The title of this post comes from the lyrics of a song by Eric Bibb,. The chorus goes "spread your arms and hold your breath, always trust your cape." I was told about the song by Linda Skoglund, a Finnish girl who made a beautiful cape at the last cloak making workshop I taught.
In fact, I'm stealing this lyric from her too, as she has already done a blog post with this title. I love this phrase that Linda introduced me to. It is a definitive instruction that seems so simple and obvious, yet is also puzzling. It is the exact opposite of the advice that Edna Mode gives to Mr Incredible; "NO CAPES." Watch this video clip from the 2 minute mark and you will see a series of superheros meet sticky ends all because of their capes.
Wearing a cape makes me feel somewhat invincible, so it felt appropriate to trek forth into a snowy London wearing one of mine yesterday.
In fact, I'm not the single author of this candy coloured cape. It was made collectively, by myself and two other girls. One of them booked her friend a cloak making demonstration as a birthday present, and so we all sat in local sewing studio Fabrications on a hot day last summer, building a cloak together from scratch.
Here the fabric sits untouched, waiting to be moulded into a garment, with the DIYcouture instructions.
The deep lavender scissors at Fabrications go well with the lilac fabric!
The lining of the cloak began to take shape. You will notice that Fabrications has beautiful chairs, that have been made with repurposed embroidery. Some of it comes from church hassocks and some of it was done by the Grandmother of Barley, who runs Fabrications.
Let's take a closer look at that chair.
A slight diversion, but here is another beauty.
As I often feel like a rabbit in headlights when I give a sewing demonstration, I feel it only fair that the watchers get involved. They may look puzzled, but in fact they did a great job, despite working with fabric that had a very loose weave and a tendency to bend in places we didn't want it to bend.
So finally, months later, in a picturesque crispy white landscape, the cloak is having its moment. Though I have not exactly been spreading my arms in it (see below) it is giving me a lilac-infused buoyancy.
Wearing it does give me the feeling of having wings, and though I don't have any footwear that is appropriate for treading snow covered pavements, my cloak gives me the feeling that I'm stepping lightly over a giant iced Christmas cake. Thank you cloak!