A Sunny Yellow RepliKate Shirtdress

I always try to downplay the impressiveness of my sewing projects because, really, they’re just following instructions from a pattern. However, this one turned out exactly how I wanted it to, so I’ll take a bow. And not so much for how well it turned out but for how close I got to what I was trying to achieve.

Yes, of course it was another repliKate (a Kate Middleton replica for anyone that hasn’t met me).

Image via Getty

I don’t know why it took me so long with my fondness for sewing and repliKates (I’ve also knit a shawl and sewn a cape similar to hers) to attempt making a dress. Not too long ago, I even made a couple shirtdresses that only took a day so I figured I could manage it. Also, call me stuck in the past, but I think shirtdresses are just the absolute perfect summer outfit, whether it’s 1960 or 2017.

I made this dress with Butterick pattern #6333 and an inexpensive bright yellow (obviously) cotton fabric from Joann Fabrics. The entire dress probably cost less than $20. Thankfully the pattern was really close to the Jaeger dress because I was not too confident I could merge two patterns together like I thought I was going to have to do.

In total, it took just a weekend (fueled by White Claws) to make. Side note: I never know how to answer the question of how long something takes me to make. Yes, it took about a weekend from start to finish (and under a slight deadline), but if I felt like dedicating an entire day to it, I could have done it. That’s also if my poor back did not hurt and I didn’t have to take alcohol and cheese breaks. What a workout!

This also seems like a good time to point out that the dress HAS POCKETS. Heavenly, amiright, ladies?

The pleats were one intimidating factor of this pattern, mainly because I have never done those before. And I am here to spread the good news—they’re easy! I’m super excited with how it turned out, because I think it looks so much like Kate’s. Also I really like the sleeves, which I was worried about. I cannot pull off cap sleeves, but these were just long enough to be considered cap sleeves, while not totally accentuating my arm pit obesity. Hooray!

The results are in: I wore it on one of the first nice days and got lots of compliments at work (and a few renditions of “You Are My Sunshine”, for what that’s worth). Happy spring!

Cape Town, USA

Dear capes, have I told you lately that I love you? The best part about capes, other than their inherent awesomeness, is that they are worn during the best season of the year—fall! In this state, there are basically two days of the year when it’s not too hot or too cold to wear a cape and now that I have sewn a second one, I never have to wear the same one twice in a calendar year. #blessed

Based on this imperial evidence proving that capes are the best, I decided I had to have the cape Kate Middleton has from Zara. Of course, it’s long sold out so I sewed my own repliKate (repliCape?).

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Kate’s Cape from Zara

I used Burda Young pattern #7313 for the cape, as seen below.

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Burda Pattern #7313. Please note this is a “young” pattern, confirming that I am still young myself.

I couldn’t find the perfect fabric with a large plaid or check like the Zara cape so I settled on this small, brown tweed plaid. It was in the suiting section so it’s a thin but warm fabric, which is ideal. I was excited to find the leather buckle for the top of the cape—I think it looks almost exactly like the original!

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The before picture, just in case it turned out like garbage, I could still always remember the pretty fabric and the hope of what could have been.

I ran into a couple hiccups along the way. Mainly, I think the pattern called for a fleece fabric or something that didn’t fray when it was cut. When I made the front slits in the cape, there were no instructions to finish the edges. So after a few phone calls to Mom, I improvised by adding dark brown bias tape to the edges of the slits, which I ended up loving because of the contrast and interest it added. I also overlapped the top edges by a few inches when I sewed on the buckle, instead of having the edges just meet when buckled, so it stayed more closed and warm. I’m practical over everything.

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The only thing I can’t figure out about this cape is how to hold my arms non-awkwardly.

The cape only took a few hours and two nights to finish, and I was ready for a fall photo shoot! I even ate a big lunch so I could repliKate the baby bump Kate sported with her cape. Anything for authenticity.

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If you think this is awkward, you should see the outtakes.

It was surprisingly hard to find a pattern for this simple cape so I would love to see any others people have found! Capes forever!

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Chilling by a tree. Told you it was perfect for fall.

A Kate Middleton-Inspired Knit Shawl

I’m a bit of a Kate Middleton fan, but I hide it really well by trying to dress like her always and writing for a Kate Middleton style fan blog in my free time (it’s actually really good and you should read What Would Kate Do? every single day!). For my most recent blog post, I decided to combine interests and knit myself a replica item of Kate’s (or repliKate, as we in the know call it): a knit green shawl she was photographed wearing to the grocery store a couple of years ago.

PIC BRUCE ADAMS / COPY SCHLESINGER - 5.5.11 NEWLY MARRIED DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE KATE MIDDLETON WITH SHOPPING AT THE MENAI BRIDGE BRANCH OF WAITROSE SUPERMARKET, ANGLESEY.

Via Bruce Adams, Daily Mail

The clincher? I found this replica pattern of the exact shawl by Cat Wong on Ravelry!

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Via Cat Wong, Ravelry

It started super easy and I was like, oh yeah girl, you’ve got this. Cruisin’ USA, right? But since triangles start small at one point and then get larger towards the opposite side, each consecutive row took longer to knit. (I realize this is an obvious fact, but it really took me by surprise, so if I can help one person, this PSA is worth it.) But after some late nights and sore arms (don’t laugh), I finished it!

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Overall, the pattern was pretty easy to follow (just a little time-consuming) and turned out really great. There are a few different pattern options for the ruffle. As opposed to Kate’s, with ruffles on all three edges, I toned it down and just added the ruffles on two edges of the shawl.

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I’m also a fan of how this can be worn as a shawl or a scarf or a wrap. The possibilities are endless if endless equals three possibilities!

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Please give me a haircut someone.