1890s White Tail Deer Cape



Krista Howson

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Rachel Thurston -took the pics of me wearing the cape

Outline the story …

This is my very first wearable project other than a simple touque (beanie). Every stitch of this project is hand sewn as I do not yet own a sewing machine. I started off attempting to draft my own pattern from the American College of Dressmaking Textbook from 1912, I got to the "alterations on mock-up" stage and then life happened. My niece and her 2 kids dog and 2 cats moved in with me, and then my nephew and his daughter moved in. Space and Time have been altered in my house with no room for anything and no quiet time. With all the kaos at home, I put the ACDM bodice on the back burner and changed my plan to something simple and easy.

I came up with the white tail deer inspired bodice/jacket while I was deer hunting a few years ago, and since a cape is very basic it was easy to add the deer detail from the bodice jacket. The embroidery design on the back is from tracing lines and shading from a picture of a deer's face. The collar detail on the back has colours similar to their tails, and the antlers were drafted from a real 10pt buck antler I found in the bush. I plan on wearing my new cape around the house, mainly while reading for something over my shoulders.

I documented my progress on my youtube channel, mainly with shorts.

I want to say more but I'm out of room!

Outline the construction…

I had to scrap the bodice plan for a more simple, less complicated, less stressful project. After an evening on the Truly Victorian website I decided on the 1890's cape. I used the same fabric I had purchased for the bodice and my deer details were easier to incorporate, than on the bodice.

I did a small alteration to the back of the collar to add a black section and a white tip, and white on the underside, similar to the markings on the tail of the deer. I also added POCKETS - BIG ONES! as this will be my reading cape, something warm on my shoulders.

fabrics are natural fibers and colours are the closest to colours found on a white tail deer.
outer fabric - corduroy tan with a black weft
white fabric - cotton flannel
black fabric - cotton flannel

I attempted embroidery with the back design detail - not a fan - didn't enjoy it.

the toggle buttons look like tips of the antlers and when put side by side kind of resemble a deer's hoof.

I attended the FR workshop and had a great time, I found it to be very helpful and would attend another in a heartbeat!

I really appreciated the extended period of this years competition, as I probably wouldn't have entered if the timeline was tighter, as I started this project when it was announced and just finished it a week or sew ago (pun intended!)





  1. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 9, 2023 at 12:07 am

    I personally think that capes should be worn almost daily! They are not only stylish, but darn convenient! Love it! We’ll done!

  2. PK Reynolds McKnight P.K. Reynolds McKnight PK Reynolds McKnight P.K. Reynolds McKnight on May 10, 2023 at 4:21 am

    Book pocket is genius!

  3. Avatar Holly Holly Delaney on May 10, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    I love the deer motif! Appliqués are difficult to do well, you did a great job. I would wear this!

  4. Avatar Susannah Allanic on May 12, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    What I really like about your capelet are the generous pockets and that car-driving friendly. Very nice color work too! You look very happy AND comfortable. That’s always a nice thing!

  5. Avatar Lowana O\'Shea on May 16, 2023 at 6:02 am

    This is such a fun and clever design – I love it! You did such a great job 🙂

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