Now That’s a Wrap!

Living in Southern California, there is rarely a need for cloaks and mantles so it’s something that we’ve never really considered until you have to… 🙂

Karin Cloak

Oh, those Victorians! They sure knew how to make an entrance! Last night I finished an evening cloak for my new ballgown for our London/Bath trip. Rain in a silk satin dress? No problem…I will be fine from hotel taxi to the ball. 🙂

Karin Cloak

Karin Cloak

So what inspired my design? Well, there are many sources of which these are just a few… 🙂

Pingat Opera Cloak c. 1882

Emile Pingat, Opera Cloak, c. 1882; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.60.42.13)


Mantle Worth Outerwear Late 1890s

Worth, Evening Mantle, c. Late 1890s; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.51.69.2)

Dolman Mantle Late 19th Century

Dolman/Mantle, Late 19th Century; Augusta Auctions (32.14685.160.71)

As for construction, Basically, I started with an original period pattern dating from 1891 and modified accordingly. The most important thing was that I needed this to fit over a sloping ballgown bustle, so I flared the side piece and the center back piece from the hip down for room, otherwise it will only work for the 1890s and up. The armscye I also cut wider, only so a puffy ballgown sleeve could reach through without a struggle, otherwise that required no fussing. I skipped the collar (because I own the shortest neck in the world) and opted to face a shallow v-neckline. The drapey sleeves required a little Origami technique to figure out but they’re simpler than they look. I also strongly recommend lining this garment. Finally, I also added drapery weights for swing.

That’s it pretty much in a nutshell. I’ll be posting some pictures of the cloak in action very soon so stay tuned!