Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Flannel bathrobe in Arizona?

storm over the Santa Catalinas; I took this photo about 5 years ago
Tucson's elevation is recorded at 2,643 ft.  and is surrounded by five mountain ranges, the Tucson, Santa Catalina, Rincon, Santa Rita and Tortolita mountain ranges. 

Even though we are among the sunniest cities in the US, it does get chilly here sometimes.  Winter is short, lasting to early February.  During that time, nighttime temps will fall into the high 30s F, and daytime temps are in the high 60s or 70s F.  

I need a bathrobe for the mornings s0 I'm sewing KS3644 

using 3 different flannels.   I have been working very slowly, partly because I am busy but also because I want to concentrate on "best practices".  Let me share my progress with you, and talk a little bit about HOW I sew.  For those readers just beginning their sewing, keeping track of progress with photos is something I recommend.  It forces you to stay organized and to think about what steps go together.  I don't always do this, but when I do, I succeed. 

Step 1: Get some fabric.  That took me about 8 days of hunting on websites.  I finally found what I wanted and then double checked amounts.  I needed 3 3/4 and 1 3/4yds at 45 inches.  I was using 2 contrasting fabrics so I bought 1 yd each (this proved to be a mistake as I ended up piecing the front facings).  Flannel shrinks, and I chose a directional print, so I bought 4 yds of the main fabric.  So far I have 6 yds at around $10/yd for my bathrobe.  Tip:buy the best fabric you can afford, especially for high use items. 

Step 2: prewash and layout; cutting.  I cut all the contrasting fabrics first.  I then made bias tape, and piping. 
piping on the left, belt on the right
 After that was done, I cut out the front, the facings, and all the little bits of the main fabric, making sure I had enough for the back and the sleeves.  Just barely!

mentally sewing the pocket band-notice the shape of the pocket.
 That is a thoughtful pocket pattern.
pocket band and piping on imaginary pocket :-)

Step 3: Cut out the back and the sleeves.  

I stopped here for the night, and set up my work area for tomorrow.  That is a step I do often as it helps me stay in charge of my work.  I hate to work in a messy place.

front and facings ready for piping; belt and belt loops waiting;
 pockets and bands ready to be constructed and attached;
 sleeves and cuffs ready to be constructed.

What tricks do you use to stay organized and mindful in                                       your sewing room?

In other news, big Nick is doing much better.  He had 2 days of stall rest, and then I turned him out this afternoon after checking his feet and cleaning every crevice.  He was extremely enthusiastic and playful.  

Until later, Mary



  1. Great post on mindfulness and sewing. I just attack the cutting doing as many garments as I can stand to cut.

    Oh pretty please, some pics of Nick. In fact, some pics of both Nicks would be nice.....:)

  2. Enjoyed reading how you stay organized, particularly through a larger project with lots of detail work to plan and prep. Look forward to seeing your bathrobe! Know it will be gorgeous.

  3. My girlfriend sews like this. Being mindful works very well for her. When I try, I make more mistakes. Zone sewing and deadline sewing works better for me.
    Looking at the snippets of fabric shown, they look well together and your new robe will be stunning as well as useful.

  4. Enjoyed this post, what lovely fabrics. I agree, high-end flannel is worth every nickel. Such a difference. Good for Nick. A little quiet time with a good book is good for everyone...

  5. I find that if I keep track of my steps with pictures helps me stay on track. Getting ready for the next step is definitely helpful with a complicated project.
    What did we do without digital photos?
    I'm so glad Nick is feeling better

  6. Have you been to the Biosphere 2? A fascinating place.

    I made a flannel bathrobe for my 6 ft grandson for Christmas. Long seams. :D No piping, but he loves it. I think I've said before but it bears repeating, I enjoy your posts on sewing. Very much.

  7. As I sew and cut out from the same table, having to move everything before I can lay my fabric out, I find Its more efficient If I cut out a few garments at a time. I do like to work in an organised space, doesn't always work though.

  8. I'm glad Nick is recovering.

    Your bathrobe is picking up the colours of the landscape in your photo - was that your intention? It will look wonderful.


I love your comments and enjoy the conversation that results.