Does anyone else find it hard to start a blog post? I always feel like I should have an introductory paragraph before launching into the actual details. Perhaps I’m just over educated. This blog post will lay out the reasons behind, and the making of, a robe. It will aim to prove that the robe is very nice, making things is good, and that sometimes patterns are worth paying for even if they are expensive and you could hypothetically draft that yourself. The author will argue that pink is not a colour she normally wears but actually it’s quite nice.
Ahem. So. A robe. This is part of my plan to step up my ‘loungewear’ game, I made it before my Springfield hack. I specifically had in mind that I am going to Bali again in October and I need to sew some more weather and holiday-style appropriate things, and I thought a robe would be a nice, luxurious start – something to swan around in in the morning before putting on proper clothes, or in the evening after a swim and a shower. I thought a bunch about drafting my own because like… it’s basically a couple of rectangles, right? In the end I bit the bullet and bought the Named Asaka robe because I figured I only wanted to sew one robe rather than test a bunch of shapes, and I was paying for someone else having thought about proportion, drape, etc. Plus those sleeves.
The pdf was easy to put together and everything went fine. I initially lengthened the robe by 6”, so it took up every single inch of the fabric I had, and I had to piece the belt in about four places.
The fabric is voile from spotlight that I bought because, despite the fact that I don’t really wear pink, or prints, or busy florals, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The fourth time I went back to look at it it was on sale so I bought it. I got I think 4 or 5 metres, which would have been enough for a dress, but then couldn’t pull the trigger on actually making it up because… I don’t really wear pink, or prints, or busy florals. So I was really pleased to be able to both use my stash and also make use of this fabric in a way I love. Because it is a directional print I couldn’t flip the pieces to be more efficient, and I lengthened the robe and therefore made the bottom swing out even wider so I just fit everything on. I had fun playing pattern layout tetris though!
I made a size 44 shoulders grading to 46 at the top of the armscye, which is my standard MO (I think I have those sizes right. I didn’t take good notes, but I definitely graded betwqeen sizes). I made no other adjustments, figuring it’s a robe with lots of ease so specific bust fitting wouldn’t be needed. I didn’t bother with a muslin, either. I used heavy iron-in interfacing from spotlight, and I think I need to up my interfacing game. This stuff is fine but not great, and I can see that as my sewing gets better my makes are going to start being let down by dodgy, bubbly interfacing. Anyone have any in-Australia interfacing recs?
I French seamed everything which meant the belt loops were a bit fiddly – I just did the first step of the French seam and then sewed the loop in with the second pass. It took a couple of tries to get everything caught in the seam properly, but was definitely worth it. I also added another loop at the neck, using the same pattern piece, for hanging the robe up.
The neck facing is a bit of a bodge job, I was ready to be done by that point so it’s a bit wonky but coming back to it after a few weeks to photograph it I went to check the flaws and couldn’t really find a bit that was particularly bad so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It’s certainly not my best sewing but it’s not going to be something I notice every time I wear it, you know? I also forgot to lengthen the facings when I lengthened the robe, although I don’t think I would have fit that on my fabric anyways.
However, once I had the robe made up, I tried it on and felt like it was too long. I lopped off 4” so that my finished robe is 2” longer than the pattern intends (and with the last 2” pieced). And it’s short! Like ‘make sure you’re wearing underwear you like before you bend over’ short. So be warned. I actually did like the longer length and might consider making it up like that in a warmer fabric, but it wasn’t what I was aiming for with this.
The sleeves are cut so it’s easy to do a french seam and then separately finish the edges. The sleeves are really well drafted. I am idly considering piecing the fabric leftovers and sewing them into a tasuki to keep them out of my way if I want to do dishes or whatever. But on the other hand, I’d like to discourage myself from doing any form of housework while wearing this robe 😄 I could probably tie them in a knot if I really wanted to do something that they’d be in the way for.
I was a bit surprised by how little instruction there was for finishing it nicely, I think it’s a pattern that lends itself to a beginner intermediate sewer and I would have liked to have seen French seams at least suggested, at least for the seams that will be visible.
Personally, I was paying for the drafting not the instructions so even though I would consider this quite an expensive pattern, it was worth it for me. This is a simple pattern but the proportion and design is lovely and much better than what I would have drafted myself. I am thrilled with my robe and cannot wait for the appropriate weather to wear it!
Do not see: this white nonsense photoshoot (I feel weird enough about wearing a ‘kimono’ can we not do the hands thing please??)