December 15, 2018

Cold Weather Calls for Comfy Robes

February Kimono Box

I've been watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and when I'm not grinning ear to ear at the excellent writing and great performances, I'm swooning over the clothes all the characters wear. Have you found yourself doing this: looking at someone's outfit and thinking, "How is that put together? How could I make that myself?"? 

One of the the things that I'm ogling is the dressing gown. It's one of those pieces that has gotten lost to history a little bit. People don't spend the morning in their dressing gowns any more. I myself am a T-shirt and flannel pants lounger myself. But I want to change that. And this month's theme is an attempt to do just that.

This month, we're featuring robes!

Thankfully, it appears I'm not the only one who wants to bring back the robe to their wardrobe. There are some lovely pattern designers who have interpreted and transformed the robe into four great wardrobe pieces.

Each robe we've chosen has grown-on sleeves, meaning a drop shoulder and wide, easy to fit opening. But the similarities diverge from there. From a short, cardigan-like robe to a full-on outerwear robe, we've got a host of options that are sure to fit your style.

Let's take a look!

Lightweight Box: Kochi Robe from Papercut Patterns

This pattern is actually the one that started my thoughts for this box. It's such a versatile piece of clothing: part cardigan, part blouse, part jacket. In the right fabric, it dresses up a simple pair of jeans (like the photo above), and, gosh, it just looks so comfortable. It's one of those simple things that you can sew quickly and then wear over and over and over again.

I do have one caveat for this pattern though. It has three versions, the second one being a lined coat-like robe. Due to yardage constraints, we're only giving you fabric to make version 1 or 3. So keep that in mind when choosing your box.

Now, on to the fabrics: 

February Kimono Lightweight Box

  • Black/Moss Green Border Print Slubbed Rayon - I was a little skeptical about this fabric before I felt it. I've never really thought about a slubbed rayon. In fact, one of the hallmarks of a rayon to me is the cold, super smooth surface. But consider me a convert! this fabric has textured slubs (variations in the thread) all across the face and it gives it a lovely extra element. Add to that the border print, which can be used on the sleeves or on the shawl collar (or both!) and you have an amazing fabric for this pattern. Plus, the black will go with just about everything.
  • Red Floral Rayon Poplin - The mustard floral poplin from our October kit was so popular, it was hard to say no to this floral poplin for the Kochi Robe. A bright cherry red is dotted with white and yellow flowers, and the great thing about this fabric is that the floral is sparse, making red color the real statement. It'll brighten up your mornings for sure.
  • Missoni-Inspired Robin Crepe - Even if you don't wear much by way of prints in your day to day wardrobe, it's hard not to go bold with a dressing gown. I mean, in the privacy of your own home, you can go all out if you want. This chevron print fabric, a wink to the ones made famous by the Italian designer, Missoni, is both wild and wonderful. And don't worry, we're giving you enough fabric to match the pattern on the seams.

Medium Weight Box: Dressing Robe from Helen's Closet

Can I tell you how excited I am about this pattern?! We've collaborated with Helen's Closet to offer you this pattern, which normally is only available in a PDF format, in a paper pattern, printed just for you!

When we did a poll of subscribers a little while ago, we got right-in votes for Helen's Closet. So, since you asked, we answered. Plus, I met Helen herself at a sewing weekend last year, and she seemed quite excited to be part of our boxes. It's a win-win-win!

With this pattern, I love that you have options to make both a long or short robe. This is the pattern I've chosen as my test garment for the boxes, and let me tell you, I love swanning around my house with my full-length robe. I feel very mid-century Parisian (or so I like to think, haha). The other great part of this pattern is that it lends itself to lovely drapey fabrics, and it's a great canvas for fun prints.

Here are our fabric choices:

February Kimono Mediumweight Box

  • Blue Whale Rayon Poplin - Let me tell you, I love the pun inherent in this fabric. Not only is the background blue, but it's also a blue whale in the print. Ok, it's a very nerdy excitement, I know, but it's the little things, right? These cetaceans are adorable, and this fabric will become a lovely robe. Plus, we're giving you a navy lawn fabric for a contrasting collar, cuff and tie.
  • Kimberly Blue Cotton Lawn - I knew I wanted a solid color as one of the options, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. This blue, sort of a muted turquoise or better yet, a muted Tiffany Blue. It's not too green, not too blue, and all calm. And who doesn't want calm when they're lounging around in their robe? Plus, the lawn, from Cotton + Steel, is tightly woven and soft, perfect for this pattern.
  • Magenta Floral Rayon Lawn - This Cotton + Steel rayon lawn is so rich, both in color and pattern. Bright magenta flowers, with spots of red, on a black background, evoke the trippy darkness of Alice in Wonderland. You may even find a mushroom or two in this print as well. When I imagine a robe sewn up in this fabric, I have urges to listen to Jefferson Airplane and spin around in my living room, Woodstock-style. If you want that too, this is the pick for you.

Curvy Box: Mélanie Robe from Jalie Patterns

A new pattern company for us, Jalie Patterns has been putting out for 35 years (!). But they are still an indie at heart, a mother-daughter operation up in Canada. They are the go-to pattern company for dance wear, and, all their patterns have inclusive sizing, up to size 24.

This robe is a classic. Loose-fitting, with a shawl collar, waist tie and patch pockets, it's the perfect thing to wear on those lazy Sunday mornings as you read the paper, well, not the actual paper, probably, but the one on your tablet. And, in that spirit of lazy coziness, we've chose fabrics that are soft and supple, the kind you never want to take off.

Let's take a look:

February Kimono Curvy Box

  • Blue/Teal/Red Bespoke Double Gauze - True story: the first thing I ever sewed by myself was made of the bespoke double gauze from Cotton + Steel. Not the same pattern, but, I must admit, this fabric holds a special place in my heart. It's incredibly soft and lightweight, with an almost spongy hand. It's the fabric they use to swaddle babies, if that gives you any idea of how lush it is. This color-way, with shades of blue, and a pop of red, has a Nani Iro quality to it, as well as a graffiti element with Japanese lettering scattered across its surface. The stripes are larger than they look in the swatch, a couple inches wide for each, but of course, we'll give you enough fabric to pattern match.
  • Dusty Mauve Triple Gauze - What's better than double gauze? You guess it: triple gauze! This fabric feels like a cloud or at least a metaphorical cloud. It's soft, lightweight, yet opaque. In this dusty mauve color, it's also calming but cheery, the fabric equivalent of lavender. I feel less stressed just thinking about a robe made in this fabric.
  • Amalfi Sun Girls Rayon Lawn - This fabric is just pure fun. And in the middle of winter, who doesn't want to sew a robe that makes you think of bright sunny beaches? Designed by Rifle Paper Co, in collaboration with Cotton + Steel, it combines the delightful novelty print that Rifle Paper Co is known for with the lovely drape and smooth hand that elevates Cotton + Steel lawns above the rest. Speaking as a non-beach person, this fabric gives me all the pleasure of a day soaking up the sun without the risk of sunburn. 

Heavyweight Box: Haori Jacket from Wiksten Patterns

If you even have a passing interest in sewing instagram, you've probably seen this jacket popping up over the past few months. It's a social media hit! And it's hard not to see why. Simple clean lines, the ability to have fun with the lining, and easy fitting by jacket standards, and you have the makings of a winner.

Another great thing about this pattern is its adaptability. By using different drapes in your fabric, you can create completely different looks, from flowing and robe-like to a more structured and barn jacket-like. With our fabric choices, we've given you options so that you can get the look you want.

Here they are, with the linings as well:

February Kimono Heavyweight Box

  • Navy Silky Noil/Green Tassels Crepe Lining - Despite the name, this is not silk. it's a combination of viscose and linen that feels just like raw silk. It's soft, smooth, and full of imperfections from a slub thread. The middle of the three options when it comes to drape, this will hang nicely but have enough body to be a great transitional jacket for the seasons. Plus, we've combined it with a vibrant crepe lining, a deep jade green with a rug tassel pattern across it, so the insides will have a ton of interest in contrast with the classic navy outsides 
  • Ochre Tencel Twill/Red Plaid Crepe Lining - Ochre is having a moment. Call it gold or mustard or caramel, but this color is everywhere. And it makes sense. It's rich, bold, and earthy (and I realize that it sounds like I'm describing a wine.) It's also a great color for outerwear, and this fabric, a tencel twill that has a feel of silk, is perfect to make a draped jacket. On the inside, we've gone bold. A red plaid crepe, it's like a classic tartan flannel lining but without the heft. Making a jacket out of this fabric is like a reinterpretation of a Carhart jacket, and I love the twist this takes
  • Black Boiled Wool/Open Dot Rayon Poplin Lining - If you've been itching to make a winter coat, but are hesitant about all the moving parts, this is a great option for you. Snuggly boiled wool makes this fabric winter friendly and combined with the simple styling of the pattern, you have your next winter coat without all the fitting concerns. On the inside, we've kept it simple, with a rayon poplin with a black background and an open polka dot pattern. This choice will be a jacket that you wear for years!


Well, that's it for this month. I hope you love the options as much as I do. I can't wait to help you all get as cozy and relaxed in your new robes.

Swatches will ship out around the 20th, but with the holiday, you may not get them until after Christmas.

Happy sewing!!









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