Monday, March 5, 2012

Pattern Review: just-like-dad flannel robe from Sewing for Boys

Overall, I have been liking the patterns in Sewing for Boys.  This one was no exception. I did, however, get a bit bored during the construction, but I should have expected this, as it was labeled "beginner."  I also didn't learn any new techniques for the first time with one of the Patterns by Figgy's (the gals wrote this book), but maybe the "beginner" tag should have cued me into this.

I think I got bored in part because it is such a large garment.  One of the reasons I like sewing for babies/ kids is because the items are small.  That way, I can see the whole thing on my desk and they are easier to visualize and quicker to complete.  They also take less fabric, so aren't necessarily more expensive than buying the same item!

The just-like-dad flannel robe also uses one of my least favorite/ hated techniques.  It has you pull the entire garment out the sleeve.  I agree that this makes the outer seams look better, but it is still annoying to do.  The instructions have you do the same thing to make the belt, and I skipped this, opting to use my iron to fold each edge in, then pin it and topstitch to close the whole thing.  I just couldn't bear the thought of turning that entire long belt out one tiny end.

You can also see that my flannel stash is running a bit low.  This is a fully lined robe~ basically two flannel robes sewn together to make one.  I ended up barely having enough for the outside to be all one fabric.  I used three fabrics for the inside (and breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered at least both sleeves could be in the same fabric!).

In the directions, I wish they would have copy-read the pattern a bit better (same critique I had for their Dapper Dillinger pants).  They skipped sewing the front pieces A and B together, which left me scrambling a bit when I got to the part where you sew the front to back.  Now that I am done, I would have liked to topstitch this, but it's a bit late.

They also give the option of adding patch pockets, but don't mention it until the end.  I would have liked a mention of this option in the fabric cutting part, so I could have prepped the pattern and fabric pieces.  But I suppose their assumption is that people will read the directions in full before they begin.  Um.  Yeah, that's not my habit.  I get confused when I read the directions and am not actually doing it, especially when there is a lot of lingo (like the pattern piece names).

I also would have liked to add this patch pocket and the belt carriers onto the outside piece before putting the front and back together.  I like hiding as many seams as possible, and this would have accomplished this.

The sizing is fine- like all the other patterns in the book, it runs big. I made a size 2/3 for my size 4 guy.  The shoulders hit just right and the arms are long enough to roll up the sleeves.  The length is a bit shorter than on daddy's robe, but works fine as an old school smoking jacket rather than a bathrobe (read: it needs to be worn with pants).

All this being said, this is adorable.  It was easy to make, and the topstitching makes it look sharp.  If I make this again, I would probably use sherpa or toweling for one of the layers, since we will probably use this as a swimming robe.  Why?  Because that's what daddy uses his for.

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