Caro London Kimono Robe

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Hello!

I cannot believe it’s December already… I have a bit of a backlog of things to share with you (a backblog maybe?) so let’s get on with item number 1. This was my final summer wardrobe project – a dressing gown/robe that can be worn even on the warmest days in summer – instead of cooking in my winter-weight towelling robe.

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The pattern

This is the kimono robe pattern from a book called And Sew to Bed by Caro London. The pattern was given away with a sewing magazine years ago and I’d had it on my list to make since then. I loved the sample, which features on the front cover of the book, and thought it would make the perfect robe/dressing gown for warmer weather. It has wide kimono sleeves, it’s not too short to answer the door in and I love the way the neckband goes all the way around and right to the bottom.

I tried piecing together the PDF download from Sew magazine, but it was horrifically laid out – there were no edges to trim, and no markings to show how to put the pieces together. Unimpressed. But I was still in love with this design, so I shelled out for an unused copy of the book from a reseller and traced off the pattern sheets in the back.

That went better, although it’s still not the easiest pattern to grapple with.

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Fitting

I added a couple of inches to the length (I’m 5’10”) and one to the sleeve length, and it fits pretty well. It rides up a teensy bit at the front because I didn’t bother with an FBA, so if you’re a D-cup or over you might want to consider one. I like the sleeves bracelet length because I’m a sleepy sheep in the mornings and wide full-length sleeves always end up getting into my mug of tea somehow!

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You can never have enough tea in the mornings in our house.

The fabric

I love this so much! Everything about this Atelier Brunette moonstone viscose challis is completely me: the colours, the abstract pattern, the drape. Expect to see more of this adorning this blog come next summer. I bought it from Material Girl Laura, using a discount code I found in a magazine so it was a little bit cheaper than the RRP.

The contrast is a polyester satin in a kind of gunmetal grey from Doughtys. It’s hard to see in these pictures, but the satin picks out the grey in the viscose, and I love the matt/sheen combination. Together there’s something just a bit 1920s about them – I start to imagine I have Phryne Fisher’s wardrobe. OK, maybe not quite.

One word of warning: if you have a cat its claws will snag polyester satin in a heartbeat, so maybe stick to cotton lawn and taffeta (the original fabric suggestion) or something else more forgiving. And if you love Liberty prints, this pattern would be a perfect match for either ditsy prints or huge dramatic florals. Right now, I’d love something like this.

Construction

Viscose challis can be a slippery fish and loves to stretch out as you handle it, so I cut and sewed it through tissue paper, with my walking foot on too. The pattern recommends french seams, which I used throughout, apart from when I attached the neckband. Poly satin doesn’t press all that well, but with a bit of basting on first it came out OK in the end.

Overall I’m really happy with this make, and I can’t wait to wear it more next spring.

But robes like these aren’t just for summer! If you’re considering sewing any Christmas presents, a robe makes a great gift for a very, very lucky lady – it’s a bit indulgent, and you don’t have to be too exact with sizing or fitting. Other patterns I eyed up for this project were: the Gather Buchanan robe, McCalls 6659 which also includes a pyjama set, McCalls 7790, and Simplicity 1563 which has lots of options in the envelope.

I just wish I could justify a second one for myself!

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