Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vintage Opera Coat?

While I am not sure Ima wore this to the opera, she did make this cape circa 1961-62 and told me she "wore it a lot." She handed it over to me saying she knew I wouldn't wear it but wouldn't it be great to cut up the fabric and make some bags with? Youbetcha! We really think alike.

The cape is completely underlined and lined with a silk twill. It must weigh a good 15 pounds! The outer fabric can only be described as a cut velvet tapestry (?). The colors are phenomenal and so indicative of the time. Talk about flower power! She did use some lovely buttons and it is very nicely tailored. She is so tiny I just can't picture her in this. She was a beautiful blond haired blue eyed woman who certainly could light up a room without the moxie of this creation. But true to her vivacity, she made it and wore it with pride and "a lot". I thought you might enjoy a peek at it before the scissors hit.

DH played photographer and the clouds quickly came back to cast a shadow on our fun but here is a view of the front. I had to stand on the rock as the coat is too long for me. This way it hung free. You can see it better if you click on it.
 Today I had doctor's visit. The good news is to get there I have to drive about 20 miles on the Adirondack trail. There was snow here and there and definitely up in the mountains. This was taken in the "Eleven Mile Woods" in Santa Clara this morning: Tamarack Pines are probably my favorite tree. Unlike other evergreens they lose their needles every fall, changing color like any maple or oak. There needles are soft and furry looking, not sharp looking. They are so beautiful.


This is the little cemetary I pass everyday walking to pick up my mail in the village. That carpet of leaves just forced me to stop and take pictures. 


Tomorrow I will have been home a couple of days and ready to hit the sewing. My smocking on Carly's bishop is completed and I am happy. I will construct it and then finish the bullions. I am going to try something different with the piping. Keep those fingers crossed. My bag is completed except for the lining which just needs to be put in. So I am way ready to get going on some new projects. Anyone need a bag made from an opera coat????....Bunny


  1. That is some coat! I can imagine that it took quite a strong character to wear it rather than the coat wearing the person.

    My backyard looks like that carpet of leaves in the cemetery, guess I'd better get to raking soon!

  2. Wow! That is a carpet of leaves! Everything is still very green by me. I love the cape and the fabric will make some amazing bags. Your friend must have been one awesome woman to wear that and wear it OFTEN! :)

  3. wow! That is truly spectacular. What a statement someone would make walking into a room with that coat. Can't wait to see what you make with the fabric.

  4. What a cape! I have one that I made in the late 60s that is short and made from red, green and black plaid wool. It is tailored, as I was making it for my home ec. class and that was the assignment. I also made a skirt to go with it. I still have the cape. I should photograph it. Love the leaves! Ours are just starting to change here.

  5. Omy.....that coat is a delightful find. What gorgeous fabric - can't wait to see what you do with it! And those buttons - save those buttons.

  6. That Opera Coat reminds me of a Folk Wear Pattern that resembles it. Your part of the oountry is absolutely breathtaking.

  7. Dd didn't think too much of the cape (until I explained the circumstances), but she thought the scenery was lovely, as do I. She's lived here (Phoenix) her whole life, but thinks she wants to live where it snows - I didn't tell her there's some there already. Me? I truly miss the leaves changing in the fall. Heck, I miss ALL the seasonal changes! Is this picture in your backyard? It's just incredible!

  8. The more I look at that cape, the more I love it. I would have worn it in the 60'2 and 70's and would wear it to the Nashville Symphony now! I love it and would never cut it up.

    Summerset--no need to rake your leaves. Just chop them up with your lawn mower. Instant, free fertilizer. It does not cause thatch to form, shallow watering does that.

  9. Wow, that is a great coat! So unique, right?

    The leaves are just starting to turn in this part of NY.

    Doux jésus
    Mon Dieu
    Boje Moï
    Mamma mia
    Good grief
    There's no word to describe the cape and the way you shot it
    Thank you for sharing this masterpiece, it is so moving

  11. What a fantastic, beautiful cape! I hate the thought of it being cut up -- but there's no denying it would make beautiful bags.

    Thanks for sharing Ima's legacy with us. By her stash we shall know her! And what a marvelous stash . . .

  12. This cape is too terrific to cut up.
    You can find vintage velvet yardage out there for your bags, so it would seem kinder to pass this exceptional piece of history on to someone who will wear it, right?


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