Cloaks and capes are a mainstay of any Renaissance, Civil War or Fantasy wardrobe. With cloaks, you have the full length and hood, whereas capes
are generally (although they don't HAVE to be) shorter and lack the hood although they usually do have a collar, sometimes draping from the shoulder across the back
to the underarm on the opposite side. Cloaks can be lined or unlined, lightweight, medium or heavy. Some were made of fur or were fur lined for warmth. My cloaks
come either lined or unlined - your choice. The fabric is variable, depending on the look desired. I have one cloak in the
works for a Lady to be ultra sheer, with a hint of luminescence and a window-pane check pattern. Just enough of a pattern to
give substance to the fabric. The purpose: to enhance a beautiful gown. She wanted to finish the outfit without hiding
the lovely work beneath. When the entire ensemble is finished, with the Lady's permission, I will post pictures as I believe
it will be absolutely gorgeous!
Cloaks and capes weren't the only outer
coverings used in the Renaissance and Medieval times. Robes of various types,
fabrics, and colors were also quite common. Due to certain recent popular movies, robes are making a bit of a come-back.
Be sure to check out the Robes page to see some of my different styles of robes.
One of my lovelier cloaks is the black panne velvet below in the
thumbnails, and one of the more different (but it turned out neat!) is the wet-look with the red lined hood. Click on the
image for a larger view:
Panne Velvet Cloak
One thing to remember about all of my
cloaks; my cloaks are extremely full compared to most available on the
market. Measured around the hem, my cloaks average over 210".
Most come out over 250". That's not exactly wimpy. I use
anywhere between 7 and 10 yards of fabric per cloak. That is for an
unlined cloak. Double that for a lined cloak. If you want extra
fullness or extra length, the yardage goes up! Especially if you want
extra length. That is due to the width of the fabric available to
me. I am not being parsimonious. It changes the entire pattern
and layout I must use. Also, the shorter the cloak, the less width around the bottom,
unless you WANT gathers at the neck. Not MY choice, simple physics. I make my own patterns, so don't worry over which
patternmaker is at fault. Over the years, I have experimented with this
pattern and that pattern, and made adjustments to this one, and finally drew up
my own. I get a lot of fullness and you will never find gathers around the
neck! Well, on the hoods, you will. Anyway, enough preaching.
That's a different site [grin].