After completing my “Classic French Jacket” and its coordinating sheath dress, I wanted something easy – and relatively quick – for my next project. I didn’t think it was going to be another bathrobe, but that’s what it has turned out to be, to my great surprise.
Because we had such a chilly Spring, I was wearing my newly constructed Winter bathrobe into June. But, suddenly, Summer arrived in the middle of that month, with its humidity and often beastly temperatures. It was then I pulled out my old, lightweight Summer robe – you know, the one with the missing button – and the small tear – and the tea stain which somehow became a permanent fixture. Not such a pretty sight. Having become used to my new Winter robe which makes me happy whenever I put it on, I decided maybe it was time to replace my Summer robe, too.
I already had a three-yard length of “water-color-designed cotton lawn” from Britex Fabrics.
At 56” wide, I thought it would be enough to make a robe, using the same wonderful pattern I had used for my Winter robe.
My only reservation was that the fabric makes quite a statement. I wondered if perhaps it was going to be too, too much in an ankle length robe. Truthfully, though, how many people see me in my bathrobe? I figured I’d go for it.
Once again, laying out the pattern was quite the task, done entirely on the floor. Although the pattern matching didn’t have to be quite as precise as working with an orderly plaid, I did have to pay attention to the large squares and where they would end up in relation to each other and in relation to the dimensions of the front and back of the robe.
After just barely managing to get the two fronts, one back, the sleeves and collar and front facings placed on the fabric, I knew I was not going to have enough fabric left to match the pockets to their underlaying design. I did, however, have two fabric blocks featuring those quirky little birds, enough to make two pockets. The birds could even face each other.
But I knew they would look a little “lost in space” unless I set them off somehow. That’s when I went to my tried and true solution for all kinds of sewing fixes – piping! Yellow seemed to delineate the pockets the best – beating out green, red, pink and purple, all of which I “auditioned.”
I quite like those little birds, looking cheery and chirpy on the front of my robe.
The fabric is so lovely, almost diaphanous in its effect. And that bold, colorful pattern which had given me pause? It has an exotic flair to it, quite acceptable for a summer robe. I just hope it doesn’t panic the cat.
Odds and Ends and One Thing You Mustn’t Miss
Sewing has been, well, challenging this summer. In reality, I think I have been able to accomplish just about all I could have hoped for – so far, at least – but it certainly doesn’t seem like very much.
When I packed fabric to bring along to our new vacation home in Wyoming, I tried to think ahead and determine exactly what I would need. For instance, I brought two decorator fabrics which I had picked out for two of our “new” bedrooms, with plans for making decorative pillows and at least one bed skirt. I also brought two fabrics with which to make dresses for our two little granddaughters who were arriving, along with the rest of our immediate family, in late July. I also brought some vintage Moygashel linen, many pieces of shirting and dress cottons, skirt fabric, and a piece of Viyella cotton/wool blend. What was I thinking?!! Certainly no one could accuse me of being under-ambitious!
I totally misjudged how much of my time would be taken up with organizing and setting up a new household. So – what have I been able to sew? A number of decorative pillows, for one thing. I find them – and all that self-bias tape I had to construct – utterly boring to make, but satisfying once they are completed. The bed skirts have been moved to the “still to do” list.
I was able to make dresses for my granddaughters. My original intent was to make each dress out of a different fabric, but when I stretched out my ladybug embroidered, striped fabric from Emma One Sock, I realized I had more than I needed for one dress. With one minor compromise, I knew I could get two dresses from my existing yardage. So I changed plans and made matching dresses.
I made white piping for the pockets and collars out of kitchen string and white batiste. The ladybug embroidered fabric is really so cute!
The compromise I had to make involved the sashes, as I did not have enough fabric to cut sashes for two dresses. Fortunately I had enough of the coordinating red fabric to make the sashes. Now I’m glad it worked out that way, as I think it makes the dresses cuter.
I had pre-purchased red decorative buttons, thinking I would need them for just one dress. Normally I would put three in a row centered beneath the collar, but with four buttons, and two dresses … Well, you do the math! Two on each dress it is!
Having spent many summer days and nights in Wyoming before this year, I knew from experience how chilly the mornings – and nights – can be throughout the summer. (The days are warm and glorious, however.) Warm cozy slippers and a winter-weight bathrobe are necessities. And that is why I brought along the afore-mentioned Viyella fabric. Although I packed a winter-weight robe which I made a few years ago, I wanted to make a new robe which I can leave here, therefore eliminating one bulky item from future suitcases.
How lovely to have the opportunity to use this vintage Vogue pattern once again.
This robe takes a lot of fabric, and it was a tight squeeze fitting all the pattern pieces on it and matching the plaid as well. I had to make the sash out of two pieces of fabric, seaming it in the back. Additionally, I had enough fabric for only one pocket (I prefer two.) But, I am happy with the outcome, and very pleased to have used one more piece of fabric from my sizeable collection!
Viyella is the perfect fabric for a lightweight, but warm bathrobe. It is machine washable, and gets softer with age.
While the bathrobe, and the little dresses, were enjoyable to make, neither were challenging in the “couture” sense. So I did my “couture” dreaming vicariously through the Susan Khalje Couture Sewing Club, where inspiration abounds in many forms. Earlier in the month, Susan was interviewed for the “Love to Sew” podcast. Treat yourself and spend a lovely hour-plus listening to it, if you haven’t already done so. The interview, Episode 106, dated August 12th, can be found here:
Among Susan’s new pattern offerings is this jacket:
When I arrive back home in Pennsylvania, I will be searching through my fabric closet for the perfect pairing for this pattern. I am just itching to challenge myself with such a project. No more pillows, at least for now!
Filed under Bathrobes, Buttons - choosing the right ones, Fashion commentary, Sewing for children, Uncategorized, Vintage fabric, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s
Tagged as 1950's Vogue patterns, Bathrobes, fashion sewing, sewing for children, Susan Khalje Couture, vintage Vogue patterns