For several years, I hardly wore the cloak. I liked the historical aspect of it, but didn't want to stand out. Plus, it was too easy to trip over the hem, especially when going up stairs.
My sewing skills, or perhaps my patience, have improved since high school. So has my confidence. I don't have a winter coat that isn't sporty or work wear (e.g. Mountain Hardware, Carhartt). I remembered this cloak sitting in my closet. Even though it is wool with a polyester satin lining, it isn't exceptionally warm. It works best in the 40-50 degree F range. Then again, in North Carolina, winter days are seldom colder than the upper 30s.
Anyway, I started wearing this cloak for work and enjoyed wearing it, but I also noticed how poorly sewn the hem was. I decided to take out the hem, shorten the cloak, and sew the new hem nicely. Once I took out the hem, I noticed other instances of poor sewing, but had no desire to unpick the entire garment. I settled for improving the hem.
As is consistent with my reluctance to cut anything, I folded the hem up instead of trimming off the excess length.
Now I can walk without dragging the back of my cloak and the weather is warming up enough that I don't need it. Oh, well. It will be ready for next year.