Quick Drac Cape

You could make this out of some bin bags, with a strip cut off for use as neck ribbon (the ribbon can be stapled on, with the ends of the staples on the outside so as not to scratch or damage clothing).  I‘m not cheap though!  I used 2.5m of satin which is enough “wing” for a teenager or a small mum.  For a tall adult, 3m would do. 

For good shimmer, use the smoother, shinier side of the satin as the outside of the cape.

I actually made 6 of these for a show at my kid’s school using the instructions provided by another mum.  I was impressed by how effective her design was and thought it might help some rushed soul out there if I prepared these instructions.

You will need:

• 2.5m of a black fabric, preferably satin.  The width of the fabric (here 150cm) is your centre back

• 80cm – 1m of black (satin) ribbon, at least 2.5cm wide

• Pinking shears

• Thread


1. Fold your fabric in half along long side and cut out a small quarter circle for the neck and a larger quarter circle on the other side.  When opened up, the fabric should look like the above diagram.  The distance from A to B (the diameter of the smaller circle) should be about 12cm or you could work out your own using this formula:

Diameter = Neck circumference ÷ Π.

For cutting, use pinking shears if possible so as to eliminate the need for hemming the bottom of the cape (this would take a while).

2. If you’re posh 🙂 hem the sides by folding under twice.

Otherwise, you can keep the selvedges and save yourself some time.

3. To shape the cape, add two darts, both placed 8cm away from the centre back.  Press towards centre (on low heat!).  This gives the cape a nice squared off back.

4.  Attach the ribbon. Mark the centre of the ribbon.  Double fold and pin the neck edge then sew the ribbon onto the right side of the cape, matching centres. 

The ribbon should thus form a kind of small collar.

Now enjoy the bleeding victims!

Horror Time

I find the most beautiful wool ever woven.  My favourite blues are all there with a dash of fresh, stripy lime.  I want this wool for a dress, a coat – nay, curtains and a carpet even, that’s how lovely it is – but there’s only a metre left so I clutch my remnant preciously and take it home planning its perfect future.  Something that will do it justice

Like a pencil skirt!

What could possibly go wrong…?

I  design from my Basic Skirt Block which I’ve used a good dozen times before.
At least I know it’ll fit me! 

The skirt must be lined as it’s for winter.  I find wonderfully matching sapphire blue acetate and  I imagine admiring this secret, deep colour every time I slip in and out of the skirt.

I narrow the block at the hem by 6cm all around.  I know the hem must be narrower than the hip because I have been stalking Boden again and studying the ‘garment measurements’ like those of the pencil skirt here.

I have enough experience now to know how to accurately align the design across the centre back.

I know to put in a kick pleat so I can stomp about when I wear the skirt.  I know how to line a kick pleat ’cause I damn well wrote that tutorial, didn’t I, so we’re all set to go but then, wait…  what?  Oh no….  

“Go directly to Jail.  Do not pass Go.  Do not collect £200!  And if anyone asks, tell them you bought it in Primark!”

Gis a Flat White!

This brown number started off looking very different.  The fabric was the pale colour and softness of chamois leather (superfine needlecord from Fabric House) which I’d picked out to make an improved version of my Anna Hack, this time without the waist seam.  The pattern-drafting worked out ok but I was then visited by the Muse of Shite  who inspired me “to add interest to the design” by putting brown contrasting bands onto the sleeves.   

And as my project neared completion, I kept wondering why it was giving off such bad vibrations…  Was it that my dress-to-be looked like a cleaning lady’s overall?!  


No, I realised I’d made myself a coffee-shop uniform!  Luckily, I had some brown left in my cupboard-of-dye and so quickly drowned my shame till it came out kind of neutralised? 

But I still wear this, hearing voices in my head:

“Oi!  Ba-RISTAH!!”