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Torn Project: The Circle Cape

DONNAKAYE | Posted in General Discussion on

Folks, this was one of mom’s favorites, and mine too.  She made this with a medium size black-on-white houndstooth-check wool borderd with a looped wool “fringe.”  Fabulous.


  1. jatman | | #1

    Hi DonnaKaye,

    I'm having so much fun letting my imagination run wild with these projects.  I can't wait to see what you'll post next.  Thank you!


  2. GailAnn | | #2

    DonnaKaye, Love your generosity!  I don't quite understand about the arms/sleeves.  Would you add a word or two of explaination, please.  Many thanks, Gail

  3. Gloriasews | | #3

    Thanks muchly, Donna Kaye!  It's beautiful!  Like Gail, though, could you explain about the collar & sleeves or is there a second page of instructions?


    1. DONNAKAYE | | #4

      The way mom did it was thus:  Stay-stitch with tiny stitches around the slash.  Take a piece of folded bias braid (the kind you buy on rolls) and simply stitch it over the two sides of each slash, edge of brain to cut edge of fabric.  Butt the folded sides together at the ends, and then top stitch all the way around.  Make sense?

      1. DONNAKAYE | | #5

        Ha ha!  "Edge of brain to cut edge of fabric."  Sometimes I feel like I'm sewing the edge of my brain to something!

        1. Gloriasews | | #6

          That WAS hilarious!  I knew what you meant, though, so no problem, and yes, it does make sense.  What we were originally asking was how is the sleeve done & the collar on the view with the notched collar & what looks like partial sleeves.  Would the sleeves be just sewn in from the wrists about 12" or so to mimic a sleeve?  Then make a collar to fit the neck opening?


          1. DONNAKAYE | | #7

            Oh.  I see what you're asking.  Now, hold onto your panties, 'cause this is a mind-bender:  Fold the cape in half so that the cut edges of the armhole openings -- oh, my.  Attached is a drawing.  I can't possibly describe it....My drawing is pretty pathetic, but I'm sure once you make it up you'll get the picture.  The armhole openings, when the cape is folded in half and is laid around the neckline, creates the illusion of a notched collar.  Just bring to the two folded edges around to the front.  Voila!

          2. Gloriasews | | #9

            Thanks for the drawing.  No, it's not pathetic :).  I think a candle is beginning to glimmer :).  If we don't want the notched collar, we don't cut the armholes?  Then, it looks like we just fold the circle in half & wrap it around ourselves like a shawl (double thickness - very warm), eh?    Otherwise, do we need the armholes, if we don't have a head hole?


          3. DONNAKAYE | | #10

            No, you absolutely need the armholes -- regardless.  That is what gives you freedom and flexibility in the garment.  The armholes are just a bonus in the figure shown with the notched-effect "collar."

          4. DONNAKAYE | | #11

            I'm thinking I maybe ought to explain this a little better.  There is no opening for the head per se.  Open the cape up to full circle, put your arms through the armholes.  The top portion now folds down over the shoulders to become the collar, the bottom portion the body of the "jacket."  The collar can also be brought up around the head in a head covering.  In the case of the notched-effect collar, you're simply folding the cape in half and wrapping it around you, as you would, say, a simple poncho.  The two folded edges will meet on a perpendilar line down center front, as shown in the drawing on the top right.....Is this a little clearer for everyone?

          5. Gloriasews | | #12

            Ah - the candle becomes a blinding lightbulb!  Thanks muchly - that explains it perfectly for me.  I really appreciate your taking the time for all of this.


          6. zuwena | | #13

            Okay, now I'm lost.  I thought I had it but now the light has gone out.  When the cape is open to full circle--where are the armholes?  Where do I insert my arms? 

            Thanks.  Z

          7. DONNAKAYE | | #15

            You put your arms into the two slashes that you bind in the middle of the cape (right arm in one, left arm in the other).  You'll notice somewhere in the instructions that the distance between the two slashes is approximately the width of your shoulders.  Look at it this way:  The two slashes are the armholes..No matter what, you've got to have armholes; otherwise it's just a circle of fabric.  The BONUS -- not the main attraction -- but the bonus is that you can also fold the circle cape in half at the slashes and bring the folded edges around to the front.  Check it out!  The slashes where the armholes are placed magically look like a "notched" "collar."  Lightbulb come back on yet???  Let me add this note:  As with many torn projects, the garment can be worn numerous ways.  One drawing shows the model with the big collar, the next model shows the collar brought up and over the head in a hood.  To get the notched collar effect, TAKE THE CAPE OFF AND LAY IT ON THE BED.  The way you're going to wear it with the notched collar effect has nothing to do with the way I've just described for the two models.  This is a whole new way to wear it (i.e., fold it in half, etc., as described above).  I think the confusion lies in that some of you think you can wear it both ways at the same time.  You can't.  You either put your arms through the armholes and wear it a la big collar/hood, OR you fold it in half and wrap it around you, letting the armhole slahes open up into a "notched" collar. NOTE: When wearing it this way, you will not be using the armholes for your arms; it is simply a half-circle draped around the body.  When you drape it around you, the slashes where the arm openings were stitched now lay open to become a notched collar, but you have neither sleeves nor armholes in this version; it is nothing more than a shawl in the shape of a half-circle rather than the usual shawl triangle.  The only other suggestion I can make is to try to create some sort of line drawing -- pathetic though the attempt may be....d.

            Edited 7/6/2008 6:22 pm ET by DonnaKaye

            Edited 7/6/2008 6:33 pm ET by DonnaKaye

            Edited 7/6/2008 6:36 pm ET by DonnaKaye

          8. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #16

            DonnaKaye, Thank you for your patience, and for further clarifying the cape instructions. Now it makes sense to me. Thank you for being so generous with us. Cathy

          9. zuwena | | #17

            As the others have already said, Thank you for your patience and for taking the time to further clarify. Sometimes my visualization needs surmount everything else and until I try it things just don't click in. I am going to follow the directions on a doll-size version. I have no doubt that you have covered everything and that I will see it as I work with it. I remember the "notched" collar but then afterwards the darkness came. Will let you know how things turn out.
            Thanks again. Looking forward to the next "Torn" project. Z

          10. DONNAKAYE | | #18

            If you simply fold the cape in half as shown in Figure E, and then wrap it around you like a shawl, you'll see what happens.  It is not a notched collar; it only looks similar to one...donna

          11. zuwena | | #19

            Hi Donna,

            My doll now has a beautiful cape! 

            Your last previous instruction was very helpful and once I did it everything fell into place.  Part of my confusion came from the model pictures in the original instruction.  The model on the left and center reflect the garment I have made for the doll.  However, while I have the "notch" part clear in my mind, I still do not see the "sleeve" treatment of the model on the upper right--where it appears to be a separate sleeve.  Can you elucidate further?  Z.

          12. DONNAKAYE | | #20

            This thread is rather long, so you may not have read all of them.  I indicated that the artist missed the mark on that illustration.  There is not a sleeve at all when you wrap the shawl around you.  It acts just as any shawl would, with no actual sleeves....hope this helps....d.

          13. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            If you wanted to put sleeves in, you would have to keep the shawl permanently folded over, cut deeper slits through both layers of fabric and add a tube of fabric to the slits to make a sleeve. It would be something similar to a jacket made from rectangles. Cathy

          14. zuwena | | #23

            Yep, guess I missed that note regarding the far right illustration.  But all is well.  As I indicated, once I visualized the project everything fell into place and now I can't wait for an opportunity to make one for myself and at least a few others.  Thanks again.  Z

          15. DONNAKAYE | | #24

            You're welcome.

          16. GailAnn | | #14

            Maybe we are just trying to make it more difficult than it is????   Gail

          17. DONNAKAYE | | #8

            The drawing seems to reflect -- I see what y'all are talking about -- that the armholes are sewn closed.  In fact, they are not.  I think the artist's rendering is a little off the mark.  So don't fret; just fold and wrap the way I described in my prior post....d.

  4. rodezzy | | #21

    Great pattern, thanks.  I printed it.

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