A few weeks ago my husband celebrated another birthday. I didn't want to buy something that was not needed, so I thought about what my husband might like.
(And just in case you were wondering, I have de-identified DH for many reasons - so all photos will be sans head).
My husband tends to don a long, ethnic robe when he gets home after a day and long evening of wearing suits. In the evening he just wants to read the paper and wear something comfortable. Understandable. He does have a corduroy robe, but I thought a soft, snuggly, fleecy one would be even nicer to wear.
So I set about making one. I had already stashed the Poly Cotton sweatshirt fleecy when Spotlight had a sale. I figured I needed quite a bit, so stashed 3.7 metres at $6.99 per metre. They charge $16.99 full price at the moment, and sale about $9.99, so stashing on this occasion paid off!
The middle eastern gowns have a slit in the front neckline, and I wanted an opening so DH could easily get the gown on and off without struggling - because there is a lot to put on with this garment!
I found this pattern which gave me the idea of putting a closure at the neckline:
I only wanted a small yoke, so I took the neckline from the KwikSew pattern, and measured the yoke depth from this pattern:
As I wanted a long gown, I used this pattern as the base for the first toile:
I traced the top, added my neckline, yoke and facing modifications. Unfortunately, this pattern did not fit well at all when I made up the first muslin (unphotographed). DH was twitching and pulling under the arms. There was also a twist to the sleeve which he also fiddled with. Now, he would not say he was uncomfortable, but I knew he was, so that was that.
Back to the drawing board and draw up pattern 2. I based this on the Kwik Sew pattern, but added a yoke and drew an A-line shape to equal the width of the cotton gowns DH wears in summer. Then I made a small muslin to test the basic concept:
This worked, but the neckline was too high - you can see this on the left side of the photo. I have pinned a new position on the right side of the photo. The concept was working, but I needed to redraw a new neckline and a new collar piece to take into account the length of the new neck. Of course, I tested this before going ahead with the main garment, but I don't have a photo of that step.
Then it was sewing. There was a lot of sewing and in fact quite heavy sewing, because of the weight and volume of all the fabric. I also had to think about how to make and finish this garment as I was not using or following a pattern with directions.
I decided to flip and stitch my seams, because the overlocker would not like a lot of the bulk. I did this for all seams including the yoke. And I flipped the side seams to the front, because this also turns the pockets towards the front and holds them there.
I also had to work out how to attach the collar so that it looked neat and tidy. In the end, I decided to finish the neckband like a collar stand, so that it was neat on the inside as well - so the collar is turned under on the inside and looks much the same as the outside.
The opening also needed a closure, and I did not like the idea of a buttonhole on sweatshirt fleece. I settled on a snap, but first I reinforced the facing area with a cotton header tape, so that the snap doesn't pull out.
And of course, I added pockets. I used cotton drill for these. DH has been instructed to be careful with the pockets so he doesn't pull them out from the seams. In any case, they have been bar tacked in order to prevent this as far as possible :)
I finally finished this long labour of love today and here is the result:
This garment was certainly hard work, but my husband likes it, and is looking forward to wearing it tonight. High fashion it isn't, but the beauty of sewing is that you can make anything you want to suit your own idiosyncratic needs. And who wouldn't enjoy wearing something like this after a hard, long working day.
And, now I have a pattern, and have done all the thinking, I am sure the next will be easier...
Well, now I am into sewing warm, thick knits, I might tackle some polar fleece next. Not my favourite fabric to work with. But, I have a piece in the stash that I want out of the stash so I think I will just get on with it.
Now it's fun time for me - I'll make some coffee and then look at your blogs :)