Getting caught on doorknobs is a drag, literally and figuratively. Wherever I went in my apartment, the large sleeves of my robe (Seamwork Almada) would get caught on a doorknob, jerking me abruptly backwards, or sweep random table-top items onto the floor as I passed by.
It was annoying.
I wanted a robe with more manageable sleeves. I also wanted a decadent robe worthy of my usernamesake, Chrestomanci, who is known for his opulent and gaudy silk dressing gowns.
I decided to make a traditional kimono robe because I didn’t want to use or make a paper pattern. And, as I’m not a wealthy nine-lifed enchanter, I didn’t use silk, but cotton.
To make a Chrestomanci-worthy robe, it needed to be made from 2 different fabric prints, the fancier the better.
The 2 cottons I chose were ones that I picked up at Firecracker Fabrics – one a Japanese cotton with lots of colors; the other a red quilting cotton with little hummingbirds and shiny silver flowers. The reds of both fabrics matched.
My main fabric was about 54″wide which was wide enough that I could use all of it for the shoulder width. I folded the fabric parallel to the selvage, draping it over myself to judge length and width.
The measurements I focused on were:
- Center front/back length
- Sleeve width (9″ flat)
- Sleeve depth (5″ in from elbow)
I drew directly on the fabric using tailor’s chalk and a ruler. I used a French curve to make the underarm seam a curve instead of a 90° angle and flared the bottom out by .5″.
I also cut lengths of the coordinating red fabric for the sleeve cuffs, neckline hem, and waist tie. The finished width of each was 3″.
Sewing it was easy. I used French seams and I even added a fringed patch pocket on the front for extra faux extravagance. I have minor regrets about that but the pocket gets to stay…for now.
I chose not to interface the sleeve cuffs and neckline hem, as I wanted them to remain flexible, but I did interface the waist tie. I secured the waist tie to the robe at the center back seam so it can’t get lost.
I think Chrestomanci would be proud. And I haven’t gotten stuck on a single doorknob!