Do you sometimes have that favorite piece of clothing you just can’t give up? No matter how old and ratty it gets, you think, “How will I ever replace this? It’s my favorite thing.” We know the feeling, and that’s why we are excited to share this old-to-new bathrobe success story.
Shown in front is the old blue striped dearie that is even too hideously yellowed for the used clothing sale. Behind it are the new lovelies from Amy Butler’s Cameo line that won the audition for new robe fabric choice.
The first step in making new clothing from something that is already assembled is to lay out and cut your largest pieces first. In this case, it’s the two front pieces, the back, and the sleeves. Because I knew I would be throwing the old robe away, I could have just taken it apart, but I usually get good results by laying it as flat as possible and adjusting for the 5/8″ seam allowance.
For the sleeve, lay one half down, mark the center, and then flip it over to cut the other side of the sleeve. If you are familiar with the basic shape of clothing pattern pieces, it is fairly easy to get the shapes right, i.e. how the corner of the sleeves (top and bottom) form a right angle.
The old bathrobe had a front band that stopped above the waist, but I wanted this contrasting fabric to extend all the way down the front. Where the front of the old robed is self faced, I replaced it by cutting a piece of contrasting fabric to band it instead. I followed the curve of the robe front opening as a guide to cut the front band. This way I know it will fit perfectly and lay flat.
This shows some of the order in which the robe was assembled. You may notice that the side pockets are also sewn into the side seams, so they were sewn onto the robe fronts first, as well as the tie carriers. The fronts were sewn to the back only at the shoulder seams, in order to attach the sleeves and then everything was sewn together with one long side seam. Once that was done, we added the front band, hems, sleeve bands, and made the bathrobe tie.
The front band extends around the back of the neck and meets together in the middle. This piece is actually cut straight and that’s what makes it stand up in the back.
When finishing the bands, it is easier to sew them to the wrong side, flip them to the front, and top stitch along the outside edge. This makes it much faster than doing it the reverse way and having to do all that hand sewing. Whew!
The top band on the pocket was done that way, too. Remember that you will be placing the right side of the band to the wrong side of the fabric in order for it to flip over and show the right side of both pieces. Too confusing? Just try it and you will see what we mean. Now you can see how the pocket edge was sewn into the side seam.
Ta da! Here is the finished product. We couldn’t be more pleased with this fabric combo and how the new bathrobe turned out. It is everything a robe should be– restful and elegant. And the old one went straight to the trash.
Try as we might, we couldn’t get little Sally Brown (the puppy) to stay out of the picture, so we take that as a nod of approval. We know she has excellent taste and fashion sense. Next time you can’t part with an old fave, give the remake option a chance. There are so many lovely choices of fabric out just now.