Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My ass does not hang out of it. Score.

Wouldn't you like to know that amidst all the gleeful staycation drinking, I actually took a moment and sewed a thing.

For me.

That's not a part of a sew-a-long or anything.

Not even the sew-a-long that I allegedly host with Kelli but have been delinquent in posting photos for this time around even though I totally made another In Car Trash Bag because you know how I love self-promotion and also car cleaning.

Let's pretend we didn't hear that last part and just move on. I'll come back with that story later. And in the mean time I'll try to remember to take a photo of this triumph since the pattern was obviously SUPER GOOD and its author a SUPER GENIUS.

You know what I'm saying.

The other thing I sewed though...let's talk about that for a minute.

See, four years ago when Kelli and I got the wild hair to do our first sew along (four years really moves. Wow. I feel old or something.), we did so because we were inspired (or, rather Kelli was inspired and then inspired me - it's a cyclical thing) by Amy Butler's book, Institches, because it was the first non-barfy sewing book we'd come across in, well, ever.

I'm not going to go into the shortcomings of all the other books that had crossed my eyeballs before that one (and since), but let's say they weren't inspiring in any way that you'd want to rally a bunch of women around for a pleasant good time. A time involving matches and trash can bonfires, maybe, but that's not what I'm about when it comes to sewing.

And so we sewed from this book for a year and made a lot of nice things. One thing we did not make, however, and which spent a good amount of time that year repeatedly catching my eye, was the Kimono Bathrobe.

At least I think that's what it's called.

Which is a short-coming of all sewing books that are books rather than websites because when I want to link to a pattern or remember its proper name, I have to go hunt it down on my bookshelf which is never located in the same place that I'm located when I want to reference it. But we'll put aside my issues with actual books and the physical world for now.

When I realized that I was going to have a week off, at home, to do just whatever the hell I wanted, I decided it was time to finally make this robe because putting on my full-length terry cloth spa robe in the heat of summer is really not that pleasant.

So, on the whateverth day of vacation, I marched off to my favorite fabric store, fingered all the fabrics a million times and walked off with this yellow floral number that, on paper sounds awful, but in person seemed pretty OK for the job of a robe.

I really wanted more of this fabric, but it's nowhere to be found. And by nowhere I mean at the one fabric store I went to. Look, I have a severely short attention span and can't be driving hither and thither for fabric. I know you understand. But, if you happen to know who designs or has this fabric, you just let me know and I'll figure out a way to make another robe.

Yeah. The King Kong fabric wasn't really speaking to me.

I have a pattern, dontchaknow.

So, speaking of this pattern - have you heard me bitch about patterns lately? Probably. I do it a lot. Usually when the pattern is wrong, asks for too much fabric, too little fabric, forgets a crucial detail, requires a lot of quilting or basically sucks out loud.

Well, this pattern is one that needs no bitching whatsoever.


And this may be because I sewed this thing in the manner most befitting my lunatic mentality which is to say that I set aside two different sessions to complete it thereby sidestepping the terror that inevitably ensues when I attempt to cut out pattern pieces, cut out fabric and then sew something that requires more than 3 steps all in a single sitting.

People could die in this scenario and blood has been shed in previous situations is what I'm trying to tell you, so I guess I've learned a thing or two about good old crazy me, and that is that for a sewing project that requires all the steps above plus a few pages of diagrams and much measuring, I must allot myself two days and many cheesy movies on the teevee so that we all come out alive on the other end, and hopefully possessing a sewn object that isn't attached to one's self or left to burn on the lawn.

One day I ran Sleepless in Seattle in the background and cut out the pattern pieces and fabric. Fine.

The next day I ran Tombstone (I'll be your huckleberry. LOVE YOU, VAL.), Star Trek (the new one, obvi - Hot Spock) and something else I can't recall while I sewed up the robe to near perfection.

I say, "near", because I accidentally measured the back piece wrong (who me? suck with measuring or anything resembling math? NEVER.)(Always.) and when I went to piece it together, I realized that it was going to leave my ass hanging out, so I had to QUICK sew in an extension that brought it down to normal lengths.

And thank god I did because HELLO that would a been a lot of Finny cheek to be showing to the neighbors on garbage day. Not that I take out the garbage, but you know, I wander the streets in my robe and some people must think it's because I'm minding the trash.

After that one little fix though, it was totally done and now I love it.

I mean, I have to wash it still, because I am one of those lazy ass seamstresses who doesn't always (ever) wash their fabric before they sew with it, but I'm sure that whatever shrinkage occurs won't be nearly as terrifying as the scene that would have unfolded had I just cut the front panels to the length of the back panels and gone about my neighborhood tour as though my bits weren't 100% showing for everyone to see.

So, there you have it - this pattern, while requiring of much fabric (3 1/2 yards is a lot to me) and two days of sewing because I'm a loon, is absolutely solid and I have zero beef with the design, instruction, diagrams or final product.

Thank you, Amy. This robe is a gem.


  1. I totally totally love it. Do you know what that fabric is called? It looks so perfect for a bathrobe!

  2. That fabric is awesome Finny -- just perfect for a robe. Now, about that pic of you modeling the swanky new robe....

  3. Could you picture the scene of too short of robe made of King Kong fabric? THAT would have been a sight. LOL :)

    But yay for cute yellow fabric!

  4. Hey- I have that book too (I LOVE Amy Butler patterns- especially her messenger bag) and I'm waiting for just the right fabric to turn into this robe. Good to know it's a pattern worth waiting for. Your robe looks awesome & I love your fabric choice!

  5. I think I need this book too. You've talked me into it. And the cute robe helped too, of course. Nice fabric choice!

  6. I've been looking for a not-ugly, lightweight robe for years now (not looking very HARD, mind you, but looking) and there you just up and made one. Sometimes I wish I could be you. But only in the crafty way, not in the scary Single White Female way.

  7. I love the cherry blossom, Asian-ish fabric for this. Just perfect. And the robe itself is so lovely!

    And now I feel I must add this to my list of potential projects because I have one terry cloth robe and one giant one made from, well, I can't think of the word because my brain has melted. But it's heavy and I hate it. The robe, not my brain.

    If I ever finished an entire sewn object in two days I would deem it a damned miracle. (Damned miracles, are there such things?)

    And also, have you actually ever sewn an object that was "attached to one's self"? Because I actually embroidered something to my jeans one time.

  8. I LOVE. I have a full length fleece bathrobe that is a men's large. I really need something that doesn't look as if I have given up on life when I wear it. Now this robe says "I love life! Bring on the mimosas! Where's my red lipstick?!"

    Nice work, Finny.

  9. Eliz - For you, I even went and looked it up. Nice, huh? It's "Free to grow" by Nancy Mims.

    Anna - Yeah...probably not so much modeling the robe, though I guess I could act like I wear pants with my robe and model it like they do in the book. Though that is just silly to me.

    I don't understand how people get dressed in PJ pants and tank tops and THEN put on a robe. It's summer - that's 99% too much clothing.

    Sara - A sight that MIGHT even have been worth seeing, though I'm not sure I want to be the model.

    I always laugh at the "novelty" fabric at these shops. WHO, I ask you, is buying this crap? Are they making kiddie drapes from it or something? Sheesh. People will just buy anything.

    Jenny - Yeah, you def. want a fabric you can deal with en masse. I so wish I could find that blue fabric I linked to in the post, because that would have been perfect, but I do like the yellow thing I chose.

    Totally try this pattern out - it's a goodie.

    Sourkraut-I have to say, even after having that book in my possession and having done most of the projects in four years, I routinely go back to it for inspiration or to try out something I might have passed up. Just be sure to check corrections on her website before you dig in. The robe project, however, had zero errors, which I enjoyed greatly.

    Cheers :)

    Kris - I was partaking in a similar low-pressure approach to robe shopping because I *knew* I needed a lightweight robe that didn't make me sweat while I was fresh out of the shower, but never seemed to come across anything that wasn't super expensive or ugly. Thankfully this fabric didn't turn out super ugly en masse because that would have been disappointing.

    Wendy-Oh sure - sewn a bag right to my sleeve. Which is why sewing in winter, when I have to swap my tank tops for sleeved shirts, is a dangerous activity.

    I can't endorse this particular pattern enough - no errors and so satisfying. Love it :)

    Dig - Your red lips WOULD look lovely with this robe.

    Wow. That doesn't sound right.

    Anyway - yes! I do love this new robe. Just have to give it a good
    wash and then sew in a loop for hanging it from the hook. Surprised
    that wasn't included in the pattern.


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Sucks, right?

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