Monday, 30 January 2017

Warm and snuggly

That's the only way to describe the dressing gowns that I made for the girls--very warm and very snuggly.

I used the same pattern for both, Simplicity 1946, and it was very simple and straight forward.
I had originally thought that Elyse could make her own dressing gown, but changed my mind because the fabric presented some challenges.  I couldn't find a mid-weight terry towelling anywhere in town, so I decided to use bath towels.  These were heavier than I really wanted, but much better than the very thin towelling that was available. Definitely not the route to take if you want to keep the cost down, but I couldn't find another option.  (Of course, now that they are finished, every store is having a sale on bath towels.)  I'm going to keep my eyes open for some fabric suitable for a summer-weight garment, and let Elyse try her had with that.

Working with fabric this thick wasn't easy. Because of the weight of the fabric, and in an attempt to reduce bulk, I tried different methods for sewing the seams . And, because of the thickness, a walking foot was essential throughout.

For Elyse's I wanted to incorporate the decorative bands throughout (turned up cuffs and pocket tops as well as the bottom band), without having to worry about the different finishing needs of the two weaves.  I overlapped the seam allowances and stitched them with one of my sewing machine's overcast stitches. I couldn't use the special foot for this stitch because of the need to use the walking foot. This worked quite well, and made a nice flat seam which I then trimmed back to the stitching lines on both sides.  I also added extra rows of top stitches along the front bands.While it looks somewhat faded in the photo, it's really a very pretty shade of blue - one of her favourites.

The towels for Keira's didn't have the same decorative bands to deal with, so I used a regular seam,  finished each edge, and then stitched each side of the seam allowance flat on either side of the seam line.  Terry ravels aggressively, so no unfinished areas could be left exposed. I also wanted to use that pretty pink binding, and it turned out to be a bit (okay, a lot) more fiddly to do that than I had expected. The binding is actually woven as part of the towelling fabric rather than sewn on after.  Still, it looked nice when it was finished, and there are no thick bumpy spots at the seams, so it was worth the effort. Keira wasn't in a picture-taking mood, but she liked it enough that she continued to wear it even after she got dressed.

The finished garments turned out just fine.  They are comfortable, and I suspect that they'll be very durable.  I don't think that I'll be sewing with bath towels any time soon, though. Once (or in this case, twice) was enough.

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