See the process of constructing a custom capote, or blanket coat, from a set of custom-fitted wool pieces made from the blanket.
Custom sewing is our specialty, and we love to take on all kinds of different projects.
When the client approached us, he had a set of pre-cut pieces of wool made from a Hudson’s Bay point blanket.
Each piece was part of a capote that were cut to fit his specific measurements.
We had actually never heard of a capote before, and the client was unsure of how the pieces were supposed to fit together. Even with this, we didn’t want to immediately turn down an opportunity to work on such a unique project. After a bit of research and testing, we determined it was something we could do and agreed to take it on.
For some background, the Hudson’s Bay point blanket is a wool blanket that was typically traded with Native American tribes in the 1700s and 1800s. They’re easily identifiable from their classic design of green, red, yellow, and blue stripes. The blankets were then made into hooded coats called capotes to help cope with cold winters.
Since there were questions about the construction method and how it was supposed to fit the client, our first step was to create the capote out of muslin. The pattern for the muslin version was made by tracing the original wool pieces. We then constructed the muslin capote by attaching each piece with safety pins.
This enabled us to review and confirm how each piece was supposed to be attached, the order of construction, and the general fit on the client.
Following this, we also created a few miniature versions out of felt to explore different stitches and refine the construction process.
The final wool pieces were each hand stitched using a synthetic sinew for an authentic look. Strips of wool felt were also added to some of the seams for piping.
The final capote came out beautifully. We don’t have pictures of the client wearing it yet but will add/share if we can.