Peacock/Sunshine Cape



Y’hanna Perez-Ortiz

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

My husband who was my photographer, sewing machine repairman, and cheerleader throughout the entire process.

Outline the story …

Meet the Peacock/Sunshine Cape. She was inspired by a pair of earrings my sister had years ago made from peacock feathers. They have since been lost but I loved them and I think of her every time I see peacock feathers. My sister traveled to Ghana and brought me fabric whose print was patterned off of peacock feathers and contained my favorite color (yellow). I knew I had to make something special with this fabric.

A good friend of mine says I am a ray of sunshine and I light up a room upon entering. She tells me this often, so when I found the yellow coordinating fabric that reminded me of the sun, I thought it was perfect.

I found the wrap cape pattern after viewing one of Bernadette Banner’s videos. I have had the idea of making a quilted garment for a while but never attempted to do it because I knew it would be quite challenging. I use the KISS method for design (keep it simple stupid) because designs tend to get more difficult as you go. I chose the simple pattern so that I could focus my attention and learning around construction of more advanced techniques, specific to quilting, that I hadn’t tried because I’ve only used quilting to make blankets. In constructing the quilted garment, I was able to learn about bias binding, binding on a curve, and how using reversible designs impact decision making during the construction of the garment.

Outline the construction…

This project presented me with many firsts/challenges. This was my first time using a commercial pattern, correcting a pattern, making and using bias binding, binding around interior angles and exterior angles that were not 90-degrees, and hiding the interior seams of the garment. I didn’t have enough peacock fabric for the binding or front wrap pieces, so I used the sunshine fabric. Initially, I was disappointed but I really love how the sun shines through to the peacock side.

Every part of this project took longer than I expected. In dealing with long-covid fatigue, it was difficult finding the time and energy to quilt approximately 4 yards of fabric. Because of the fatigue I had to take many breaks. I estimated the hand-sewing would take a few hours and it actually took 10-15 hours. This was my second time using mock-ups. I made two complete mock-ups for fit. I made multiple quilted partial mock-ups to coordinate the fabric and thread colors and to determine the seam type, seam covering, and technique for binding around the angles.

I used the American Duchess wrap cape pattern. The fabric and batting are cotton. The thread is polyester. The quilting and cape construction was done by machine. The seams were pressed open, felled by hand, and covered with bias tape. I modified the pattern by replacing the collar with a hood. I amended the pattern to correct the shoulder seams on the front and back pattern pieces because they were not the same length.




  1. Avatar Dawn-Marie deLara on May 7, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    How fun to see a historic garment reinterpreted in such a vibrant, modern garment! And yeah you! for the patience to do all the finishing details of making it fully reversible. Shine on!

  2. Avatar Anna-Catherine Sendgikoski on May 7, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Such a fin and colorful cape! I love it!!

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