the robe

Okay, so I've set off on the apparel-making journey. Yes, I am aware that a robe barely counts.

A couple of months ago, I scored a pretty, "vintage" bed sheet at my local goodwill. It was in great condition, it was LOTS of yardage, and best of all, it was 2 bucks. I brought it home, thinking of ALL the projects I could use it for. A pillow case for Annie (who's currently using Zane's old Thomas the train one); a curtain for a closet; a flowing, little girl dress; and last but not least (with the left-over fabric) a robe for myself. (See, we live in 700 square feet, and my son isn't getting any younger. I figure a little extra modesty might be a good choice.)

So I stewed and stewed and dreamed and dreamed. And while I dreamed I made about 40 other handmade goods. And every time I opened up my stash bucket, it was there, staring at me. enticing me.

Fast-forward to last week. I'd been off the sewing machine for about 48 hours. Enjoying the break. But then at the library I found Amy Butler's "InStitches" (so apparently not enjoying the break that much) and lo and behold, inside there was a pattern for a beautifully chic, "kimono-style" robe. PERFECT! My sewing fast was over. I came home and pulled out the sheet. I hemmed and hawed (it's an integral part of my processing). Then, just when life got busy and I found myself with lots of other things to do besides sewing, I finally dove into the cutting. And once I start cutting, there's no going back.

It's a problem I have. Start a good book? have to finish it, IMMEDIATELY. Buy a cheesecake? have to eat THE ENTIRE THING. you see the problem.

So off I went. As I cut and ripped and ripped and cut, I realized that my everlasting vintage sheet wasn't so mary-poppins's-bag-like after all. In fact, I had to be careful to get all my pieces cut with what I had. When it was all over, I had enough to spare for one, maybe two barbie-sized dresses. oops. but at least I was on my way! SOMETHING TO WEAR, I thought, and couldn't believe I was about to bust it out.

So the sewing began. And as the garment began to take shape, a sinking feeling appeared. For you see, when you use VINTAGE material and a simple, square-shaped pattern (think art smock), turns out, you end up looking like you should be on the cover of a true VINTAGE pattern. and you should be 70 years old. (No offense Tilly, you're wonderful.)

Either that, or you look like a silly girl with an old sheet wrapped around yourself.

Sigh. A bit of a let-down. The more and more I sewed, the more I saw picture-like memories of both of my grandmas wearing THIS EXACT PIECE OF CLOTHING. It was dejavu in a way I've never had it before.

You can't wait to see it, can you?

Okay, here it is, in all its pre-belt glory:

GASP! See, I wasn't kidding. Put a zipper down the front and you're done: a perfect housecoat.

Then I remembered there was a belt to finish it off, and I allowed myself just a little bit of relief and hope. And wouldn't you know, it's a little better:

Sigh. And that's the end of the story. I'll admit, the belt saved it. I even wore it yesterday and it was useful and modest.

But I could have sworn I heard Zane say, "Hey mom, what are you doing with an old sheet all wrapped around you like that?"

Either that or I heard one of my dear grandmas, asking for their robe back.

ps--brandon asked me why, if I hated it that much, would I show it to the world, complete with pictures and {long, obnoxious} accompanying story. I told him, I've got a problem. if I'm going to blog about life, I HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT ALL OF IT. besides, it's growing on me. I love my gramas, after all.


alliehoopes said…
every time i find something that i'd label "ugly grandma chic" i think of my sister caitlin and that she would love it but not me but then i remember how i always want my stuff to look like hers too. ugly grandma chic is coming back. also p.s. remember how it used to be that if you didn't photograph something and put it in a scrapbook or something then it's like it didn't happen? totally the new blog thing.
I love it. Send it my way if you hate it. I think a lot of older styles are coming back in. We may be surprised!!
Rae said…
Tell Brandon if he's got issue with it, you can always put the zipper in and rock the house coat. ;) I think it's cute, and the fabric and style are just right. Nice work!
Brenny said…
Um, I actually think it is cute, especially because I was thinking of a way more hideous pattern as you were describing it. Not bad.
Ann Marie said…
I guess I am getting really o-l-d. My vision of vintage fabric was not even close. I will tell you that my mother would love that robe - as do I.