The first time I heard about London-based DIY couture by Rosie Martin was in this etsy’s Storque post where she shared her well-written tutorial on making a simple gathered skirt with clear illustrations and step-by-step photos. So I was very surprised when Rosie contacted me one day and offered me one of her books.
I chose book number two: How to make a cloak, which I thought would be perfect for the upcoming cold weather. This is actually part of twelve books collection on how to make different types of garments. The other books offered are pleated skirt, gathered dress, wrap top, shrug, straight skirt, grecian dress, jump suit, kaftan, trousers, hoody, and tulip skirt.
They are not like ordinary pattern books, but more of a set of step-by-step instructions with simple illustration and visual to show how to create a piece. Since they are not patterns, the instructions can be used for making garments in any sizes, even in kid sizes.
I’ve made sort of a cloak for Sidra sometime ago, but the way I used to construct it was more complicated than the instruction in the cloak book. This is so much simpler! I showed the book to Sidra and asked if he wanted a new cloak. Sidra immediately said that he wanted the black ‘Dracula’ cape in the cover picture. ‘And I want the inside to be red, Mama,’ he said (-_-)
I think the book is suitable for beginners who want to try making real wearable garments in fast and relatively easy way. It covers all the basic supplies needed to start making a cloak, and provides several useful pointers when shopping for fabrics. The instructions are presented in such a way that making garments doesn’t seem scary at all.
The cloak book also provides different variations that can be made and how to construct them. It shows how different materials, different lengths and details can make a big difference! I especially love the simple and stylish model photos in the booklet.
Although I don’t really consider myself a beginner in sewing, there’s a surge of inspiration coming to my mind after browsing the book. I’m thinking of making a cloak from jersey fabric with rolled collar and no fastenings , so it can just be pulled over one’s head. Or a romantic cloak with see-through lacy fabric for summer days. Or a cute short cape with ruffles and floral fabrics. And should I make one with black satin and red lining for Sidra? Umm… maybe not.
There are endless possibilities that can be made from one set of instructions! So many things I want to do, so little time….