I just completed and delivered the silk kimono robe I made for my good friend and bride-to-be. It turned out to be quite nice and luxurious! It took me much longer than I had anticipated, but I was able to crank it out in time for her to wear it while she gets ready for her wedding day on Friday.
I used Vogue 8888 pattern to make this.
For the most part, it was a very good pattern to follow, although a good amount of pattern pieces (10-11 depending on the finished results), and using a very slippery, yet luxurious silk charmeuse, purchased at Mill End Store in 2013, cutting out and sewing was challenging.
Also there was a good amount of hand sewing to do. The entire shawl collar interior seam is slip stitched by hand, which took a long time:
I was not entirely happy with the seaming of the pocket opening as well as the pocket bag. I am not 100% sure I sewed it all correctly as the pattern instructions and illustrations were a bit vague and lacking for these steps, so I had to wing it and make an additional mock flat felled seam (or a mock french seam, I’m not sure what I did, I just made it work!) in order to hide the raw edge and prevent future fraying. I just tucked in the raw edges, pressed, and stitched them down inside.
The pattern instructions have you just sew the pocket bag front and back together in a single straight stitch. I felt that this was not enough for a pocket as there tends to be wear and tear on a pocket interior, so I opted to sew the pocket seam around, then fold in the seam allowances in on themselves, pressed carefully and painstakingly, and make a mock french seam or mock flat felled seam. Whatever it was, it reinforced the pocket bag seams and hid the raw edges. Vogue could have done much, much better here in my opinion. No photo, I’m sorry.
I also made up a French seam technique for the armhole seam as Vogue has you just make a single flat seam for the armhole. Again, raw edges and fraying will be present here, and I was not about to pink, serge or zig-zag the lovely silk seams (cheating IMO), so I made my own French seam for the body/sleeve seams.
I am pleased that Vogue made the effort to make the side and underarm seams of this robe French seams in the instructions, but I am disappointed in the fact that the armhole seams and pocket bag seams are just regular, single stitch seam and raw edge will be seen. So I did the right thing and made French seams where ever I could.
More hand work making the thread loop to help hold and guide the robe sash ends. I was going to skip this step of making the thread chain loop, but felt the robe in silk really needed this additional holder and guide, as the silk fabric is so slick and slippery and will certainly fall open with wear, weather intended or not 😉
The interior ties will also help hold the robe closed:
The back of the robe is nice too, smart to have the sashes attached so they don’t get lost and don’t slip around too much:
Side view of the completed robe showing the pocket, sash, side loop and part of the kimono sleeve:
I love this robe, it turned out so luxe and beautiful, and now want one made up for myself!
Maybe when I have about 3 1/2 yards of yummy silk fabric and a month to cut and sew, I’ll do it again!
I hope my lovely friend loves it and enjoys it for years to come!