Field Notes

Project 3: Robe

July 28, 2015 | In Making

Project 3: Robe

Goal: Finish the robe I started last summer.

My mom sews. Mom would have loved to teach me, if I'd had the patience to learn, but I missed the opportunity.

I absorbed enough know-how to get ideas once in a while. Curtains, for instance, or pillows. Last summer the senior dog needed help down the stairs first thing, and that meant a robe that could be worn out of the house. There was nothing suitable at the store, so I turned to sewing.

Through osmosis, I knew how to find a pattern, pick suitable fabric, and to pre-shrink fabric before laying out the pattern. What I did NOT know is how to recover a straight edge after the fabric shrinks. The project gathered dust in a pile.

Maker Summer Camp nudged me to finish the project. Voilá! Kwiksew K3644.

Robe Robe pattern


YouTube is one of the best things to ever happen to Do It Yourself. The magic words for "make my sad, warped fabric a rectangle again" are "how to true fabric". Once I created a straight edge I could lay out the pattern straight.

Robe pocket close-up
I found a tutorial on how to make piping, too]. It made assembly more complicated, so I stopped at the pockets.

← Ooooooo! Custom piping! Zoom in, it's below the black pocket edge.



Hand stitching is best done in good company and good light.

All the little marks on the pattern mean something. I intuited most of them, but notches were a surprise. What an ingenious technique. And what an interesting challenge to design the most economical layout.

Everything mom said about pressing seams during construction is true.

Everything the pattern said about making teensie-weensie loops and turning them inside out is a lie. Fold the raw edges in and sew right-side-out.

Beautiful fabric for the win.