Kinsale Cloak pattern review

I have a copy of the Folkwear's Kinsale Cloak pattern printed in 1982. At that time Folkwear was located in San Rafael CA. Taunton Press, publisher of Threads magazine) bought the Folkwear line but stopped printing the patterns, and the pattern was unavailable for a long time. I am providing this review for people who either have part of the pattern, or who would like to make their own version of a Kinsale cloak, or who would like more information about the cloak before buying the pattern.

Folkwear is printing the pattern again, and it is available through distributors, or through the Folkwear web site, www.folkwear.com (and there is even a version for "young maidens"). The Kinsale cloak, number 207, is in the Romantic collection.

You can order the pattern directly from the web site if you can't find it locally. Folkwear's telephone number is 1-888-200-9090 or 1-828-252-4778.

Pictures

For pictures of the cloak, try the following web sites:

http://www.wingsandroses.com/kinsale.htm
http://www.purpleunicorn.com/stock3.html#Cloak
http://www.aardvark.ie/siobhan-wear/kinsale.html

The Pattern

In this pattern, most seam allowances on the pattern are 1/2".

Fabric yardage requirements:

Outer fabric:

Suggested fabrics are wool, velvet, courduroy; "weather-treated fabrics such as poplin, denim, chintz".

	36"	5-3/8 yd
	45, 54"	4-3/4 yd (5-3/8yd if with nap)
	60"	3-1/2 yd

Lining:

Suggested fabrics are millium, satin, silk, polyester.

	36, 45, 54"	4-3/4 yd
	60"	3-1/4 yd

For the hood I describe, add 1 yard (actually 32" of 36" wide fabric) to both lining and outer fabric. You'll need heavyweight interfacing, 6 buttons for the hood, and a heavy hook and eye/frog (or make ties of outer fabric).

List of pattern pieces

The cloak consists of the following pieces:

Cloak body:

The body of the kinsale cloak is made from three pieces according to the pattern instructions: one back piece and two fronts, each 35" wide, to create a total width of 105". I always found it easier on 60" wide fabric to lay the fronts and back together, create a center back seam, and cut two 52 1/2" pieces. (Actually I make the outer piece wider yet by 4"- not a problem on 60" fabric- to create a self-facing down the front opening, and cut the lining 4" narrower.)

The pattern is sized to be ankle-length on a 5' 7" person. The front seam is 54", and the hem curves gradually down to be 57" at the side seam and 58" at center back.

The pattern instructions call for the lining to be cut exactly the same as the cloak, and to hem the lining with a 3" hem while hemming the outer layer with a 2" hem. I always trimmed the lining to be about 2" shorter, and hemmed both with a 2" hem.

Cloak collar:

The cloak is gathered to a three-layer collar: two layers of outer fabric and a muslin interlining. The collar is interfaced with a stand. It's hard to describe the precise shape of the collar, but I'll try:

The base of the collar is 25" wide. The sides angle up away from the collar base to a width of 30"; the collar has two soft points (measuring base to point is 9") and a curve at the back of the neck.

The best way I can describe it is: draw a 30x9 rectangle. The collar will be centered in this rectangle, so the base starts 2 1/2" in from each end. Mark a point 3 1/2" from the top at each side; draw a line from each end of the base to the mark on the side of the rectangle. Now make two more marks at the top of the rectangle, 8" in from each side; these are the collar points. Draw a line from the side marks to the top marks. Now, in the center of the top of the rectangle, make a mark 1" below the center and draw a long curving line from the top marks, to the center mark. Smooth out the curve from the sides to the top points: the line for the side should be approximately 5 3/4" before beginning the curve around to the top; the top should measure 8" from the end of the curve to the point.

This is the outer collar. For the undercollar and interlining, make almost the same pattern, but it's slightly narower: the rectangle is not 9" but 8 1/2". The sides should have the same angle and the same curve away from the fronts but the line angles lower.

For the stand, copy the bottom width and angle of the sides but the sides are only 1 1/2" tall. 1/2 inch in the stand is 1 3/4" tall. At 3 1/2" in the stand is 3" tall. At 6" in, the stand is 3 1/2 inch tall; at the center back, the stand is 3 3/4 inch tall. Make the stand out of heavy interfacing and place on the outer collar.

Assembling the cloak

Making the cloak is simple. I've always lined it. Cut two front interfacing strips of heavy interfacing, 2" wide and 54" long to prevent the front edges from curling.Assmeble the cloak and lining (1 seam or 2 seams each, depending on whether you follow their layout or mine). Put the lining and cloak together, right sides together. Place the interfacing strips down each side, pin the hem up at the seams, then sew the lining to the cloak along the side seam, sewing the interfacing into place.

Turn the cloak body right-side out and press front opening edges: the pattern recommends rolling the outer layer slightly over the lining and understitching. I usually cut the outer layer wider as I mentioned above and turn the whole interfaced 2" in to create a nice facing.

The cloak is gathered to the hood. Sew the stand to the wrong side of the under collar; sew the interlining of muslin to the under collar; press under 1/2 inch on the collar and sew the two right sides together of the collar and undercollar.

Now sew the gathered cloak to the undercollarcollar. You'll see that there's a lot of fabric to gather and some machines will not sew through the gathered material and collar. The pattern recommends that you hand-gather using buttonhole twist and two rows of long running stitches in parallel. I prefer to finger-pleat and pin the pleats into place then hand-baste, remove pins, and sew the cloak to the undercollar by machine.

Hand-sew the collar down over the seam. Topstitch or edge-stitch the collar if desired.

Now hem it and either attach ties or frogs to collar at front neck edge. The pattern recommends you tack the lining to the cloak with a short length of buttonhole twist. Now you have your cloak. Easy, no?

(Ties: the pattern has a piece for the tie, 2 1/8 by 26 1/4". Cut two. For each, fold in half, sew a 1/4" seam along one end and long side, turn inside out, press flat. Fold, press, pressing in 1/4" on unsewn end.)

Making The Hood:

The hood in the pattern is very large, floppy, and Istrongly disliked it. I've only made the pattern hood twice (made the cloak lots more than that) so I'm less familiar with it. It has seven pleats and a casing around the front opening which you put a cord into to pull up when the hood is up, or untie and let the hood lie over the shoulders.

However, the pattern directions do include some alternates, especially designed for handweavers who do not want to cut and throw away their work. The hood I like the best is a cut piece; start with a 32x36 piece folded in half to be 32x18. The fold is the back of the hood.

I'll tell you where to make dots here and then you can draw dot-to-dot to get the hood. Measure 12.5" along the bottom and mark A. Measure 16" more and 3.5" up and mark B. Measure 8" up the front and mark C. Measure 12" up the front and mark D. Measure down 11" from top and 2" in from front selvage and mark E. Measure 12" from back fold along top selvage and mark F. Measure down back fold 3.5" and mark G. Draw a line from A to B, then B to C; along front selvage to D; curve from D through E to F, straight line down to G. From back fold to A is neck edge. From A to F is front opening; from F to G is top seam.

Cut the hood of both outer fabric and lining. Pin and sew top seam. Cut a piece of neck reinforcement interfacing 21 1/2 inch wide and 4 1/2" long, and sew this to the neck edge. Press under 1/2 inch along neck edge on both pieces.

Place lining and hood right sides together and sew along front opening edge, pressing top seams open. Turn and press. Topstitch or understitch lining to hood along neck edge.

The hood buttons to the cloak undercollar. Make 6 buttonholes through the neck edge of the hood and sew buttons to the undercollar.

I made one integrated cloak by using the pattern for the stand as the collar, and sewing the hood to it before sewing - treating the hood like a traditional shirt collar and the stand like a traditional collar band, and gathering the cloak into that. It worked out very well.

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