Beautiful, bright red cloaks were common countryside wear for several decades during extended Georgian era. Well-established garb by the onset of the Regency, they lasted well into the 1830s, although they were somewhat out of style by then. They were made of wool and often had large hoods. They remained the cold weather “coat” of choice– much warmer than the Spencer or Pelisse, which sought to take their place in fashionable society.*
The Bennet sister’s cloaks in P&P2
were based on Diana Sperling’s
entertaining illustrations of life in
the country. Mrs. Hurst Dancing &
Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812-23
This cloak pattern comes from Mike Horrill, at Aldebaran. It uses simple measurements to create an amazingly authentic cloak. If a more detailed pattern is to your liking, try Simplicity Pattern 5794.
Cloak Making Guide.
The Semi-Circular Pattern.
This pattern is a little more complex that the basic rectangular pattern but it does produce a very nice cloak without too much effort. I have used it to make three cloaks so far and will probably make more in the future.
My favorite for this one is crushed velvet. Other than that I would recommend either cotton or poly-cotton. You can use pretty much any material but really cheap fabrics tend not to hang very well.
- 4 yards of 60 inch wide fabric.
- Some form of fastener.
- Chalk for marking out.
- A length of string (5 ft).
- Sharp scissors.
- Sewing machine. You can sew this pattern by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine but it will take a long time.
Take the fabric and cut out the pieces of the cloak as shown. It is possible to get all the pieces out of 4 Yds of fabric and have a small strip left at the end. To mark out the body sections use a length of string and a pin to act as a giant compass. (Make sure you don’t get stretchy string though!)
This pattern produces a cloak with a lined hood. The instructions here assume that the hood will be lined with the same material that the cloak is made from so that it will appear the same from both sides. If you want to line the hood with a different material simply cut two sections for the hood from the main material and two from the lining material you wish to use.
Body Sections (Cut 2).
Hood Sections (Cut 4).
If you are using a fabric which has a right and wrong side such as velvet cut half the pieces so that they are mirror images of the other half. If you are using a plain material it doesn’t matter as you can just turn the pieces over to obtain the mirror images.
Firstly take the two body sections and sew them together to form a semi-circle.
Next take the sections for the hood. Sew two of them together along the longer of the straight edges to form the shape shown below and repeat for the other pair (If you are lining the hood with a different material you should have one pair of the main material and one pair of the lining material). Now sew the two sections you have together with the back of the material towards the outside leaving it open along the edge indicated.
Now turn the hood the right way out. The next stage is to sew the hood onto the body of the cloak. Take your time lining the hood up so that the seam up the back of the hood lines up exactly with the seam along the back of the cloak or the cloak will look odd and the hood will tend to twist round while you are wearing it.
Once you have attached the hood hem up all the way down both sides and all the way along the bottom edge (this is where the sewing machine really comes in useful).
Finally attach the fastener just below where the hood joins the body of the cloak.
An alternative method of cutting the pattern for this cloak was suggested by Dave Pope.
Unless you LIKE running very long seams up the back of you costumes (eg. cloaks), I would suggest using the standard pattern cutting technique of FOLDING the fabric along the line that will form the center of the back (CB).
Not only does this reduce the number of cuts you have to make by half, but it also helps to ensure that both halves of the pattern are the same.
Also, by doing this you reduce the amount of fabric you need (see diagram below).