Monday, July 16, 2018

My Sewing Journey Part IV - Robes and Up-Cycling

One of the most supportive groups along my sewing journey has been the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective on Facebook.  It's not a beginning sewing group, but the people on it are so incredibly creative and diverse in both their personalities and talents that there's just a wealth of ideas and things to learn.  Plus, everyone's supportive and complimentary towards each other's work.

My daughter needed both a new bathrobe and a new bathing suit cover for the beach.  She'd outgrown her previous ones.  I knew I wanted to do the bathrobe in a double-sided minky fabric--a very very soft furry fleece and I knew it'd be best to purchase that, but I thought the bathing suit cover might be a great up-cycle activity.

I found a free pattern called The Sleepy Robe from Melly Sews, one of my favorite YouTube Sewing Vloggers.  My daughter and I took a ride to a new-to-us independent sewing store and found some gorgeous velvety double-sided minky in dark purple.  It wasn't cheap.  To tell you the truth, it would have been cheaper to buy her a new robe fully made, but there's value in my learning new skills and in homemade things!

Here's the finished robe:

(Don't mind the belt loops...those will get replaced with purple)

I'll be honest with you.  Double-sided minky like this is a pain in the butt to work with.  It sheds EVERYWHERE.  We're talking clouds of purple fluffies floating all over the room for days and sticking to your clothing.  Also, it was a bit thick for some of the pattern instructions (such as turning hems under or making belt loops).  So you do need to improvise a bit.  But it came out great!

For the beach robe, we were looking to do more of a "house dress" style robe.  I was thinking I could use the same pattern, but use a much lighter weight fabric and snaps instead of a belt.  So we took a ride to Savers, a chain of thrift stores, and started poking around in both the bedding and adult clothing sections to find something that might work.  We ended-up finding a thick cotton women's nightgown with, of all things, FISH on it!

Here's the before and after to show the transformation:

I'm getting familiar enough with garment construction (and this pattern) now that I was able to place the pattern pieces so as to preserve the pockets from the original nightgown.  I was also able to cut the new sleeves from the old sleeve pieces, saving me a hem on each of them.  Everything else was new construction as if I were cutting from a bolt of fabric.  I love how it came out!  It'll be great for our upcoming lake house vacation.


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