Sunday, June 19, 2016

Something Different on SLSS

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 :)

Sarah Liz


  1. Great cosy robe! I bet he loves it. Thanks for sharing your pricess, too.

  2. All your finishing details are so neat. A unique garment, but isn't that why we make exactly what we want. Hope your husband appreciates your efforts.

  3. This is great! I'm sure your husband will have lots of comfy and relaxing nights wearing this cozy robe. Good for you for taking the time to sew for someone else.

  4. Nice!! I'd love one, SarahLiz. My people are always so hot, and I'm so cold, so the the AC is set pretty cold. I bundle up in the house! I'm sure you're hubby will get much enjoyment from his new robe. What a thoughtful gift, made to perfection!

  5. You really did a great job, it's so well constructed and definitely looks comfy. What a great gift!

  6. Nice cozy robe! Your workmanship is excellent. I am sure he will enjoy it.

  7. Darth Vader! Nice work pattern morphing/drafting. It's a feel good garment to be sure.

  8. I think it looks great Sarah Liz, and perfect for these chilly nights. It is beautifully sewn, and I am especially impressed with the tape and the snap, which looks so professional. Well done!

  9. Firstly I think the sewing is a really great job - the tapes and the snap is really so beautifully sewn. A labour of love for sure but I think having a garment that fits the brief is the great benefit of sewing yourself. Plus a happy husband to boot.

  10. Great robe! I enjoyed all the detail. I am sure your husband love it :)

  11. wonderful job.. Know your husband will enjoy it. Nice and comfortable..
    Very sweet for you to make it..

  12. Great job Sarah Liz. I'm sure your OH loves it. It is certainly relaxing, and I like the idea that the neckline fits up against the neck. A more open neck lets too much cold in. I've been meaning to make a similar thing for myself for years, and you're right! Why don't I? I can sew! Happy Birthday to J. TS

  13. Your perseverance paid off and your DH looks very comfortable in his new robe.

  14. What a thoughtful gift for your husband made of much love! So much thought and 'thinking out' you had to do and it all came together beautifully..... or should I say 'handsomely'?! And he will always think of you when he powers down for the evening in his warm, comfy robe. :)

  15. What a lovely and thoughtful gift for your husband and clearly something he will wear often. Such a professional job you have made of it too.

  16. I am sure it is cozy and that he loves it a lot! It was a good idea to add cotton twill to the snap area to prevent the snap from coming out. Thanks for the tip!