Making of Mother Gothel’s Cloak

I made this cape to go with a fan art version of the villain from Disney’s Tangled: Mother Gothel. For those who haven’t seen the movie, she wears a red dress and is sometimes featured wearing a dark blue/purplish cloak with a hood. I used McCalls 7886 to create the look. Read on to find out how I made the fabric and my review of the pattern.

Top left: Strips of various fabrics in 6″, 5″, 4″ and 3″ (not pictured) strips. Bottom left: Neck yoke completed laying over the finished fabric. Right: Part of the 7 yards of pieced fabric.

Pattern Description:
Lined cape is gathered to neck band with hook and eye closure and has side arm openings and train. Hood is lined and has contrast ruffle. Purchased appliques.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once finished?
Heck ya!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
For the most part. The instructions were clear on everything except the hood connection to the front piece of the hood. Once you figure out how it’s supposed to work, it’s smooth sailing. It’s a cartridge pleat attachment issue that wasn’t explained well.

As Mother Gothel is ancient, it stands to reason that she would wear a garment or two that has her collected history… So I made it have mine! This cloak represents my entire sewing career from ready to wear through to cosplay. There are over 15 projects in here, and some of them are not actually mine – they belong to the friends that cosplay has helped me make. But projects included: A host of Elsa’s, Anna, Merida, Tinkerbell, Sombra, Rowena Ravenclaw, Petyr Baelish, my husband’s wedding suit, the first jacket I made, Snow White, Harley Quinn, and many more. I cut pieces of fabric that were 6″, 5″, 4″, and 3″ wide; they were all different lengths but none measured more than a foot. I then sewed the like widths together. Then I sewed the long strips I made together. I made 7 yards of fabric this way. Once I finished making the fabric I was able to cut out the pattern pieces.

Please enjoy the oodles of cartridge pleating and the years of history! My mantra for this make was: “I cut it apart, to sew it together, to cut it apart, to sew it together.”

The sewn together cape portion of the cloak.
Top: The front of the yoke with the teeny tiny connection for the clasp. Bottom: The cartridge pleating into the yoke of of both the hood and the cape.

What did I particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The bad: I should have known better, but this project called for a tulle lining. I foolishly thought that was a great idea. No. No it was not. It was scratchy and far too thin for the weight of the fashion fabric. I felt like a dummy. The other issue was center front of the yoke. It’s so tiny and thin that sewing a proper cloak clasp is impossible. I had to use a flimsy clasp that ended up breaking and needing to be replaced.

The good: The fact that the cloak comes with instruction for arm slits and is cartridge pleated all over is something that just make my heart sing.

Fabric Used:
As you know, the sparkle tulle for the lining. Still kicking myself for that. But the rest of the fabric ranged from spandex to velvet and everything in between. The feature fabric is a heavy sequin.

Pattern alterations or any design changes I made:
Other than making my own fabric? Nope.

Would I sew it again? Would I recommend it to others?
I actually do want to make this again for cold weather events that require garb. Or even for a chilly Halloween season. It was fast to sew, even with all the hand pleating. The cloak is overall simple in construction and striking when finished.

Why not? Be majestic, be fabulous, have a cloak that means something to you. Life is too short to not make things that bring you joy and remind you of all the warm fuzzy memories.

The back of the cloak; make note how long it is!
The front of the cloak, the hood is huge and I for one am here for it.

Leave a Reply