Friday, August 6, 2010


Hello all! Just wanted to check in to say I haven't forgotten I owe you all a sloper. I'm making and organizing my sketches (31 and counting!) to start photodocumenting the tutorial tomorrow.
Hopefully tomorrow, I mean. Emily has a birthday party smack in the middle of the day that requires chauffeuring to and from. We've had a busy week - the husband was out of town on business so I was parenting solo half the week. While sewing to keep sane, of course. We had some meltdowns (mostly me) and I forgot to water our tomatoes and lone sunflower for two whole days, and well, let's just say I'm glad he's home :)

Because now I can resume sewing AND drafting.

Thank you all for encouraging me on this crazy series. When I first started thinking about doing drafting tutorials, I was motivated by my girls. Specifically, I wanted to do this for them. I thought of myself, drafting after 10 years of not-drafting, and wishing mum were in the same room, pointing out all the bits I was messing up and showing me how to do it right. Or, since she wasn't in the same room, wishing she had written a drafting book so I could buy it on amazon and figure it out myself. Someday too, my kids will not be in the same room as I, and trying to do some funny crafty/sewingy thing and saying, "Bah, if only mum were here to show us how to turn this wretched glue gun on." Maybe someday they might even draft patterns. I hope they do. So I'm starting now - and maybe by the time they're teenagers there will be enough here on drafting for them to sew their own prom dresses from scratch. (Yes, they will. Because
I am not sewing them. Because I will be off to some diving spot like Belize with the husband, lazing on the beach between dives, hand-stitching my OWN clothes.) But until then, I am very happy to have you all enjoy this draftalong as well! And if, in the tutorial (when I finish it), I sound like I'm talking to children, er, it's because I am.

Also wanted to say that I've retracted the printable measuring table in the Part 1 post. In the process of planning out the sequence of steps in the tutorial, I found that the table was driving me slightly crazy. I found two mistakes and made a few other revisions. Nothing major to you, but massively clearer in my own head for me. So I apologize to those of you who've already wasted printer ink on that table, and started filling it out. I will re-upload the nicer version when I post the sloper tutorial, and tell you what the few changes were, and all will be well.

So in the meantime, here's a distractor post for you while I work on my drafting stuff.

Emily and Jenna are enrolled in swimming class this summer. They both love it. Jenna is in the Parent-and-Child type class, an unfortunate side effect of which is that I get to be in the pool with her without actually being allowed to do laps. It is like being given a nutella bottle that is sealed shut forever. Or a sewing machine with no thread. I miss swimming so much that I will even swim in a humid, heated indoor pool if allowed to. Who swims in indoor pools (and heated!!!!!!!!) in 95 degree weather?

Pardon my whining. Unbelievably, this post is actually not about swimming (too late for that now, though). It is about bathrobes.

Some years ago I made bathrobes for the girls. Kate wasn't born yet, so they were just for Emily and Jenna. When they started swimming lessons this summer, they decided they wanted to wear bathrobes. Jenna fits nicely now into Emily's,

and Kate has happily adopted Jenna's,

(The girls are getting used to me flailing my limbs and shrieking, "The light! At last! The right light for photos! Quick, photoshoot! Everyone on the deck! Stat! Before the sun comes out from behind the clouds!" So here they are, fully dressed under their bathrobes, just to humor me.)

Unfortunately, this convenient hand-me-down system has left Emily bathrobeless. So further interrupted my To Sew project list last week to make her one. I told her it was meant to last her the next 5 years.

Very easy, bathrobes. They don't even have to actually fit. So a person could, in theory, randomly slash out from the fabric, shapes that somewhat resemble a bodice and a sleeve, and then run everything under a presser foot. The hard part was getting a good, thick terrycloth to make them with. I got mine from Mill End's remnant section. Very thick, chenille-like on the outside, and terry on the inside, like an expensive towel.

Back when I made the first bathrobes for E and J, I also made some for their cousins. That was in the pre-blog era, but I took photos - this is what they looked like when I had enough fabric

and when I didn't - a bit patchwork-y.

The fancy pictures on the patch pockets are appliques of random fabric scraps.

But, oh, you should have seen the house when I had finished them - it looked like it had snowed indoors. I never knew a fabric that shed more bountifully than terrycloth.


  1. The appliqued pockets remind me of an appliqued face cloth & towel set I had as a small child. Made by one of my mom's close friends who is now my friend and a good source of sewing tips and information (like how to work a treadle machine!).

    On the topic of swimming, I agree that outdoor, non-pool swimming is superior. Even with the algae and goose poop!

  2. Oooh...I have a three year old girl who really needs a bathrobe. These are easy, you say??

  3. Oh, so cute!!

    I hear you on the terrycloth shedding! I made a robe out of a towel for my granddaughter, and boy did it shed! Worth it, though. :)

  4. Great bathrobes!

    I remember that hand-me-down...I've always knit a lot for my kids- 2 boys and 2 girls- and when they were small, I knit sweaters for us all, hubby and me too. We only had 3 kids at the time, so when #4 came, I had to make another one, preferably in a whole different colourway! Stranded sweaters in size XXXL(dark grey ), L(light grey), 8 years(green), 6(red),4(blue),and 2(white). All with 3 different accent colours.Fun! And crazy...

    Open water swimming is the best. The kids swim a lot in the se, but it's too cold for me...

  5. A quiet moment in the day so I am happily answering comments now here!

    Annette: Thank you!

    Laura and Marit: Yes, outdoor swimming is gooooood. I don't swim in lakes, though. Slightly leery of the slimy denizens therein. In Singapore we always swam in warm outdoor swimming pools since it was tropical temps all year round.

    Marit: Wow, that sounds like a lot of knitting. Mass producing, it also sounds like. Hope that it was as therapeutic for you as mass producing is for me!

    Ant LoLo: Yes they are easy! I cut and finished mine in the same afternoon, which never happens (till now anyway).

  6. I love the genesis for the drafting series. I can't believe how much I didn't learn from my mother and I already think about what my kids might or might not learn from me!

    I love your description of sewing the bathrobes and I totally agree about the snowstorm of terrycloth. It's almost enough to keep me from it (but I love it so much).

    If you look at my blog today, you see that while I like good light for photos, I am less enamored with suddenly rigging up for a photo shoot. So the lighting is terrible for the dress I'm wearing (inside, 11pm!), but at least it's On the Record (my blog).

  7. I'm very glad you re-did your table, because now I can justify not printing it out and measuring yet!

    Love the bathrobes, especially the cute appliques! My silly kids won't wear bathrobes.

    Looking forward to your drafting series! =)

  8. Sweet little girls + fluffy little appliqued bathrobes = so much cuteness!

  9. Oh my! The bathrobes are so cute but the girls are the most adorable!!!

  10. Where did you get the pattern for these? If no pattern then can you give me a rundown on how to make one PLEASE!!


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