Happy days are when we receive a shipment of new fabric. Ripping open the boxes, pulling out the fabric to fondle, drool over and envision. Our latest treasure discovery involved some border printed cottons. I know some people have problems knowing what to do with border prints, but I like the challenge of finding THE pattern for the fabric.
Here is a montage of the 45″ wide cotton prints in question. (They are available in our webstore if you are inspired!)
The print I chose to challenge myself with was the pale pink with dark grey flower basket and garland print. It’s a very soft and girly print so I thought a bath robe or dressing gown (depending on what you call it). Next, scrolling through the great pattern book in the sky – Google – I found this website by Sewbon with a free PDF pattern. (scroll past all the pictures to the end of the article or click here.)
PDF patterns are fun because you can print them off at home and get started. No waiting for the print shop to open! But it is like tiling a floor where you have to match the notches together and tape into place. I find they work best for simple patterns where there is not a lot of pattern pieces. The 28 pages that this pattern took, turns out like this.
Because I was going to ‘fussy cut‘ (a quilting term) the pattern, I decided more fabric is better, so I got a 3m piece. Starting with the back piece, I decided to center a flower basket since it also gave the greatest amount of open pink space for the shoulders. I didn’t want to have any of the opposite grey flower basket at the shoulders as I thought it would look like black hair dye had run! I also shortened the hem by 1 1/2″ in order to avoid the print at the shoulders.
Repeat this step with the 2 front pieces. Note the basket wasn’t centered on these pieces since my primary concern was getting the open pink space at the shoulders.
Next, the sleeves which came out of the pink sections of the fabric.
Then the front band, loops and tie had to be cut. I wanted the plain pink for the front band so ran the pattern piece along the selvage but this would also mean that some of the print would show on the underside of the band. (Next time, I might use a light weight interfacing on this band to prevent the dark print from shadowing through to the front. Or I might play with narrowing the band.) The ties came out of the remaining fabric. The loops were just small pieces of plain pink.
You can find the sewing instructions here. But I did change a couple things such as the front band application and hemming which is not mentioned.
To add the front band, center the band onto the center back of the robe right sides together. I cut these pieces as per the pattern piece which means they are slightly longer than your robe front. (Remember, I shortened the body to fit the pattern pieces on the fabric.) Stitch together. Press the seam towards the band. Press a 1/2″ hem on the other long side of the front band. Next, fold the right sides together of the band and even off the hem. Stitch a 5/8″ hem along the bottom. Clip the corner to decrease bulk.
Turn right side out and press. Press up 5/8″ hem along the bottom of the robe.
To hem, hand tuck the raw edges in as you sew.
Now, you can finish off the front band by slip stitching down or edge stitching on your machine.
Give it a final press, and you’re done!