Post #3103: The spa robe

Voila! I present to you my new hot tub cover up!

This is the final, and largest make from the fabric mailing I received from Sew Haley Jane ten days ago. Between the cloth wrappers and this robe, only a half metre of rayon is going into my stash, and all other items from the box (including most of the matching thread) have been used up.

The fabric is Art Gallery Fabrics rayon – Tiny Dancer metallic. Though you can’t see in the photos, the dandelion heads are a silvery colour that pop quite nicely. For a pattern I chose the Purl Soho Robe which I had in my pattern stash already – it’s more of a formula for making a robe than a pattern, which suited me fine – particularly as it focuses on getting nice finishes.

Rayon isn’t a fabric I have sewn with much, as I don’t tend towards blouse-weight materials in my dresses or tops – and as much as I love this print, I couldn’t really imagine myself clothed in it. However! Since the hot tub went in and we use it pretty much every day, I’ve been noting the need for a cover up to take me from house to tub and back again.

Because a robe doesn’t have a ton of fitting issues, this make allowed me to focus on finishing techniques: french seams, measuring hems and bindings properly, and hand stitching. The front and sleeve bindings are both attached with blind stitches – something I’ve always been unsure about, but following the instructions, I got a nice finish and the stitches are imperceptible on the front of the robe.

As I was working on attaching the waist tie, I realized that something I’ve always hated about all robes I’ve owned is the fact that somehow, a single waist closure is supposed to do the trick. As anyone with a bustline knows – this only works on straight bodies – and most of us end up cinching the waist ever tighter in hopes of magically closing the gap up top. To rectify this long-standing annoyance, I’ve put a snap up top to hold it closed, and frankly, I will likely often wear this without the tie:

This was a totally engrossing project over several days – I took it one step at a time without rushing any of them. The only thing I might have done differently is make this a tad longer, as I shortened the original measurements a bit too much. On the other hand, this isn’t a robe for warmth, and it covers up nicely. Now that I’ve done this pattern once, I have in mind to do a heavy linen version for Brian (his robe is looking pretty shabby and men’s robes are almost always too long for his height). I’ve ordered some fabric samples to see what might work best.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the garment, and plan to use it later this afternoon when the rain subsides and Brian returns from the city. Around here, hot tub time is quality time!

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