Earlier this winter, when I was freezing while preparing breakfast, I felt the sudden urge to make a more comfortable and warmer robe to replace the old frumpy one I'd been wearing for years. I added 'stylish' to the list of required characteristics, and it absolutely needed to be pink. Don't ask me why, sometimes an image pops up in my head and it won't go away. (During the search for fabric that image became a bit of a burden as it made me reject lovely fabrics in fine shades of blue and green)
The pattern choice was easier. Simplicity 1563, a kimono style robe with a front band, long sleeves and a tie belt. I ordered the pattern a few years ago for the pyjama pants for guys and gals but so far no inspiring images for those popped up in my head.
After searching high and low for the perfect pink fabric I ordered Japanese cotton online. And, as happens so often, I was in for a surprise.
I knew the fabric had an ombre border print, grading from dark to light and back to dark again. When the fabric arrived the light band in the middle was almost white and looked horribly faded and the dark was a really dark wine red. Those colours didn't qualify as pink!! There also was a silver print on top which I didn't expect but I like the subtle sparkle it adds to the overall look (top right). On the selvedge, bottom right, you see the seven shades of pink/red used in the print. To make my kimono as pink as possible I cut the fabric in single layers, trying to avoid the darkest and lightest colours as much as I could. That worked quite well, the only concession I had to make was adding a centre seam to the back.
You may have noticed this pattern is a 2 hour one. Those two hours were spent on cutting out alone!
I like the effect of the lengthwise colour gradient though and I managed to cut identical sleeves that match the bodice at the lowered armhole seam.
By the time I finished cutting it started snowing so as an after thought I added a few extra hours to the production process by cutting and sewing a slippery satin lining.
The only thing that didn't quite work out as planned was the belt. I only had a light strip of fabric left and I did not like how it interrupted the carefully created colour placement.
I found pink nail polish to paint large snaps and also looked for cord to make a knot closure like this one
And then I discovered I didn't need a closure after all. Miraculously this robe stays closed even when I raise my arms.
All hems are hand stitched, as well as the front band. By then this had turned into a 2 weeks rather than a 2 hour project but I think it was worth the effort for a garment that is worn every day.
I can definitely recommend this pattern, at least for a winter robe. Due to a generous overlap of the fronts this robe has a rather high neckline, which is much appreciated during chilly mornings. For summer I'd prefer a lower cut and shorter sleeves.
One bonus picture to show more of the Cashmerette Concord T nightgown that is underneath. It matches so nicely!
Wishing you all a happy weekend!