One of my very favorite people on this planet is my beautiful friend Julie. She is a Goddess in my eyes. She has the biggest heart, is always cheerful and gives all of herself all of the time. Julie is a 2-time breast cancer survivor and is the strongest woman I know.
Julie had the opportunity to travel to California for a ritual retreat with a group of good witches. She would share stores, rituals and positive vibes with her sisters, and she wanted to dress the part and feel fabulous. She asked me if I could make her a special garment for her retreat, on short notice, and showed me her inspiration photo
I had to find a way (and the time) to make this amazing dressing robe for my dear friend, no question.
You see, this robe design goes way back to the early part of the 20th century by means of the artist and fashion designer Paul Poiret in 1910. And you know, I LOVE me some fashion history!
Quoting from the pattern envelope that I used to re-create this coat, appropriately named the Cocoon Coat, here is a little snippet about the designer and the history of the popular coat style:
Julie found this perfect pattern on of Poiret’s design from Folkwear patterns on Etsy, purchased a copy, and had it sent by express mail to me as soon as we agreed on the project and came up with the project plan, timeline and signed my contract agreement. We met up a few days later at the fabric store, and she purchased some gorgeous velvet and satin and we got started making the coat!
Because Julie is such a bright, happy and colorful person, she chose a bright, happy pink to have her cocoon coat made in! Deep pink velvet with a hot pink satin lining was the perfect choice for Julie as it went with the outfit she was planning to wear under the coat (pink French lingerie, of course!), her pink-streaked hair, all for the temptress alluring witch vibe she was going for!
Once I received the pattern Julie ordered, we set up a session to start making the robe together. We only had a couple of week’s time to get it done in time for her to pack it for her trip, so I took all the help and time she had to offer.
Although this pattern seems to be complicated to make with the batwing sleeves and the long, draped back, it is really just two very large pattern pieces, one left and one right side of the coat, with a seam down the center back and a seam pulling the sleeve together while simultaneously creating the draped shape. You cut 2 of the outer pieces and 2 for the lining, and the neck band.
We got to cutting out the enormous pattern pieces on the floor of my sewing room, trying to make sure everything was flat and not shifting as we cut, which was no easy task. We did the best we could with the space and tools that we had, and didn’t worry too much about perfection.
Sewing this baby was not easy either. Velvet is notorious for being difficult to sew as it shifts and slips and doesn’t like to be pressed or un-stitched if you make a mistake. Satin isn’t much better. Throw in the fact that the pieces to be sewn together are HUGE, and I was running out of time, so I didn’t have time to fuss and fiddle with it.
I kept Julie informed with my progress with photos of what I had done and when I expected to be finished. The coat did come together fairly quickly even with all of the setbacks and really started to look quite special and amazing!
As the coat was taking shape and I was nearing the finished project, I took the time to try to capture photos of it. The photos certainly don’t do it justice on a dress form as the color is all wrong for one thing, and you really see the drape and shape of the coat on a person, but it still looked pretty dang awesome!
As I finished the coat just in time to deliver it to Julie on her way out of town for her event, I made sure to sew a label in it to remind her of me and my presence on her back whenever she wore it.
Here’s Julie’s take on our Cocoon Coat adventure:
Thank you so much for your thoughts on our process Julie! I loved working with you and creating this special coat just for you. I hope you love it forever!
Julie absolutely is magical in her Cocoon Coat and special sexy outfit, perfectly accessorized with cool boots and a crown.
Julie performs her magic!