Glad I'm finally getting around to documenting my Suki robe, by Helen's Closet, because I'm particularly proud of it. Also, isn't loungewear perfect for the current state of the world? Not only because we're all staying home all the time, but also because wearing a lovely robe feels like an act of self-care--like giving yourself a facial or lighting candles.
I love an opportunity to combine fabrics, but it can be tricky to pair the right ones. You have to consider color, obviously, but also substrate, weight, and proportion. I've had some disappointing results, but THIS I truly love. And since it's a robe, how fortunate that I get to wear it every day!
Let's talk about the fabric first: The multi-colored fabric is a very fine quality linen from Britex, and the striped fabric is a lovely linen gauze from
Britex (oops, I meant Blackbird Fabrics for the striped gauze). Finally, the black waist tie, neck, and sleeve bands are the last of my linen/cotton crinkled fabric leftover from a pair of Emersons I made for a 2018 vacation in France. I bought the fancy linen around five years ago, and I think it's still one of the priciest pieces of fabric I've bought--maybe around fifty dollars a yard, I can't remember exactly. Usual story: I had a gift certificate and it just jumped out at me. How could it not? It's got a bazillion colors! But since it was so pricey, I only bought a yard, which doesn't yield a whole lot of options. I'm glad that I waited and didn't make a simple short-sleeve top like the Seamwork Bo or CCP Pietra because then it would have been just everyday clothes, not special. The striped linen is like its soul mate; they go so well together with the stripes operating like a neutral to combat all the stylized floral, patterned craziness, the Mrs. Roper caftan look.
Okay, now can we talk more about mixing prints? I was nervous about cutting into my fancy linen and then getting it terribly wrong, so I opted to keep it simple. I also looked at sewists who do a lot of patchwork like this amazing designer @aluma_handmade and tried to analyze what I thought was effective. Finally, since I love sketching project ideas with Procreate, I traced over the illustration from the pattern packet to see where I wanted the prints to fall.
- Size: the largest, I think XXL. I did not have the resized/curvy version. I don't know if that's available to folks who purchased before the update, but I don't have access to printing out patterns now that I'm WFH anyway. I made up version B--AKA, the shorter version--but it ended up a wee bit longer because I added a section. So now it's more like version A.
- Fit: While there is full coverage, it's not a super voluminous robe. Of course, the fit might have been different had I sewn up the curvy reboot.
- This robe has lots of nice, practical details like the hanging loop, the inner tie for modesty, and the waist ties stitched into the back. Speaking of waist ties, I did lengthen them by a whopping 8 inches both for the look of a long tie and because I'm thick waisted.
- Every single join is french seamed. Even the inline pockets! I used this tutorial from the Foldline.
- I preferred the look of the collar extended to the bottom instead of squaring off. There's a tutorial on Helen's website for this.
- Linen is really just the most magical fabric. I'm used to thick terry robes, so I was worried this wouldn't hold up getting out of the shower, but it's plenty absorbent. And, bonus, unlike my terry robe, I can fit this in my suitcase...whenever I can take an actual trip somewhere...