See the process of constructing a custom capote, also known as a 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.

History

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.

Construction

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.

Finished Piece

The final capote came out beautifully. We don’t have pictures of the client wearing it yet but will add/share if we can.

Do you have an idea for a project that you’re interested in having made or want to learn how to sew?

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Bonny French

    I love any Hudson Bay product. So I am trying to be creative making a doll blanket out of a teddy bear Hudson Bay sweater. I didn’t want to cut the sweater because It is knitted. I separated it only and sewed seam binding around the edges and placed it on a piece of light felt of the same color as the seam binding (the body parts opposite each other and the sleeves pointing into the body part) so it looks kind of like a circle. I have a lot of spaces to fill in and I thought maybe to embroider a moose or something in the spaces and do a blanket hand stitch around the blanket edges and add those iconic lines somewhere. I am out of ideas and was wondering if you had any ideas you could give me. I don’t know how much you charge though. I could send you a picture of what I have done so far if you do that type of work.

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