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Aug 18, 2012

The Robe



Readers, do you enjoy biblical epics?  I avoid them like the plague -- a plague being one of the more repellent features of too many biblical epics, come to think of it -- as well as any movie starring Victor Mature, who made quite a few, including the The Robe, pictured above (and below).



I did watch The Prodigal recently, but that had Lana Turner.



Actually, today I wanted to talk about the other kind of robe -- the bathrobe.  I own a few mens robe patterns, including this I Love Lucy classic.  Babalu!



But the truth is that I don't wear bathrobes, nor dressing gowns, housecoats, smoking jackets, etc.   Do the men you know wear these garments anymore?





I have some neat womens ones too. 









A long time ago, my mother requested I make her a bathrobe.  She gave me an old robe of hers to copy but I never did.



This morning at the flea market, however, I found this old Butterick robe pattern for $1, and figured, why not?  Maybe I can make a robe for my mother after all.  Fast & Easy is just what I'm in the mood for these days.



It's similar to this pattern I used to make Cathy's maternity opera coat -- a good example of how much nicer patterns were illustrated way back when.





This isn't what I would call an exciting project, but I figure I can whip up a muslin today, and since my mother is coming over for lunch tomorrow, I can see how it fits, make any necessary changes, and then stitch up a final robe later.

I also got scads of old metallic buttons today -- a buck a bag -- and an old ice cream scoop.









Readers, do you wear robes?  Have you ever sewn one?  What did you make yours out of -- terrycloth?  Quilted cotton?  Silk?  Did you add lace and/or decorative embroidery?  It seems like this is the kind of project where that would be appropriate.

Robe guidance greatly appreciated.

Have a great day, everybody!  (What's your favorite biblical epic?)

49 comments:

  1. For a Biblical epic, you can't beat the 10 Commandments. I mean--Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Yul Brynner! And a cast of thousands!

    As for robes, I wear them. DH does not. I prefer the wrap style to the zip front housedress look. I've made one terrycloth robe, but never again. Those are definitely on the To Buy list. Let's see--for warmer weather, definitely cottons, and flannel or polar fleece for cooler weather. No lace nor embroidery--just not my style.

    Also, I love the second set of buttons.

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  2. LUV your new scoop!

    You mentioned her in passing, but any update, or even a "teaser", regarding Cathy???

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  3. i have a number of robes - they're an essential item when you sleep au naturalé (too much information perhaps?)...all wrap style. My favourite is a white cotton background with a Japanese Cherry Blossom design; it's ankle length with wide 3/4 sleeves in light cotton for summer.

    The others, apart from one Japanese Kimono which i never wear, are more cooler month fabrics; one thick terry cloth, one stretch terrycloth and one waffle weave.

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  4. In the winter I wear my polar fleece, floor-length robe (from Lands' End) constantly. It's like wearing a blanket, or, if you will, a Snuggie, except that since it has a back, it's considerably more practical. DH does not own a bathrobe.

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  5. My housemate wears a robe. Always has. He prefers lightweight wrap robes that offer coverage, but little else.

    I only recently began wearing robes. I picked up both of mine at local thrift stores. My winter one is made of heavy jaquarded cotton. It has a mandarin collar, frog closures, long sleeves, and patch pockets. My summer robe is made of two layers of lightweight cotton, looks kimono-ish, has 3/4 sleeves and no pockets. I think it is missing a belt, so I added a couple of button holes and buttons.

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  6. I'm hoping Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock will bring back silk loungewear/smoking jackets style. *sigh*

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  7. The Ten Commandments of course. I think besides the Passion of the Christ (snore), it's one of the few religious flicks I've ever seen. But you've gotta love Ramses with a Russian accent. I think I love it more because of a parody I once saw Billy Crystal do of him in TTC. Come to think of it....I did once watch Little Buddah with Keanu Reeves in the title role, there were no robes involved.

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  8. I always have a robe; I have used the same pattern for 30 years. The first several were made out of terrycloth, now I use polar fleece. Floor length, hooded, belt, pockets, and sleeves long enough to roll up if I want to.
    I have also made robes for DH, daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids.

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  9. Once upon a time I made a very plain, almost tailored robe. Not full, but roomy enough to move around in, ankle length, set-in sleeves. It was of green wool and lined with matching taffeta. Removable gold-tone buttons up the front. Wrap and tie styles seem to be ever popular, but I find that the front overlap is forever slipping and I am constantly jerking it back into place.

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  10. i wear a robe everyday during the colder months. I'm too lazy to make one myself but I have this gigantic one made from bright red terrycloth. There's a very simple reason to wear it: I get super warm while I'm sleeping while the rest of the house is freezing cold, so I need something to keep me covered during the hours of hanging around in pyjamas reading books in the morning. It also makes me feel slightly better dressed when I go get the mail.

    I could probably just get out of bed and shower/get dressed right away but I prefer a slower start of my day when I don't have to go anywhere.

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  11. I like waffle weave or pique cottons. Terry is great for after shower or pool, but too heavy for lounging. :)

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  12. My MIL would love that robe pattern -- she's always asking for a robe that buttons or zips closed in front instead of the more common RTW crossover wrap style.

    I think you should make your mom's robe out of something snuggly like Minkee blanky fabric, which isn't as heavy as terry cloth, and you should do an embroidered monogram like "L" for Laverne. ;-)

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  13. I made one and wear my hooded robe often. I made it out of terry cloth and also made another for my sister-in-law. Never again. Even though I use it a lot and like the fabric, it was a messy job! I was cleaning up the threads for what felt like weeks. I do have a pattern for a kimono, I wouldn't mind making that someday.

    Nice score on the pattern! That will be a lovely surprise for you Mom. Have you considered sweater fleece? It is so soft without the bulk of polar fleece. But if you do mind cleaning up all those little fabric stands left behind prior to seam finishing, I would recommend terry cloth. I also like waffle weave cotton for a robe for the summer months. Oh boy! You'll have to make her two, one for those chilly NY winters and those scorching hot NY summers ;-)

    I can't wait to see what fabric you chose.

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  14. I do wear robes,,, when I need to get to the door and I'm in a nightgown. I made one out of a textured baby blue velour years ago for an outfit to wear to the hospital when having my first baby. I made a funny cordoroy one for husband #1. There were some fabric outlet places in downtown Minneapolis, a first that I knew of. I bought several large lengths of cordoroy, one a patterned/textured brown and one a vanilla regular cordoroy. Well I didn't have enough for the floor length robe and instead of shortening it I used the lighter color for sleeves with brown cuffs. goofy! I've made myself a lot of lingerie in the past and I do love it.

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  15. I only like lightweight robes. The one I currently use is short and tie dyed. My husband only likes heavy robes in the winter because he is always cold. His current is medium length and a dark red heavy terry. I bought them both. Too lazy to make something so borring!

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  16. yes to both... I made a winter dressing gown for myself years ago out of a really nice fluffy polar fleece. Added some inches to the length so that I could keep my feet warm when lounging on the sofa in front of the fireplace in winter. Very snuggly. Unfortunately (?) I outshrunk it and it went to the op shop. I now have a Target brand very fluffy one that's shorter, but then, that's what ugg boots are for, I guess. For summer I wear a lightweight dressing gown that was in my mum's wardrobe when I was cleaning it out after she passed away, but I really do need to look at replacing it. I've had it almost 10 years now and it's getting somewhat threadbare. I like the first womens' one you show, but I think I have a similar 40s Lutterloh pattern that I might have a go at making for a similar look, once the worst (?) of winter is over.
    I have also made a "biblical" robe - well, it was a Simplicity pattern for a Greek goddess costume, when I cosplayed Hippolyta, Wonder Woman's mother. That one came out very well, and I'm happy to wear that to almost every comics convention I attend these days.

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  17. We are both robe wearers. We have a quilt cotton wrap one or summer and travelling, and a polar fleece one or winter (I am wearing it now as it is winter here). But in hte past my robe making has included a pink and grey satin 1940's style robe fitted to the waist then flaring out - inspired by a production of Design for Living I saw, and a series of wrap ones made from saris. These make the most exotic, rich robes, are light and comfortable, and cheap!

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  18. The only times I ever feel compelled to wear a robe is when I'm at my in-laws and people are taking pictures during the holidays, or when I'm on vacation so I can be as stylish as possible during trips down the hall to the ice machine. A really great set of modern retro-styled robes is in Hot Patterns Boudoir of Bliss collection.

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  19. I always wear a robe. LOVE them. In fact the one piece of my dad's clothing that I have is his robe. We are robe wearers...although hubby has never seen the stitch of one.

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  20. I have made a silk robe for myself and one for my husband.
    They feel luxurious.

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  21. I've always had a yearning to make Scarlett O'Hara's red robe:

    http://www.lorliaswood.fr/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/gwph13-369x499.jpg

    Although I can't imagine how practical those sleeves are for feeding the hens in the morning

    :)

    Until then I'll have to be content in my store-bought polar fleece robes (or dressing-gowns as they're known here in Ireland).

    I wear them constantly, to the horror of the boyfriend who can't understand the purpose of them at all. I think of them as a cocoon that wards off the oncoming hassles of the day; once I get dressed in the morning it means that I'm officially in 'work' mode.

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  22. My husband & I enjoy wearing robes at breakfast and to lounge around in, and for modesty as our old house is on a busy street and we'd rather not scare the passersby. Also nice to wear when stepping out for the paper, and I make my husband pack one when he travels after we escaped a hotel fire once, & had to wear our heavy raincoats all night. We also wear them when we are sick, snuggly and comfy and easy to wash. I love to make them, easy sewing and resulting in much better quality than we can buy around here.




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  23. I like long robes for the winter when I get up in the morning and for the summer I have some of those thin, embroidered Indian shirts that I get at a fabulous shop in the East Village. I've always wanted to make a long robe out of a light weight cotton.
    I usually bring a robe when traveling and staying at a hotel. As I like room service to bring me coffee in the morning it's nice to cover up when they wheel in the tray.

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  24. I wear a robe (or as I would call it "a dressing gown") most mornings when I'm swanning around before my shower - important in overlooked Edinburgh flats to avoid scaring the neighbours. Have lovely floral fabric lined up to run up view 3 of Simplicity 6048 - an early 1970s number which I've recently borrowed from my Mum. https://twitter.com/Gussie_Westward/status/219903470294155264/photo/1

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  25. Terry cloth is probably the conventional choice for practical reasons - it covers, holds up well in the washer/dryer and it is warm. But I would make it out of something unexpected. That is really the fun of sewing, isn't it?

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  26. Come to think of it, I've made several robes, beginning with a pink polyester number for a 4-H project in junior high that was much like your Butterick pattern. When I was at uni I made a huge robe out of orange terry cloth that practically glowed in the dark. Next robes I remember making were for one of my brothers, one in navy velour (promptly swiped by a girlfriend) and one in a navy and white stripped terry (also swiped by a girlfriend of his). I've made a bunch of caftans over the years as well. My favorite was out of brushed cotton with zodiac signs all over it. So seventies! My mom had one caftan pattern that we wore out. Between us we probably turned out 10-12 caftans before that pattern gave up the ghost.

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  27. Oddly enough, I'm in the process of patterning and sewing robes for me and my partner... Doing them in plaid seersucker with piped shawl collar, cuffs and pockets. We both have flannel cold weather robes, but this heat wave of a summer requires something a bit cooler. And whenever I visit my folks, who are famously "frugal" with the amount of heat they use in the winter (I believe their thermostat is set to 55 most days), I take my floor-length, green fake fur robe, which I wear 'round the clock. I look like a deranged six-foot Muppet, but I'm warm!

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    Replies
    1. You've just done a pitch for a new reality show.

      Delete
  28. a lady always wears a robe! I made one a few years ago and recently decided that I need one or two more. Something light for summer and something heavy and warm for winter. And you should always have one in case you have to go to the hospital. And a bed jacket probably would not go amiss! Get to work!

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  29. My fave summer robe is made out of seersucker and piped in satin. Winter fave is made of a very lightweight Pendleton plaid.

    I love them both.

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  30. I have a summer robe (an over-the-head caftan style) and a winter robe (flannel). I got my husband a silk robe from Goodwill for very cheap. We both use them with some frequency.

    I used to have a robe very much like the first women's robe pattern that you showed- with a defined waistline, an a-line skirt, and buttons, only mine was quilted. I got it at a thrift store, and it was amazing, if less practical, since it required daytime underthings to wear successfully, in a way that my current robes don't.

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  31. my husband wears a robe in the colder month and I just made a flannel robe for my son, which turned out a bit less fast then I thought :-)

    http://gigglesinthesun.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/still-alive-now-with-bathrobe.html

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  32. I have that exact ice cream scoop. It was my Mom's and she gave it to me when I moved out, or I may have "borrowed" it. How old do you think it is?

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  33. Have you even seen a Pendleton blanket turned into a robe? On my blog I featured the process in 5 posts in a row until the finished garment appears...what a learning experience with a little help from Kenneth D. King as well:
    http://fitforaqueen.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/new-ingredients

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  34. We do wear robes in our home, mostly though in the winter. I have only made robes for kids, one of my daughters when she was younger for getting in & out of bathroom after the shower --- and more recently for my grandsons again for after the bath. I mostly have made them with fleece since they were for kids ---

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  35. My female family members did but they were more fancy than a terry cloth robe. They also wore lounging suits with a matchingrobe/jacketand fancy slipper type shoes.

    I wear a robe after the shower, and it is old and probably disgusting.

    Josette

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  36. Peter,

    We all will be proud of you if you can finally sew a finish project for your mum! :^)

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  37. Yes. I made a red terrycloth robe for my dad that he WORE and WORE and WORE until completely threadbare. He loved it so...

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  38. I once spent $60 on fabric for a bathrobe intended to be made as a first project. I didn't like the sewing class and never sewed it. That was over 10 years ago.

    No one I know wears bathrobes at home. I wouldn't mind making a smoking jacket to wear outside.

    My favorite Swords and Sandals film is the 1959 version of Ben Hur. It was especially interesting after I saw the documentary "The Celluloid Closet" and heard Gore Vidal's comments about the homoerotic subtext he claims he suggested to give the screenplay more depth.

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  39. The inside tie ribbons on wrap robes seem to give out before anything else. It's very frustrating to have an otherwise serviceable robe that keeps slipping open.

    I once made a vintage tent-like robe with a tie that runs through the inside. I wear it sometimes, but I'm not thrilled. http://www.flickr.com/photos/28871491@N05/4540581708/, view A.

    The picture for Butterick 4025 looks like the sleeves could be quite wide. That could be annoying if the sleeves get in the way every time she washes her hands, etc.

    If you Mom likes the old robe, I'd recommend you don't stray too far from it.

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  40. Mary Lou in Central NYAugust 19, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    The only time I wear a robe is when someone comes to the door just as I'm getting out of the shower. (Why does that always seem to happen?) It's a pink/white striped flannel that I made seems like a hundred years ago. Basic, plain wrap. Now that I think about it, it really is time for a new one...

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  41. I and my partner wear robes after a shower, when we crash to sip a coffee or a cocktail.

    We love waffle weave cotton, terrycloth, and I love silk. I also have a silk short robe with shoulder pads, which looks more like a smoking jacket than a robe, and it has been used as such. A velvet version is on my "Make it Wish List" like the ones found at this website. Note the prices :)
    http://www.tailsandtheunexpected.com/clothing/smoking-jackets.html

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  42. The first sewing project I ever completed was a robe. I made it out of silk and never wore it because I'm more of a warm and fuzzy robe person than a short and slinky robe person. The second robe I made was white with black felt ears, tail and claws, and I called it my wolf suit based on Where The Wild Things Are so I could romp around the house.

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  43. I consider a robe essential for that time period after you've dried off from your shower but before you've gotten dressed. With the thermostat set on the low side in the winter, a soft, fuzzy warm rode makes that time much more enjoyable. I also like the warm robe to wear over pajamas on lazy weekend mornings while reading in the living room before getting rolling for the day.

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  44. Do you also avoid 'Life of Brian', my personal fav.

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  45. 10 Commandments is good, The Silver Chalice is nice (Paul Newman). Biblical movies have their moments.

    I love robes. Right now I only have two. One is a thick terry number I use as a substitute towel after bathing. The other is more like a duster (you remember those).

    I've made a few in my day. I made my first husband a velour robe with miles and miles of edge stitching around it years ago. He wore it into pieces. It had a monk's style hood on it and he just loved it. Dark forrest green velour. And one year I made a nice terry robe for my then teenaged son. He loved that too.

    My current husband has several but only wears them if he is going to be somewhere where he might be "exposed". (Bed and Breakfast or when we travel to AK ((I work in AK and he occasionally travels along and I have a roommate in my apartment)), etc.)

    I have a new pattern to make a negligee with accompanying robe. I'd like to make the gown out of charmeuse and the robe out of velveteen. Something holiday or fun. But I'm worried it might come off silly at my age (and weight).

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  46. I've recently made a bathrobe, based on a vintage tutorial. It's full length and made from paisley print cotton will plain collar and pocket facings. I wear it a lot and I'm even thinking of making another one when it gets colder. I don't know how to insert links when commenting using my phone, but I blogged about it at petitmainsauvage.blogspot.com just do a search for 'robe'.
    And before that, I've made a simple robe for the man in my life, which is also worn a great deal (in fact, there is a request for a winter robe...)

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  47. Hi Peter! I wear a robe around the house, usually in winter/colder months. Its useful when you have a roommate and can't be bothered to wear clothes. I have 4 of them, my favorite is a soft microfibre because its like wearing a blanket.

    I have plans to sew a robe out of a nice silk one day when I'm feeling spendy at the fabric store.

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  48. I have had an on-again off-again robe wearing habit since I can recall. Really, it depends on the robe. I once had a full-length men's "smoking jacket" style vintage robe that I wore all the time. It was green/black/gold brocade, with gold satin lining, and a black taffeta shawl collar & tie. *sigh* I miss that robe.

    The last 10 years, I have found no robe that caught my fancy. I am considering making a bed jacket out of old cashmere sweaters (moth-eaten & dryer-shrunk ones).

    My man wears a robe all the time, he has a cotton winter robe, and a heavy terry robe for winter.

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