Sunday, November 22, 2009

Patriots robe

The first of the Christmas gifts is done -- this went together very quickly. It's the third time that I've made a robe from this pattern and at this point I can almost do it in my sleep. I made a few unplanned changes this time, and if I make this again I have some additional changes I'd like to make.

Unplanned changes?
Sometimes I'm a space cadet. Sometimes I can't control what comes out of my mouth. Sometimes this converges so that when I want 3 7/8 yard of 60" fabric, I'll somehow have forgotten that I'm sewing for someone else so should get the full amount needed and blurt out "3 and a half yards please" at the cutting counter. Add the fact that the saleswoman cut each yard an inch short and I was 10" short on fabric for this project.

Not to worry, I'm not the only short person in my family! Shortness is inherited, and my dad is not as tall as the Butterick male ideal (he's about 5'7" whereas the Butterick Man is 5'10" So I could take 3" off the hem. I also cut the front facings an additional 2" short, which saved fabric and bulk -- I sewed up the hem like a facing over the facing... Sounds confusing, but here's a picture.

Changes for next time?

If I sew this again, I'd make the cuffs wider. With the turn of cloth for a bulky fabric like fleece, the cuffs are pretty skimpy. I've also made this in flannel, and the cuffs are about the right width.

Some other notes about this pattern and sewing with fleece
Butterick's pretty serious about the amount of fabric that you need. There's no waste in the layout and very little room for fudging around. I'm lucky that I could cop out and shorten the pattern pieces. The robe seems long on me (forgive the belly skin in the pic) but will probably fall just below the knee on my dad.

This fleece is such a novelty fabric... I bought it at Joann and it is Joann quality as in it shed everywhere. I've been sniffling all day from sewing with it. That said, it's still easy to sew because it doesn't fray and is stretchy so easing sleeves and the collar is very easy. I set the sleeves in flat with no problem.

To finish the seams, I mock flat felled them with a zig zag stitch. Here is a picture of the upper collar and shoulder seams.

And I bartacked the belt loops. I hope that they're in the right place. When I've made this robe for myself, I've had to move the belt loops up by 3". You can't see it in the photos either, but I bartacked the cuffs in place. The pattern instructions tell you to hand sew them, but I'm no sucker. If I can find away to avoid hand stitching by taking a machine short cut, I will!