Well I finally got around to making myself a new dressing gown. As I mentioned when I blogged making my Bed Jacket (Feb 22nd 2013), my dressing gown is a dull boring plain green as it was all there was in the shop when I needed fleece to make one. Now there are lots of lovely patterns and colours I can buy online. I think I must have had a screw loose when I chose the Bunnies and Piggies though, but it worked out well as a Bed Jacket!
I used my same old pattern, I know it will fit, and I had shortened the sleeve pattern piece when I made the bed jacket so that should all work out right, though when the cuffs are turned back they are a little short and fat! This time I am going to use version D with the contrasting collar and cuffs.
This is the polar fleece I am going to use, with plain black for the collar and cuffs. I bought it from Tissu (http://www.tissufabrics.co.uk/fabric-store/). They have great stuff at good prices and give good service. The only down side is they only sell whole meters, so I had to buy 4 meters to get the 3.5 I needed.
So I got it all cut out - I had to clear my work table to fit it on and roll the ends up. How I dream of a sewing room big enough for a full sized commercial cutting table! It is so frustrating trying to lay out patterns in a tiny space!
The first task is making and applying the pockets. I decided to do lined pockets instead of the single patch and found some thick black satin to use. You can't see it, but it feels nice and it gives a better finish than the unlined version. It also saved a lot of messing about getting the edges turned over.
The rest of the assembly was straightforward enough. I used my overlocker (serger) to neaten the seams. I know the fleece won't fray, but it looks so nice.
I have decided that the next time I make this version I will have the contrast facing go all the way to the bottom, instead of changing back like this. I am sure there is a good reason why they did it this way, I just can't see what. However, I was not about to do it again!
Then came the sleeves and cuffs. Now I have made it before, and I do sew quite a bit, so I don't know what went wrong with this but despite shortening the sleeve pattern piece when I made the Bed Jacket the sleeve still was far too long. I ended up cutting off 3" in exasperation!
Then I realised I had not turned the sleeve facing up completely, I had actually folded it in half on the fold line meant for turning back the cuffs later. I will say the instructions were not terribly clear on this step, and I have added my own additional instructions now! Of course as soon as I did it correctly the sleeve was a bit short! Sigh.
I decided to sleep on it. This actually means lying in bed in the dark thinking about it instead of sleeping. As previously mentioned, the Bed Jacket cuffs are rather short and fat, and looking at them I really wanted a longer cuff to get the proportions right. I decided the answer was to remove the sleeve facings and cut ones twice as big to allow for a bigger cuff. I put them on today and now I have the effect I wanted - and a little extra length - hoorah!
The last job was the belt, which refuses to lie flat. I toyed with the idea of topstitching round it, but it is kind of tiger-tail-like, so I think I will leave it alone. (Our dog Dozer likes to get hold of it and take me for a walk around the room, so he likes it!) The pattern does not include adding something to hang it up with, so I used a piece of grosgrain ribbon and hand stitched it in place. It has to be fairly strong to take the weight, and grosgrain doesn't fray.
So here it is, my new Tiger fleece dressing gown. No, I am not going to model it, you will have to take my word for the fact it fits and feels great! I am toying with the idea of buying a dress form again, as they are quite cheap now, it's just the space issue, as always.
So I guess my next job is either actually starting the long term project of re-lining my vintage faux leopardskin coat (Blogged Feb 19th 2013) or finally making this long awaited pink net and jersey tiered petticoat which has sat in the drawer since May last year. Mind you, the pattern has sat in the drawer since the 70's!