you just want to hug all day. Nawwwww….

 Tessuti Cape Happy

I had been toying around with a few outerwear patterns over the last few months trying to find the perfect fit. In the end it came down to the Woodland Stroll Cape from Lisette and the New York Cape from Tessuti Fabrics. What cinched it for me in the end was the hood. Winter in Canberra is like the Frostilicus episode of the Simpsons and I wanted the ability to keep my head all toasty.

 New York Cape Back

Technically the construction is pretty easy and the instructions are illustrated with some photos. Win! But this wool felt like it deserved super special treatment so what could have been a solid weekend project turned into an odyssey. I took this down with me to Sewaway where I managed to spend three whole days working on it and was only made it two thirds of the way through the steps. I know, right?! I found there is something immensely gratifying to taking your time with construction on a project like this in an environment with thirteen other sewists egging you on. I mean, where else could you spend oodles of time chatting/interpretive dancing/providing commentary to movies while still getting things done?

 Tessuti Cape Grin

The biggest time vacuum on this project was the bias binding. All twelve metres of it. Don’t get me wrong. The insides of my cape of wonder are one sexy beast. I may seriously contemplate wearing this bad boy inside out. But damn they took an age. I don’t have one of those fancy binding feet so everything was pinned on, sewn down, folded over and carefully sewn again. And because I was in the mood for crazy levels of attention to detail I was going back and unpicking any original stitches that didn’t look perfect. Seriously. No wonder this took so dang long. And if I may offer any words of wisdom to future rad cape sewists- HAND STITCH THE WOOL BINDING. It is gorgeous but deserves the special treatment. Trust.


The hood is my favourite part of the cape. The inside is an absolute delight I added a second line of top stitching along the edge of the hood as I could not get the wool to sit flat. I think it looks tops but then I am easily entertained…

 NEw York Cape Hood

I did end up shaving 1.5cm off the bottom hem as my facings shrunk when they were fused. If I have only one pro-tip for this project, peeps BLOCK FUSE THE CRAZY OUT OF YOUR FACINGS!!! Due to the size of the remnant I didn’t have any room to block fuse and my left facing shrank a bit. It was not pretty when I basted the front to the fusing. Quasimodo would have been sending this back for the hunchy hem. The resultant hem redrafting was terrifying but it turned out in the end. Phew!

Schmee Photobomb

The big problem for me with this project was the button holes. My poor new Janome barely managed to get the four holes done before it locked up and the buttonhole function stopped working. But on the upside the ones I did make look tops! To ensure the button holes were super stable on the angora some tearaway facing was used to keep the stitches super stable. Yay for sneaky stabilising tricks!

 New York Cape Facings

What I liked about this pattern:

–       The rad bias binding inside. Hong Kong seams for the win!

–       The hood. A lady needs to keep her brain meat snug and warm.

–       The whole dang thing. Is that even a point? I am making it one!

What I would change for next time:

–       Hand sew the bloody wool binding on. That stuff is too pricey not to.

–       Use black interfacing for dark colours. I didn’t think it would matter but it does.

–       BLOCK FUSE! *twitch*

See also:

Top Notch, Boo Dogg & Me, Sew Brunswick

 NEw York Cape Tessuti

New York Cape

Pattern: New York Cape Pattern by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: 1.5m Angora boiled wool from Aztec Fabrics; interfacing in stash

Notions: 8 x leather covered buttons; 6.5m x satin bias binding; 5.5m x wool binding; thread ninjaed from Lizzie’s stash

New York Cape Hood Close Up

Overall, I am seriously in love with this cape. As in, this is one of the items I am most proud of making. It looks rad, it feels amazing (people keep patting me!) and it is super useful. I call that the trifecta of awesome, people! And in the crazy cold weather Canberra has been experiencing lately it pays to have a warm wool layer on. Taking the photos for this post was 1.7 degrees. Brr!


What? A lady needs to keep her face meat snug!



  1. OMG this is the awesome cape of awesomeness! i love it amanda. your bias binding is so neat! mine never looks like that. is that just a case of taking your time with it or is there a trick?

    • Why thank you, milady! My pro-tip for the satin bias binding is simply time. I may have gotten a little bit obsessed. My wool binding is a bit sub par though – I would seriously recommend hand stitching that bad boy!

    • The Captain thanks you for your kind words 😉
      And I’m not sure anything could penetrate the meanie pantsness of my cafe nemesis… Though maybe he may be strong enough?!

  2. I think this might be your most amazing make ever. The fabric is PERFECT and very pettable and OMG when Siobhan was stroking my angorraed shoulder last night when I tried it on I almost didn’t give it back. I have the Style Arc Cover cape pattern and I want to make it for next winter but It will definitely never look as fine as this beast of Captain.

    • Thank ye, lovely! I am so freaking proud of him 😀 You seriously need a cape- this is all I am wearing this winter. Shizz be getting AWESOME!

  3. You are so right about the dark interfacing – I so wish I’d done that. I too didn’t think it would matter but it does. But back on point – this is BEAUTIFUL and so damn strokable. Love the Captain and can’t wait to stroke it again.

  4. Wow! Look at that beauty! The Captain’s handsomeness is undeniable. I can totally see all the time and love you put into this: this will last you forever. Great work!

  5. I want to come to Canberra so I can meet the Captain! And you of course 😉 I feel the need to make this cape but I need to find a suitable non wool fabric first

  6. The Captain is amazeballs! My shop-bought floppy knitted cape pales into insignificance alongside the cap’n… And I am green with envy. I want a proper captain cape of my own!

  7. Absolutely smashing! What a fantastic job you’ve done- pretty boring at the time but how good does it feel knowing you went back to unpick the binding you weren’t happy with?
    I picked up some magenta-ish coating from the salvos last week for the grand sum of $9.25. Was thinking of New York simply because all the extras are so expensive & this might be the most economical way to give it a go. The pattern’s been gathering moss in my pattern stash for a good few years already… :s Seeing your lovely version has pretty much made up my mind 🙂

    • Mmmm magenta coating! I won’t lie- the binding is time consuming but it is so fun to make it is worth it! Besides, how fierce would a magenta cape be?!

  8. You and The Captain look very happy Tennille! I tried on a sample of this cape in Tessuti a few months ago and I LOVE it! Well done…I’d love to make a “slow-going” project like this…and yay for warm head meat!

  9. I bow before the Captain. I am perfectly inspired and have the image of quiet evenings, meditatively hand stitching wool binding onto an awesome cape of my own that I shall, one day, introduce to him. … or I might line the magnificence of a hooded cape and swear less… Perfect work Amanda.

  10. Brain meat!!! bwah haha!! You m’lady are brilliant and always manage to cheer up my day. I just love the Captain and am pretty sure people keep patting you ‘cos you are telling them to!! (yep I’m on to you!!)
    Your cape of awesomeness is perfection, all the time and effort were totally worth it. Love the leather buttons, perfect choice.
    Now get that damn Janome into the naughty corner!! Bastard machine!

    • A big thank you for the perfect top stitching thread- that stuff was epic!
      And seriously, my Janome and I are on the way to splitsville. I seriously got it serviced when I was in Japan and the bulb has blown twice and now the button holed stopped. Grrr!

  11. The bomb, Amanda, the bomb!!! This looks fab and cozy and makes me want to get off my arse and sew my version. Yep I’ve had everything ready to go for quite a while and just haven’t started. All that binding, ugh. But you’ve reminded me that my Singer Featherweight has that binding foot thingy. Yeah! Might take some of the pain away. And when you say “sew the wool binding by hand” do you mean sew it by machine to the inside, then “flip” to the outside and hand sew it to the outside? What stitch would I use? I’ve heard the recommendation a few times, but this is the first time I’m asking. Love it, go you cosy thing!

    • Thank ye, lovely!
      The wool binding is a simple fold over. As in you make the binding into a taco shape and pop the fabric inside (it’s not the sew fold sew like cotton or satin bias binding). I found it is very delicate and warped easily even when sewing very very slowly and with pins aplenty. It still looks fine but not on par with the rest of the cape. I would suggest trying out the binding first and see how you go 😀
      And cape it up lady!!!

  12. Love it! It looks so warm and snuggly – well worth the splurge in my book. I hand-stitched the wool binding on mine and love how it looks. Enjoy wearing yours – you totally deserve it!

    • Your cape is so tops, Rachel! I love it! Here is to staying warm this winter! Even with wonky wool binding on my account teehee!

  13. Fuqing fantabulous!!! In so many ways. Slow sewing totes pays off, right? You were a machine on this make. I’m so loving it. Stay warm you fabulous thing!

  14. OMG that looks so dreamy (and warm!). It makes me long for a red wool coat little red riding hood style (is that ridiculous on a grown woman?)

  15. This is just gorgeous, I love it! You can totally see al the extra love & care you put in it. This must be the best looking Captain I have ever seen 😉

  16. All hail the captain! I wanna pet it too. Can I reach out across the Internet? Expensive I guess but worth it! Did you say 8 buttons? Are four hidden?

  17. I can never tell if my comments have worked and I’ve just disappeared off to be moderated or if I’ve been deleted by the Internet gods

  18. Woohoo! You must be totally rocking that city! My memories of a Canberra winter were a sea of BORING er I mean Classic black wool or leather coats. It definitely needed lightening up. Thank goodness you’re there to do it 😀
    The fabric sounds most divine, too, I must say.
    Where were the photos taken? It’s so beautiful. I do so love that about Canberra and the surrounds.
    And also I’m glad you’ve moved. I’ve been reading along but gave up trying to comment because of having a fight with blogspot every time I tried. I did work it out in the end but you’ve moved now which is even better!

    • Canberra is really starting to come into its own now- lots of great events and noms and super styling people. This lady is trying to keep up with them all 😉

      • I remember lots of great events and things to do. Especially dancing things. Mmmm. I had such a ball, it was rare to have a night in 🙂 If it’s even better now, you mustn’t be sleeping at all 😀

  19. This is lush! I’m totally making this for myself this autumn now, I have some gorgeous wool fabrics in my stash that have been handed down to me from my mother – In fact I can think of at least 6 wool or wool blend fabrics in my stash that this would be perfect for. (And I have a fancy new binding foot that I want to play with).

    • Ohhh, the binding foot will so be your friend! Give in to it for this project 😀 And best of luck with your cape- it is such a rad pattern!


  1. […] days of sewing wizardry. Last year at Sewaway I worked on one project solid for the whole time (Captain Bunway the Angora Cape!) so I decided to mix it up this year and go multi projects: my quilted sleeve Linden Sweatshirt, […]

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