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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to make a dressing gown or bath robe




Here in Australia it's winter now - and with the cool mornings we've been having lately, I decided to make my girls dressing gowns to keep them cosy and warm!

I made them nice and big - so they can wrap them snug around themselves - and so that they can also grow into them.  Up here in the tropics, we don't get to wear things like dressing gowns very often, so I want them to last for a good few years of growth!



So here's how to make them if you want to try one yourself! 
All you need is some fleecy, cosy material, and a sweater that fits now!

So first of all, lay the sweater on your fleece, with the arms (and a hood if it has one) folded in, so you can clearly see the outline of the back of the sweater:


Then cut around the outline of the back of the sweater, leaving a gap of around 5cm (2") all the way around.  This allows for seams, and plenty of room for growth!
For the length - choose how long you want the robe to be. I measured from my daughter's neck to the ground and made it arond this length. If it's too long, you can always make the hem at the bottom wider - and it then gives more room to grow again!


Now fold this back piece in half, and trim the edges to make sure it's all even.

Now lay this folded back onto more of the fleece, and cut two front panels - around 5cm (2") wider than half the backing. Make sure you cut one left and one right side!

Now put both front panels together and curve the front neckline a little by trimming:

So now you have one back and two front panels cut:



Now you need to cut 2 sleeves.
Again use the sweater you have that fits, and lay it on a folded piece of fleece:


Now cut around the sleeve leaving the same 5cm (2" gap). Once again, longer is better as sleeves can always be rolled up! You need to cut two sleeves - one left and one right!


The final pieces you need to cut are:
2 pieces 18cm x 6cm (7" x 2.5") for the strap loops at the side.
1 long piece for the strap, mine was 2m x 16cm (79" x 6.5") - this allowed LOTS to tie around - you could go with less, depending on waist size!
1 long piece for the opening trim 10cm (4") x over 2m (79"). This is roughly twice the length of the robe, plus the neck width.  I joined pieces together to make mine extra long - then trimmed it at the end when I pinned it on.


Now it's time to start sewing!

Take your 2 rectangles that you cut for the side loops for the strap.
Fold them lengthways in to the centre, then in half again and stitch along close to the edge.

Repeat for the other rectangle to give you two strips like this:

Now you need to pin the front and back panels together - right sides facing.  Pin the two loop straps you just stitched in around waist length (again you can check this from the sweater you are using).
Pin on the shoulders and down the side seams.  Remember to leave the arm holes open!!

Pin both front panels on - making sure the strap loops are level on both sides. Then stitch. I generally use a 0.5cm (3/8") seam all the way.

Now for the sleeves.
Fold both right sides together, and pin then stitch along the opposite side to the fold.

Now, keeping the main body of the robe still inside out, turn the sleeves right side out and push through the arm holes matching up the edges.  Make sure you have the longer length of the sleeve at the top end of the robe!  Pin then stitch  both sleeves into place.



Now for the trim around the opening. Take your 10cm (4") wide strip and fold in in half lengthways - right sides facing OUTWARDS!
Then starting at the bottom of one front panel - pin to the front opening - up and around the back of the neck - and back down the other front panel. Then trim the end, and stitch into place.



Then fold the trim flat and topstitch close to the seam, catching the edges of the seam in on the bottom to hold them flat.

Now finish off your hems - at the ends of both sleeves, and the bottom of the robe, by double turning over and stitching down.



Now to finish all you need to do is the strap!
Fold it lengthways both sides to the centre, then in half again and stitch along all four edges.  Remember to turn both short sides over to hide the raw edges too!



Thread the tie through the loops in the robe - and it's done!!


Try it on and get some cool poses!



I hope you liked this tutorial.  Feel free to ask if you want anything clarified or have any questions!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

I'll be linking this post to many of the fabulous linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found at the bottom of this page.

26 comments:

  1. Jill, you are clearly my kind of seamstress...I love how you just lay down something that fits and cut around it! That is just how I do it too!
    Great projects!

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  2. Wow, amaaaazing tute! And the dressing gowns (well, I tend to call them bathrobes) are simply the cutest.

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  3. This is great Jill! Love your thinking, and such a fantastic tutorial!

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  4. Great ieda....Thanks for sharing

    (http://www.bellecaketopperandmould.net/)

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  5. We live in Wisconsin, USA so we get LOTS of oppourtunities to wear cozy things ;) Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Oh Jill, they look so cozy!! What a great tutorial you did! Thank you so much for linking up, it means so much to me!

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  7. These are so fun! Thanks so much for linking up. I will definitely need to try these out once winter hits us:>

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  8. This is my kind of sewing, I hate using patterns!
    Thanks for sharing!!!
    Brenda
    www.piggygiggles.com

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  9. This is so quick and easy, i might actually get them finished before winter is over! thanks heaps :)

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  10. A fascinating little tutorial!!

    I've been getting into sewing lately. I've wanted a dressing-gown for ages, but I was never able to find one that fit me. I'm thinking that this is a simple and effective way to make a gown. It's lovely!

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  11. I think I will add a hood, make it from terry cloth and use it as a cover up for the pool... Great idea, easy and simple to do. Awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. What a great idea! It would make a great pool cover up!

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  12. I LOVE this! I've been looking for a tutorial to make a bathrobe for my 4 year old. Thanks so much! Now, does anyone possibly have a tutorial on how to add a hood???? I'd love to see that too, since it's her favorite part of the one robe she had. Thanks!

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  13. The background of the picture where the cutting and measurement are made has a sort of calibration on it, what does that called?

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    Replies
    1. That's my cutting board - the squares are marked in 2cm intervals.

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  14. My teenage son wanted me to make him a wizard outfit from a bathrobe. He called himself the bathrobe wizard. It had to be yellow as he wanted to wear it at the school's sports day. I found your site and never looked back. The pictures made all the difference in helping me make it. I'm not a sewer by nature but I was able to make it without any problems. My son loved it and I am the favourite parent for the moment.

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    Replies
    1. So glad the tutorials was clear for you! A bathrobe wizard sounds like fun!

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  15. Beautiful! How much did you use fabric?

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    Replies
    1. I used around 1m x 1.5m fabric for this dressing gown which fits my 10 year old daughter!

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    2. I'm making this 40' long, and have a hip measurement of 27' so should one piece of 1m x 1.5m fabric be enough for this project?

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  16. Hey, I Googled "Housecoat bathrobe pattern child" and your page was one of the very first hits. This is great, thank you so much!! I'm taking sewing lessons now and am enjoying it, and thought I'd practice on things like dog coats, and a housecoat for my son. I downloaded the PDF and will take him shopping for fabric!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Good luck with your sewing - and feel free to ask if you have any questions!! :)

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  17. Oh this is awesome! I have been searching all day for an easy pattern and I thought I could do something like this but wasn't sure. I want to make robes for my two kids for Christmas - hopefully I can get started tomorrow :o)

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    1. Thanks Rebecca - good luck! Hope you get them made in time for Christmas!

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  18. After following this tutorial two years ago, I made my own dressing-gown. Worked out very nicely. But now I have some better fabric (and better colours, thank god). And I'm going to make a second one. (Not sure what to do with the first one. Maybe I'll cut it up and use it for something else). This is a wonderful guide.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sheong! Good luck making your second one. My daughters are still using these same ones! Glad I made them big enough for them to grow into! :)

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