Reinventing Crocheted Shoulder Cape From 1891!

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A Few Notes On Shoulder Cape Crochet Pattern From 1891

The crochet Shoulder Cape Pattern, c.1891 is from the book, “The Art of Crocheting” by The Butterick Company. This pattern is perfect for the beginner to intermediate crocheter. It is easy to make plus you’ll learn how to adjust a pattern to your unique size.

The first picture below is the original shoulder cape, in crochet, I chose to recreate and modernize. The original picture was cleaned up and enhanced as much as possible for better clarity and crispness. The original shoulder cape calls for ribbons woven in between alternating columns of shells, shell edging at the neck, ribbon at the neckline for fastening and fringe at the hem.

While working out the pattern, a few adjustments were made to the original pattern, and I am very pleased with the results!

    • I chose not to include ribbons throughout the shoulder cape or at the neckline. For the neckline closure, a loop was made for the large vintage pearl button.
    • Instead of the fringe at the cape bottom, I crocheted a shell pattern.
    • The original neckline edging called for a shell pattern as seen in the picture. Instead, I crocheted 5 rows of single crochet to accommodate the loop for the button enclosure and the purple organza sash.
    • Some pizazz was needed to this shoulder cape, so rather than use a ribbon for the neckline enclosure, a long purple organza sash made with french seams was sewn in place at the top of the single crochet neckline (another reason for altering the original neckline pattern).
    • I used a worsted weight yarn, Lionband.
    • Dress different! The finished shoulder cape pairs well with a heavy turtleneck or over a coat for winterwear. For fall and spring, wear over a tank top or lightweight fabric dress. Be creative and have fun!

Click for larger images.

Below is the original crochet pattern for the shoulder cape. To read in a different language, choose your preferred language in the Google Translate button to the left.

Make Your Own Crocheted Shoulder Cape Pattern, c. 1891

Note: the original pattern is size small. To make it your size, measure the neckline of your favorite t-shirt, then crochet a chain of stitches to this measurement (pattern requires an even number).

No. 27.–This cape is made of pale blue Germantown wool, but Saxony, split zephyr, Shetland floss or any of the wools used for such capes may be selected for it in any tint preferred. It is begun at the neck with a chain of 70 stitches. Turn, and make single crochet in each of the stitches. Turn, make chain, and single crochets between those underneath. Turn, make1 more row like last. Turn again, make 3 chains, and 3 double crochets in the first space between the single crochets; make 2 chains, skip 3 single crochets and make J double crochets in the next space. Repeat to the end of the row, making in all 24 groups of 3 double crochets each for the first row of shells. At the end of every row turn and make 3 chains to begin the next row, and make 2 chains between all the shells in every row.

Second and Third rows of Shells.–Make 4 double crochets in center of every group underneath.

Fourth row.–Make 5 double crochets for every shell.

Fifth, Sixth and Seventh rows.–Make 6 double crochets for every shell.

Eighth and Ninth rows.–Make 7 double crochets for every shell.

Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth rows.–Make 8 double crochets for every shell.

Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth rows.—Make 9 double crochets for every shell.

Last four rows.—10 double crochets for every shell.

To make the Collar.–Fasten the wool to the neck edge, make 3 chains, skip I stitch and make I double crochet in next chain underneath; make 1 chain, skip 1 stitch, 1 double in the next chain, and repeat to end of chain. Turn, make 5 double crochets through the loops of the first double crochet underneath; skip 2 double crochets, and make 5 doubles in the next double underneath. Repeat to end of row. Turn, make 1 chain, 6 double crochets in the center of the group of doubles underneath, 1 single crochet in the space between the groups; repeat to end of row. Turn, make 7 double crochets in the center of the group underneath, and1 single crochet in the single crochet underneath; repeat to end of row. Now fasten the wool at the end of last row of single crochets at the neck; work toward the collar, making 1 single crochet in every stitch along the edge until you get to the top of the second row of shells in the collar; then make picots along the edge of the last row of shells as follows: Make 1 single crochet in every double underneath with 3 chain between, except at the corners of the shells; at these points make the single crochet between the shells, skipping the first and last double of every shell.

To Make The Fringe.–Fasten the wool to the corner of the lower shells and make a chain of 31 stitches, and catch with a single crochet through the loops of the 2nd double crochet; make another chain of 31, skip 1 stitch and fasten in the next double, and so on across the bottom,of the cape, fastening the chains in every other stitch. Run ribbons through all the spaces between the shells; and also through those at the neck for a tie, as seen in the engraving,

Happy Crocheting!

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