Posted on Thursday the 22nd August 2019 by Sew Mama Bear
Simplicity 8887 is a robe pattern with lots of hacking possibilities. What this means is that they provide a basic pattern with lots of different customisation options available. The examples of this they give are different length options, cold shoulder options, tie front, peplums, drawstrings etc. What is brilliant about patterns like this is you feel like you’re getting a lot for your money as the options to create lots of similar and yet completely different garments is in front of you.
Now I never need convincing when it comes to a robe as I just think they’re brilliant. A really versatile piece that can be popped over the top of any outfit to either dress it up or down, to keep warm or to keep the sun off in the summer. I have several in my wardrobe and all add something different… this one was going to add another completely new vibe.
The Fabric I chose for this is amazing, and totally different from anything I’ve ever worked with before. Described as an “embroidered discs border crepe” its hard to really visualise what you’re going to get… it will however not disappoint. Crepe fabric has a flowing drape to it that works really well for garments. It is woven but can come in a variety of fibres, colours and weights. This I would describe as being a medium weight crepe… the addition to it being the embroidered discs that turn this fabric into something that stands out. It comes in a few different colours, but I absolutely fell in love with this rust colour… it felt new!
The embroidered discs are a three-dimensional element to this fabric, they are fabric discs sewn on with just one line of stitching which means they move and flow with the fabric (described very aptly by my partner as being like fabric sequins). They’re applied in a gradient, so the circles are larger by the edge of the fabric and get smaller as it goes up… they are however not covering the full width of the fabric, about half (hence why it’s referred to as an embroidered disc border).
So the major perk with a pattern like this is that because it has an upper and lower panel there is the opportunity to use different fabrics for the top and bottom, and when I saw how much of the crepe fabric did not have the discs on it I immediately knew that I wanted to showcase the different textures using this. So, when cutting, I cut the lower flounce out of the circles and the top part of the robe in the plain crepe. I did then add a strip of the embroidered discs to the ends of the sleeves like a cuff. The really important thing to consider when pinning and cutting out the pieces from the embroidered discs part of the fabric is to ensure that the heights of the pieces are at the same level on the gradient, so it doesn’t look odd once sewn together. (I also didn’t cut the bottom edge until after I had sewn it together to avoid cutting any discs by accident, which means I did end up making this longer than the pattern by about 4 rows of discs)
The other tip I would give for sewing with this fabric is to essentially treat it like you would a sequinned fabric. What I mean by this is removing the fabric discs from the seam allowance so that you don’t trap them in the side seams and end up with a strange set of bits that stick out at an angle from the seam. I removed any that I was unable to avoid with the stitching line and pinned out of the way any that I could avoid so that they would overlap the seam and help to disguise it. Once pressed this created a really clean edge to the side seams that I was thrilled with and was well worth the time invested in prepping the seams to get this outcome.
I used this same seam prepping technique with the front edge when applying the bias binding that is used to finish this edge. Because of the way its folded back it would create a strange uneven edge otherwise, and possibly add unnecessary bulk. Then with the hems, I created a narrow hem behind the discs.
This fabric does fray somewhat so I finished the majority of the seams with a zig-zag that I then trimmed back to. I used some bias binding to neaten off the waist seam as this is one that during wear would be most visible as it moved. (You could of course bind all the seams but I wasn’t sure I had enough or that it was necessary).
The end product with this robe is what I would refer to as “Festival Chic”, it’s got this real sense of fun to it that I absolutely love, and totally makes you want to just swish about. The other great thing about it, it doesn’t matter if I’m sporting a big pregnancy bump under it or not it still works… and these are my favourite kind of pieces to add to my wardrobe.
I’m looking forward to trying out one of the other pattern hack options with other fabrics, and unashamedly creating an even larger robe portion of my wardrobe than I already have.