Lounging Dangerously in my Almada Robe

Here’s my first finished garment of February 2016.

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Please ignore the threads hanging from my robe. It’s not my finest work but I love it anyway. Also, look past the terrible photo quality, that’s what I get for taking photos with my Iphone in my tiny Brooklyn bedroom.

The Process

I sewed up my new Almada Robe in cotton from my stash. The body fabric is a print I picked up on a trip to Bali almost three years ago. I bought it in a period of my life when the only sewing I was doing was piecing quilt tops. As such, I only bought two meters. You might be thinking to yourself “but wait I thought the Almada Robe requires at least 2 1/2 yards, and that’s if you’re making an extra small.” Well yes, it does. In my case, I’m a little too buxom for an extra small, but because I’m stubborn, and plans are more important to me than good sense or following directions (and really wanted to use this fabric for a robe), I decided to try and make it work. So rather than use self-fabric for the cuffs and ties, I used a cobalt blue quilting cotton that I bought for an as yet in finished Tardis quilt (that’s a story for another day). I also dispatched with the center back seam, eliminating the need for the 5/8 inch seam allowance. Finally, I decided that I could/absolutely needed to leave off the seam allowances at the arm.

I made minimal fitting adjustments. I started with a large and graded out to an extra large at the hip. Given the ease in the garment and the lack of darts, I decided against an FBA.

Given that I didn’t follow the directions when cutting my fabric I decided that it would be silly to use them for the construction. It is worth noting, however, that the instructions were well written and comprehensive. Once I started sewing, I decided that rather than sew the back and front together both at the shoulder and along the side seam and then attach the cuffs, I would sew the shoulder and then attach the cuffs before finishing the side seam. In place of the recommended bias tape, I used a folded strip of quilt binding intended for the aforementioned Tardis quilt to finish the front edge. I added the ties as directed ( I can follow directions, I usually just find a reason not to). I’m still deciding whether to hem it given that I’ve developed a fondness for the the salvage edge of the fabric, and I left off the snap.

My Thoughts

I’m mostly thrilled with my robe. I would note that the ties pull across the hip, pulling the fabric so that it hangs most closely around the widest part of the body. It’s not tight on the hip per say, but if you are looking for something that accentuates the waist, this isn’t the right pattern for you. If I wanted to alter it so that it defined my waist, I’d probably shrink the arm whole and then add more length at the bottom.

At first, I was a little unsure about the fit, thinking that perhaps I had chosen the wrong size, but after looking back at the photos on the Seamwork website, it’s clear that it fits like it should. In fact, the cocoon shape grew on me as wore it around my apartment for my post-sew victory layabout. I like wearing it open, but it is making me feel like I need to make a coordinating set of pajamas.  I will definitely be bringing this robe on a dive trip to Key Largo in March.  It won’t make it on to the boat, but I’ll want it nonetheless.

If I made this again, I’d finish it with French seams, my limited seam allowances didn’t allow for that this time. I think this robe would make a lovely housewarming gift or a coverup for a new mom. I get the sense from my friends with infants that a washable cover-up with easy access is a nice thing to have on hand.

Planning the Work and Working the Plan Part 1

I am nothing if not a planner.  Sure, plans change, but when it comes to making pretty much anything, a plan is the first thing I need to get started.  I’ve got a load of indie patterns just hanging around that I really need to dig into and here is how I’m planning to use them over the next few months.  Stay tuned for “Planning the Work and Working the Plan Part 2” for my sewing plans involving the big 4 patterns I’ve got on hand.

Paxton by Collette

I’ve really been enjoying my Seamwork subscription.  The articles are wonderful, but I have yet to actually use any of the patterns.  It’s pretty silly given that all of the patterns are designed to be relatively quick and simple to put together.  I’m planning on making at least one Paxton to keep me warm during long days in the library and one for my husband.

I’ve got a bit of heather gray mid-weight cotton/poly terry and a heavy-weight black cotton/poly terry with matching ribbing that I’m hoping to use up.  I was also thinking about making a few of these out of a light weight jersey I have in my stash.  While not true to the pattern instructions, I think the light weight jersey could make a useful coverup for the gym.

Paxton LineHeather Gray Swatch

 

 

Black swatch

 

Sutton Blouse by True Bias

I’ve been following Kelli over a True Bias for over a year now.  I love her effortless style and her patterns are well written and easy to follow.  I’ve done a muslin of the Sutton Blouse and I never made to the next step of you know, actually finish the blouse.  I’ve got a cream poly georgette that I’m not a huge fan of, but thats what you get when you buy fabric over the interwebs.  I’m not eager to use a patterned fabric due to the center front seam, but I’m pretty sure I have a few other fabrics that may make a good fit for including a charcoal poly satin and poly georgette with nice drape.

Once I’ve got the pattern fitted properly, I want to make it out of a really lovey silk maybe in a deep navy blue or a pale yellow.

 

Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio

I love the Grainline Studio Blog.  It was one of the first garment sewing blogs I began reading.  Jen has a knack for the kind of everyday style that makes me excited to sew my own clothes.  I’ve made a few of her patterns before, including the Tiny Pocket Tank and The Portside Travel Set, and I’ve been itching the make myself an Archer.  At first I thought I wanted to make something with a little more shaping, but I think that getting the Archer pattern under my belt is a great way to build the skills (and confidence) I need to take on other shirt patterns.

I’ve got a two different plaids that I could use for this, one in red back and one white and the same pattern in a green color way.  I also have a collection of chambray that I may dig into.  I’ve got plenty of options and a stash that is (more than) a little too big for my tiny Brooklyn apartment.

Archer Line

 

Almada by Collete

Last but not least, I’ve got plans to make an Almada robe.  I’ve been itching to make myself loungewear and this pattern seems like a great place to start.  I’ve got some cotton that I picked up on a trip to Bali a few years ago that I think will be a great fit for this pattern.  I’ve only got 2 meters of each color way, so I may have to be a little creative when it comes to layout.Almada Robe

That’s it for now.  Happy Sewing!