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!



One thought on “Now That’s a Wrap!

  1. It’s beautiful, and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing the photos of the extant ones. It gave me some ideas of what fabric to use for mine, including maybe the leftover embroidered cream silk from my Gala dress.

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