The Inbhir Nis

When I was first inspired to make a cape design, the item that inspired me was spotted in a highland tourist store in Inverness. This is how the pattern gained it's Gaelic moniker. The final design has come a looooong way from the calf length poncho cape that nudged me forward and while it's a garment that generally had no business being in my wardrobe I am totally in love with the trench cape.

My initial designs were always trying to come away from your standard cape pattern with vertical slits for your arms. The most original cape sewing pattern I've seen released in a while was the Trend Patterns cape, which is so swish I wish I had evening functions to wear it to. My social life is not that hip and happening.

I tried to work in designs with a horizontal slash and fit and flare forms but it just never felt right. I eventually came up with a toile that looked a little like this Balenciaga one - jokes, it did not look like this at all and was horrible and that's why I'm not actually showing you a picture of it and instead showing you this pretty picture I found.

Throwing all my toys out of the pram, convinced a cape was not to be, I accidentally stumbled over a vintage trench cape style design. The 'trench' only consisted of a front and the back was just the cape, but essentially this is a ponco and I was not about to walk my design backwards; it did however help me look outside the box and take the design in a new direction. I started sketching designs varying in complexity but settled for a much more simplified design.

The Inbhir Nis looks like a meatier sew than it is, the top collar gives it a lot more drama than the sewing actually requires and the V2 open collar is perfect for hacking the pattern into a much more classic style trench.

When it came to putting together a mood board for my testers I started to get really excited seeing trench cape designs and looks I'd not considered, possible pattern hacks and what could be created with this humble, little pattern.

I'm working on a hack this week which I'm hoping to present by the weekend, inspired of course by one of the images I saw.