suki robe

2 more Suki Robes

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I have plenty of clothes, so how can I justify making more?

Here, my friends came to the rescue (actually they probably have more clothes than me but it’s their guilt now not mine).

On our weekly zoom chat I was moaning about having lots of fabric and wanting to sew but not needing anything. My friends said ‘you could make something for us’

I am generally not keen on making things for other people. Too many of us have got used to the idea that clothes are not valued, and are disposable. I have seen this in practice when sorting through charity shop donations. I choose my gift makes carefully.

In this instance the gifts were to be Helen’s closet Suki robe’s. This pattern works best in light weight fabrics to be used as a summer dressing gown. It’s good to make as a gift because there are not too many fitting issues – loose fit, wrap front.

I gave my friends some 100% cotton fabric options to choose from then ordered accordingly.

I made this one from fabric bought on ebay for £9 per metre, 2.5 metres purchased. My friend identifies with Sicily so I chose the lemon fabric. There is huge error which is the lemons hang upwards but I was focussing on the leaves which I thought lookd better pointing upwards.

I made this one from Japanese fabric purchased online for £18 per metre, 3 metres purchased.

This is probably the best quality fabric I have ever sewed. It just oozed quality. The birds and colours are amazing, I think they are storks. Despite this being a size small, there was not much fabric left over from the 3m I bought. I imagined myself pattern matching but that was beyond my skill level and I had to content myself with all the birds flying in the same direction.

I tried both on, and the lemons one, being my size, was a lovely fit, but disconcertingly the stork print looked all wrong because it would not close properly and even the neck was too small. I will just have to hope that Helen knows what she is doing and this will look wonderful on my small sized friend.

Having sewed 2 Suki robes in 4 days I am now familiar with the pattern and have some observations.

  1. French seam the shoulder seams
  2. Don’t bother with the belt loops
  3. The front overlap is quite small, don’t skimp on sizing in this area.
  4. Its a great pattern

I love sewing, its rewarding and challenging.

Helen’s closet Suki Robe from fabric and a scarf.

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My lovely vintage silk dressing gown had developed some more holes and was now beyond repair. Obviously I was going to make not buy a replacement and opted for the Helen’s closet Suki robe pattern,

I am a big fan of the love to sew podcast but have as yet not made up any of Helen’s patterns, and as a fellow Helen now was my ideal opportunity.

The pattern is recommended for advanced beginners and the comprehensive instructions talk you through every stage.

I had this fabric in my stash for a couple of years, bought from Fabric Land in Bristol. I liked the bright daffodil design but once back home started to wonder if it was a bit too attention grabbing bright. A dressing gown, however, can be as bright as you like. It wasn’t the recommended drapey stuff, but a light cotton, could maybe be classed as a quilting cotton.

I also didn’t have the recommended 3.6 m for the knee length version, but I did have a gauzy scarf rescued from the rag bin in a charity shop where I volunteer, which was in a co-ordinating dip dyed green and yellow.

Laying the pattern pieces out I was able to cut all of the front, most of the back, half of the pockets, and some of the ties from the daffodil fabric and the remaining parts from the scarf, apart from the main ties for which I once again had to turn to my stash and dig out some green gingham. Its a fabric mash up, but I was keen to use material I already owned.

Almost a zero waste project, this is all the fabric which remains.

I decided to complete this make with a slow sewing style and only complete 1 page of instructions per day (there are 19 pages). This was quite enjoyable, it was interesting to see the garment slowly emerge, and gave me plenty of time to finish seams and tie off threads as I went along.

The instructions were clear and easy to follow and there is also a blog post on Helen’s website for the more tricky bits like attaching the collar band.

I am so pleased with how this turned out. The neckline fits snugly without gaping and the sleeves are a perfect length. It is drafted for a 5ft 6in woman, and as I am 5ft 3in it is a little longer than knee length on me. I moved the main ties up about an inch to hit my natural waist.

Had to re-inforce with interfacing, the area where the ties are anchored.