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—lisa g.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

bumpy robe

i've kinda been on a sewing binge lately. it started with the four halloween costumes (halloween, by the way was delayed for five days due to a ridiculous freak snow storm dropping 10"+ in our area and knocking out power for days!!), then i made a simple top for myself (sorbetto... what else?), then i made a dress for my izzie bee's 4th birthday, then i made a birthday gift for my big sister... all within about four weeks. hmmm... dare i say that i need a break from sewing? ha ha ha ha!!!! okay, just kidding there.

so i'll start with the robe i made for my big sister, jessica for her birthday. i know, i know, a robe sounds awfully unglamorous. don't worry, she'll love it. she's always cold! seriously! it'll be the middle of summer and her fingernails and lips will be blue. i wish i got her ability to be cold all the time, i'm always burning up like a furnace. anywho... i've made robes for my kids over the years and they seem to be loved and admired by all. i always hear: "oooh, do they come in adult sizes too?" so here is my first run at an adult sized bumpy robe.

yes, bumpy. have you seen these minky fabrics? they're super soft and the bumpy version is extra cuddly. i line them in soft flannel and my kids tell me they are fabulously cozy! also, i recently acquired a serger as an early birthday gift (yaaayyy!!!!) so i had a fast and easy way to finish all my seams!

ever wonder why robes are so expensive? probably because they take miles of fabric. doubled up for lining... i now understand why they are so pricey. over four yards of the minky and almost six yards for the 45" wide flannel lining. yikes! i actually had to clear and clean the living room floor and use that as my cutting surface. (yay for hardwood flooring!)

this was just the minky. the flannel was even longer!

first off, minky is thick and it makes a mess when you cut it. the flannel also creates a ton of lint in the sewing machine so it's is super crucial to clean out your machine many times during a project using these types of fabrics. a can of spray air is extremely useful here.

the thick nature of the minky makes it difficult to mark those little circles for sleeves and pocket placement, so i like to use tailor's tacks. this is a quick and handy way to mark any fabric, particularly the difficult ones. here's how to do it:

after your fabric is cut but while the pattern is still pinned to the fabric, take a hand sewing needle and thread it with a contrasting color that will be highly visible on the fabric. pull the needle all the way to the middle of the thread so you end up with a double strand.

poke the needle through the marking all the way through the material and pull the needle to the other side.

leave about an inch of thread on the top side of the material then cut the thread leaving about an inch hanging from the bottom side. do all the markings for the pattern piece like this.

sorry about all the weird shadows, it was very sunny and
i'm not talented enough to edit it out of my pictures!

once they are all marked, unpin the pattern and remove it from the fabric. the thread should just fall through the tissue without any issue (hee hee... i rhyme all the time... too much dr. seuss perhaps?). then, carefully separate the two layers of fabric and snip the thread in the middle so that each piece has two threads sticking through it.

this is such a simple accurate way of marking, i rarely use any other method even on fabrics that take marking easily. the tailor's tacks show up on both sides of both pieces of fabric with minimum effort. try it once, you'll be a convert.

really the most difficult part to making an adult sized robe is the fabric cutting. after that, it sews up very quickly. faster if you aren't lining it, of course. and here is the finished product!

the facing was hand stitched to the lining allllll the way around.
it took hours... and produced some serious hand cramping!

the lining makes a nice contrasting touch at the cuff, the tie belt as well as the insides of the pockets.

one side of the tie is bumpy, the other flannel

jumbo sized pockets! yay!

of course i had to wear it a while (you know, to take pictures and whatnot and i had to make sure it worked okay...), and oh is it so very cozy! i hope she'll spend many cold evenings snuggled up in it this winter. add a cup of coffee or a mug of cocoa... i so need one of these for myself. i have a feeling more minky and flannel will show up on my doorstep as my other siblings que up in line for one of their own... just a hunch. ;-)

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i appreciate all the feedback, but will no longer be responding to comments left here. i have moved all my content to wordpress (see link at the top of the page!) and will now be posting there. all my posts can be found in my wordpress archive. thanks for reading and please visit my new page!