Always one to take on a challenge, I thought I’d have a go at a fancy dressing gown/ robe/ smoking jacket.

I used Burda 6893 and thought I’d make it extra flashy with this garish peacock satin and black satin quilted contrast.

The pattern faded to black on one selvedge so I cut it sideways to have the black border at the hem and cuffs.

First off, the quilting… I didn’t have any proper batting so I used some lightweight fleece I had knocking around. I laid the pieces out on the fabric (black satin & fleece). Then I cut a big square around the  cuff & pocket pieces and a big square around the collar & belt pieces.

I quilted the fabric first (cuffs & pockets at 3cm then, to save a bit of time, collar & belt at 4cm) then cut out the pattern pieces.

(My quilting method…

  1. Pin the satin to the fleece. Use LOADS of pins (basting together would result in less blood spilt, but I didn’t think of that until after!)
  2. Chalk the first two diagonals (an X across the middle of the square)
  3. Check the pins aren’t in the way or remove them as you go.
  4. USE THE WALKING FOOT and sew the first two rows.
  5. Set the quilting gague (if that’s what it’s called… ) to the right distance & go for it!

I swapped directions to help stop any bunching up. Also, sometimes I started from the middle so long as it wasn’t a piece that would be cut on the fold. All in all it took about an hour and a half. It’s not the best quilting in the world, but I’m pretty happy with it anyway!

Now I could start the actual construction. After putting in the back shoulder darts (firmly keeping the walking foot on for the entire sew!) the roll over collar was next.

I haven’t done a roll collar before so I was quite nervous. I prepared by reading through the instructions, a few times. This helped a bit, but I couldn’t understand the picture that accompanied the crucial bit. I figured (wrongly!) that once I got to that bit, my garment would look like the picture and I’d recognise where I was. This didn’t happen.

I sewed it all on at one seam, then before folding it over & stitching down the other side I panicked! I thought I’d done it wrong and didn’t want to continue forward if I thought I might have to go backwards… I HATE unpicking!  So after about half an hour of origami-ing it about, I gave up and got on with the pockets, sleeves and cuffs.

I matched the pockets as best as I could, and I’m pretty happy with how the sleeves went in. Spurred on, I turned Margot (the mannequin)’s boobs to the back (… Welcome, Marcel!) put the robe on ‘him’ and realised I’d got the collar right all along! So it was just the collar and hem to finish!

By the end, it seemed like it went together quite well, if you don’t take into account my half hour of bewildered head scratching. But it was done in time to present to MrA on his return from work!

The sleeves are a bit long, the pockets a bit wobbly, the collars too heavy for the main body and the quilting is a bit pooky. But MrA ADORES it… and so, then, do I.

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Use thinner fleece or light weight batting.
  • Take time on tricky fabrics rather than rushing it & hoping for the best!
  • Practice on scraps if an instruction makes no sense (remember, it’s ok to finish it next time!)
  • More unselfish sewing. Maximum husband points to me!