Nell’s Done!

Actually Nell was finished almost two weeks ago but I have been in Northumberland again visiting the mothers. Sadly during the time I was there I was unwell, and the weather was cold. No, COLD – so I’m afraid I wanted to be more wrapped up than Nell offered and didn’t get a photograph. More on that later, but just for fun here are some nice cows (and yes, that is snow on the tops).

College Valley cows

College Valley cows


Can you see the face and ‘girls’?

We did do some nice things during my visit – one of which was a visit to the College Valley. It is truly beautiful there, and as there had been snow the previous night we had truly lovely views of Kielder with snow on top. Sadly there had been lots of rain prior to our visit so walking wasn’t quite as good as it could have been. We did also visit Northumberlandia later that week (also very cold) and got close for the fist time despite passing her on many, many occasions.


Anyway, Style Arc Nell. I had intended this to be a project I could be proud of, but one that wouldn’t take too long. Why do I always seem to complicate things that really don’t need it? You may remember that the quantity of the fabric I chose was really insufficient to make up this pattern, it was also a textured wool that I thought would benefit from being lined. I thought I was unbelievably lucky when I found a matching lining in stash, and when I came up empty on a binding trim I knew that I had some felted wool jersey that would do the job without fraying. Sorted.


Mounting the lining onto the pattern pieces (this is the sleeve/cape bit)

I went with a mix between mounting and lining (mining?) as I knew I didn’t have sufficient fabric to even cut a small allowance on the edges that were to be bound which would have enabled me to turn them neatly. This did cause a few problems later, and the seam where the ‘sleeve’ is sewn in and the main coat bound isn’t quite as tidy as I would have liked (no, I’m not showing it – if I pretend it’s not there I’m fine with it). Making up a full lining and turning the whole shebang through on itself would have solved my problems entirely and if I make this again that is exactly what I will be doing.

The instructions don’t include the lining so if anyone really wants me to I can do a description of how I achieved this – but more likely, how to do it with a ‘full turned lining’. I really like this capeΒ – I wasn’t sure I would – but it has already got a bit too cold to wear it comfortably here in the UK. The gorgeous wide wings sleeves do flap in any sort of a breeze, and since they open up into an armhole it can be a bit nippy. It would be absolutely perfect for a night out (where you weren’t going to be outside much) but not so much for a day out tramping round town.

There is a lovely deep back pleat which makes movement very easy in this, and I loved having pockets (although if I make it again I would probably use a ‘warm’ fabric rather than the lining fabric for them). I did wear this out a couple of times but mostly I was just grateful to wear itΒ round my shoulders in the car where I could easily takeΒ it on and off as the need arose.

I’m not absolutely sure when I will make this again as it is pretty distinctive, but the pattern is great and fitted straight off the press (though in truth it only really needed to fit on the shoulders!) but I would be pretty happy to recommend it. The instructions could have been in Greek as I really didn’t use them, though there is a very nice picture instruction sheet which was probably more instructive than the words for me.

I have been catching up on client work again since we got home (diminishing nicely, thank you!) so I am really keen to start that fabulous green/yellow coat next week. Updates eventually.

38 Comments on “Nell’s Done!”

  1. Absolutely stunning, very stylish! And the cows are gorgeous too πŸ˜€ Hope you’re feeling better now.

  2. CurlsnSkirls says:

    See what you mean about those sleeve coverings – quite good if there’s not a speck of wind, or you’ve got up the arms heavy gloves. Excellent workmanship, and love that length o’chain for hanging! Hope you’re feeling much better.

  3. sewbussted says:

    Lovely cape/jacket. I love how it wraps around the body.
    Hope you are feeling better.
    Love the picture of the face and “the girls.” I’m saving that picture 😊

  4. karen says:

    The pictures look great! I am sorry the volume is too drafty for comfort in the cold. I live in Canada, so I do understand that sometimes cold weather garments aren’t really up to the job. The cape truly does look good on you.

  5. Your cape is gorgeous! It looks fantastic on you too.

  6. Roxane says:

    That is the last word in elegant! And the pin is a perfect accent!

  7. Claire says:

    Lovely sewing and lovely Northumberland too. I don’t always get to see the best of it as I live up on the coast, but in warmer weather I just love the Northumbrian beaches and hills. Ingram valley and Low newton are favourites.

    • The crab sandwiches at the pub in Low Newton are brilliant! We will have to check out Ingram Valley next time. I think I have probably visited more places in Northumberland since I left than when I lived there. Madness, it’s such a beautiful county. Enjoy living by the sea, and I agree the beaches are among the best in the world. If only the weather was too πŸ˜‰

  8. Sewniptuck says:

    I had no idea of the existence of Northumberlandia so thank you for that link – I was born in Northumberland!! Next time I make the trek from the land of Oz I’ll definitely visit her.
    Lovely cape, it suits you well, I’m a sucker for grey. Hongkers binding is bloody time consuming and this looks great.

    • Thanks for your comments on the cape.
      Northumberland is a fabulous county, and Northumberlandia is a gem. Well worth a visit. Let me know if you are visiting and I will try to get up thereπŸ˜ƒ

  9. Ann Webber says:

    I won’t even pretend to understand how you got from “mining” to cape crusader but it’s fab! Love love love the brooch.x

  10. So beautiful! Everything is lovely and you look sensational in the cape, the collar will help to keep the wind off. That brooch is a super touch. (Bet the lady in the hills is frequently photographed!)

    • She’s a very large sculpture next to an open cast mine – and very well loved in the North East.
      The cape will be well used when it gets a little warmer but I suspect the brooch will get even more use!

  11. Love the cows of course! And that mountain is, um, interesting! Hilarious! πŸ˜† don’t have any like those around here…

  12. Thimberlina says:

    I had to tilt my head to see the face and the girls, what a great view! But not as great as your cape. Stunning workmanship and finishing touches, and your Greek comment made me chuckle πŸ˜‚

    • Thanks Ali! There are lots of fabulous views in Northumberland. I wish I he been more aware as a child.(Northumberlandia wasn’t there then).
      Style Arc do have a reputation for being a bit scant on instructions but since I rarely use them I wasn’t too concerned. They do make great patterns so they are worth wrestling with πŸ˜‰

  13. sewruth says:

    My goodness – I thought your life was car to bar! with heels to match! In that case this very desirable cape is perfect.
    Nay, in real life I can see this working in many real life situations – lovely work.

  14. Fadanista says:

    What a fantastic cape, I love it. Your photos of Northumberland are also awesome. That’s on our very long bucket list!

  15. sewchet says:

    What a posh cape! A distinctive pattern indeed, which presents its own difficulties when making another as you want it to look like a different pattern, don’t you? Love the face and The Girls!

    • I agree it isn’t going to be easy to repeat this one and make it significantly different – worth trying eventually though!
      Northumberlandia has been astonishingly popular πŸ˜ƒ

  16. Well it turned out perfectly, I can’t see where you had any difficulties with it at all. It’s a very elegant cape… not like Batman’s at all! Love the face and the girls. πŸ™‚

  17. mrsmole says:

    The texture and colors and trim are just beautiful! I like the neck facing and chain and I imagine that having that facing would allow the cape to sit better on your back than a slippery lining that would go all the way up to the collar. The scenery is so lovely, it reminds me of the trips we used to drive from Liverpool to Durham to visit my daughter in University. Really looking forward to your next winter project!

  18. tialys says:

    Sorry I’m a bit late to the party but, yes!, it looks fabulous – although I can see the parts where the wind might whistle in. Very elegant and topped off with a beautiful brooch too.
    Love the lady mountain.

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