McCall’s 8029 Shocking Truth about this Sewing Pattern

McCalls 8029, cape

Winter here is only a hot sec, but I want to enjoy every single moment.  I thought I would sew this McCall’s 8029 cape… but along the way, I met trouble. This blog post will

The Cape Sewing pattern:

It looks easy enough, it’s a straightforward cape pattern without any zippers or buttons.  This sewing pattern features three views with few variations. Most of the variation is in the collar and the back belt loops. And there are no major fitting curves to get around.  A slam dunk right?

McCall's 8029, sewing cape, sewing pattern

McCalls 8029 cape—Warning: Special tools needed

Edge joining foot.  If you are using a Babylock sewing machine to sew McCall’s 8029 cape, it’s the ‘P’ foot.  At first, I thought I could complete the edge stitching and I’m sure you can. I tried. It’s better with the specialty foot.  The ‘P’ foot allows you to perfectly edge stitch anything, and I mean anything, even a circle.  Buying another presser foot isn’t a big deal. I love presser feet and this foot makes it flawless. I bought the foot.

Sewing Tips for McCall’s 8029 cape:

If you have a swayback, bump or booty don’t make the back shorter and don’t make the belt openings in the back.  This will accentuate parts of your body you don’t want to be highlighted.  
This brings me to the pattern itself, note that view A is the only view with back belt openings.  The belt openings are made like how you make buttonholes. Be careful and decide early whether you want large buttonholes on your back.  If the belt is there maybe you don’t care, but maybe you do.

Cape Petite adjustments:

I assumed that length would be an immediate challenge so I removed three inches from the front and back but the real challenge was the arm length and volume of the cape in general.  
If this is your first time here, for reference I’m 5 feet tall.  This is a lot of fabric. I ended up removing another 3 inches from the sleeves which definitely made the proportion and fit better.  Other sewists also had difficulty with the instructions which I would agree weren’t great if you get stuck.  Overall, I think the fit challenges are related to the massive volume of fabric.  How do you hang this thing or store it? 

M8029 Construction Changes:

  • Sew the belt pieces together and turn inside out, especially with a lighter weight fabric
  • Facing adjustments,  I’m not sure why the facing is so bulky and why it’s so sharply angled but I felt that it was awkward
  • Eliminate the buttonholes in the back completely

The Cape Fabric:

Sienna and cream wool blend from Minerva Fabrics. In hindsight, this fabric may be better suited for a coat.  A few points, the first is that it itches.  I know better!  The second is that it’s a blend so it ravels quite a bit, giving a fringed, frayed, unfinished look which wasn’t my favorite.  My third error, this pattern design works the best with a solid colored fabric.  If I sew this again,  I would use a fabric that requires a solid colored thread only.  

Thoughts on McCall’s 8029 cape:

  • Try this pattern in a lighter weight wool
  • Try this pattern in fleece
  • Play with, manipulate the fit
  • Use a solid fabric

I don’t know if I’m willing to expend any more fitting energy on the pattern.  I’m going into muslin mode on this one.  Wool is fairly expensive and to cut and make something that isn’t wearable hurts a little.   I would not recommend this for petite sewists, especially someone who is super petite like me.  

The inherent risk with sewing capes and patterns with high volume fabrics on small frames is the danger of appearing larger.  Also, the other trap is looking like a superhero. Capes can look costume-like very quickly, choose wisely.  I may try a capelet in the future because it’s a little more cropped and a little less fabric.  The capelet is closer to a bolero in style.  

Other cape patterns I may try are:

  • The sophiticated cape – the Nell Cape by Style Arc
  • No frills cape – The Greta Cape by Style Arc
  • The Camden Cape by Seamwork patterns
  • Simplicity 8263 if you like removal fur collars
  • Simplicity 8473 for ready made hacking