|Pattern Description: A basic, raglan sleeve bathrobe with belt & hood |
Pattern Sizing: Ranges from a Child's extra-small to Adult extra-large
This was for my middle child who is TALL (almost 6' 4") & BIG - think a burly, peasant kind of body. After showering or working as a lifeguard, as he has done the last 3 summers, he likes nothing better than to sit around wrapped in several towels for an hour (or more). Several years back, I got him a cotton velour bathrobe, but there were quite a few things about it he didn't like, so he hardly ever wore it. I can't remember if I offered or if he asked me to do it, but eventually the agreement was that I would make him a REAL terry cloth bathrobe.
Fabric Used: terry cloth from towels. As I said, he is BIG and terry cloth is expensive! Plus, his favorite color is bright turquoise; it was challenging to find the right fabric at a good price. One day, I was out shopping & I spied some bright turquoise bath towels - just the right color! They were on sale for US$3 a piece, so I bought six - just to make sure I'd have enough. Even with a terrific sale I couldn't have gotten anywhere near enough terry cloth by the yard for $18. Took them home, washed them and there they sat for about a year; I think I was in denial about how much I wanted to get back into sewing......
Finally, I cut the thing out last fall...and it sat again for months. I finally got it done this past spring. He LOVES IT! It was not technically difficult at all, & I wish I hadn't procrastinated so long. :::sigh:::
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The towels I used were probably 2 - 3 times thicker than terry cloth by the yard (more on that below - see NOTE), so I used the selvedges & the hems on the towels for almost all the to-be-finished bits; it took some creative thought as to placement and do remember to remove seam & hem allowances when cutting out if you are using cloth with already finished edges (like a towel). Luckily, bathrobes aren't closely fitting garments! I was concerned about enough room around the chest and also considered creating an underarm gusset to increase range of movement and to reduce bulk, but in the end, it wasn't necessary. I changed the construction of the belt to reduce bulk. Also, when cutting out, I took care to to place and match the towel borders at the cuffs, along the hood edge & at the pockets. If you look at the pictures, he is wearing it "wrong" the cuffs are supposed to be folded back and then they would be the right length. I was going to tack them in place, but he insists he prefers the cuffs uncuffed....Oh well, it's his bathrobe after all.
NOTE: Since I was using bath towels, I had a good bit of difficulty with the thickness of the fabric, even when just sewing 2 layers together. Both my regular machine & serger were pushed to their limits in sewing this. Having trouble with the density of the toweling probably doubled the length of sewing time, and led me to choosing "good enough" over "done right" a number of times during construction.
I used the pattern instructions only slightly - more as a guideline of what bit to do next than actually following their directions.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes & yes. Sewing a bathrobe is a project I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. It's a great pleasure to have a lovely bathrobe to wear and they are not hard to sew. It's a great "return" on sewing time invested.
Conclusion: If I ever do this again, I will do one of 2 things: either find toweling that isn't so dense or get a true heavy-duty machine. Still, this bathrobe's seams won't ever fall apart - the fabric will disintegrate first! I had to make it very sturdy - the dense terry cloth weighs *quite* a bit. He'll be wearing this for at least 15 years I predict. Definitely worth it: he's worn it again & again.