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PRINTED PATTERN- Victorian 1890s 1899 Ponderosa Cape Pattern- 30"-50" Bust

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Wearing History Archive Couture Pattern #AC127

PRINTED PATTERN- Mailed to you. Please see my shop for the E-pattern version.

1899 "Ponderosa" Reversible Cape Pattern

Multisize from 32" bust to 50" bust all in one packet.

This hooded cape was included in La Mode Illustree in September of 1899. This cape features a lovely high-necked collar and a pointed hood with a turn back “cuff”. Two pockets with pocket flaps adorn the front of the cape. The best thing about the cape is that it was designed to be reversible! The hood buttons on and off, so you can adapt the look. A shorter length cutting line is included so you can make a shoulder cape with hood. We like to think of Victorian fairies wandering the woods in this cape, so we have named it the “Ponderosa”. Perfect for your forest adventures!

- ADVANCED Difficulty -

ADVANCED difficulty. Must be able to put a garment together with almost no instruction. You may wish to have a sewing book handy for detailed techniques. Read more below, please.


From an original 1899 period sewing pattern from La Mode Illustree.

The pattern was originally a single size and from an overlapping pattern included in a magazine. The original user would have untangled the pattern from the pages like a puzzle, and drafted the cape body from a small diagram. This version has been made as a full-size and multi-size pattern, with adaptions for a corrected neckline, but the original neckline is still included. The hood was originally decorative, but an alternate cutting line is included for a larger hood. The cape was meant to hit below the hip, but we have included a shoulder cape cutting line for those who prefer a shorter cape, which was another popular style of this period.

The cape was originally to be cut of double-face“tartan” cloth, a fad of the late 19th century. You can use any type of fabric you prefer, but we suggest using a fabric of a tight weave to prevent the fabric from “growing” on the bias. If you use a napped or directional fabric like a plaid, the center back will fall off-grain. Two different wools are perfect for this project!

There are some videos to hep with this cape on YouTube:

Archive Couture patterns are an exercise for one’s skills, and an adventure into understanding sewing from antique patterns. Please read more details about this pattern below.

-Size and Yardage-

Please see product photos.


-A clean, computer drawn pattern of the basic pattern shapes needed to create the garment illustrated.
-Very basic original text-only sewing description and very basic instructions
-The addition of sewing tips from Wearing History.
-Seam Allowance and grain lines
-Modern cutting charts and yardage amounts (allow extra for plaid matching, napped fabrics, etc)

- - What Is NOT Included With This Pattern - -
As per the "About Archive Couture Patterns" paragraph below, what is not included is standard of patterns of this age.

-NO sewing illustrations. You must be familiar with how to put a garment together using pattern shapes and a finished garment illustration.
-NO finishing techniques or facing pieces
-NO trim placement.
-NO button placement.

- - About Archive Couture Patterns - -
Archive Couture patterns are of Advanced Difficulty and recommended for those who are familiar with putting patterns together with little to no instruction, and who are familiar with pattern alterations for fit. These patterns are have been taken from original historical source materials. These sources may include diagrams, overlapping patterns in magazine issues, early tissue paper patterns, or other period source material. The source material was used by experienced home sewists, dressmakers, or tailors of the period from which they are derived. These patterns were only available only in single sizes, with details such as grain lines or buttonholes most often unmarked. Wearing History has clarified markings (where given) and supplied tips for working with these historical patterns. You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book on hand to help with construction and fitting. Archive Couture patterns follow the period shapes of the original period source material, maintaining the historical accuracy and fit of the completed garment. Fitting a muslin mockup is strongly recommended, as all garments were meant to be worn over period foundation garments or corsetry. Fit and proportion of these patterns are different than modern costume patterns and may require alteration to fit your modern body, even when wearing period style foundations. Several mock ups may be required to achieve ideal fit. We believe these patterns should not be lost to time or languish in historical archives, but be made available for historical sewing enthusiasts of today.

  • Shipping

    PRINTED PATTERNS are mailed to you and already printed on big paper. Shipping is calculated at checkout. Please allow up to one week for orders to ship.

    E-PATTERNS and E-BOOKS are digital download PDF files you save and print yourself or have printed for you. These will not mail to you. You download them yourself to your computer after checkout.

    We do not sell to the EU or the UK on this site, as we aren’t set up for VAT collection. Please shop on Etsy if you’re in those countries. Http://


    Most patterns come as both A4/US LETTER and A0 size. You will need ADOBE READER, a free program, to print your e-pattern.

    For A4/US LETTER paper:

    Open the "READ-ME-FIRST" File for instructions on printing and piecing your pattern. Print the PDF file on your home printer, cut off on the lines given, and tape them together. Then you cut and use your pattern just as you would a normal home sewing pattern.

    For A0 size:

    This is sent away to a copyshop and printed on big sheets for you. We print A0 pattern sheets at great prices at Pattern Printing Company

  • Returns

    No returns or exchanges are accepted. Please be sure of your pattern size and type of product, either physical or digital, before purchasing.

Carefully Researched

All of our patterns are carefully researched and based on either public domain materials or our own creations. Lauren applies her decades worth of practical application of historical fashion and technical skills when making these patterns, and often supplies watch points for making. External helps are available on Wearing History on YouTube and on Wearing History Blog to help you learn to sew history.