Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Vintage Forties Robe: Simplicity 1778

Come to think of it, I have done a lot of sewing lately! I have been wanting an equivalent to my wrap-around apron of summer, something for winter that I could put on after a shower, before getting into Sunday clothes or work clothes, for mornings when I have to go out. I do have a robe that I love, but I can't cook breakfast in it, it doesn't stay closed very well, and it's cashmere, so not easily washable. I wanted something warm, decent, close-fitting, washable, that feels more like "clothes" than a robe. Well, turns out women used to wear that garment *all the time* and they called it a housecoat!

I found a pattern from the forties, and some very inexpensive flannel, only $2/yard. It is wonderful flannel, very heavy and warm. The nostalgic print is reminding me of something I loved when I was little, but just can't place . . . It was fun making it extravagantly long, almost floor length. It's actually got very slimming lines, which I'm not sure is evident in this picture.

I couldn't keep from finishing the inside seams in a contrasting pale blue just for fun.

The other fun is the wonderful gathered pocket!


Anonymous said...

Anna, Where do you get your lovely patterns? I looked this pattern up and it was $24! I doubt that you payed that much :) Do you think that sewing with vintage patterns is easier than present patterns?

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful pattern and how lovely the robe turned out! I am always so inspired by your blog - it's like a breath of fresh air.

Julian said...

Anna, that housecoat is truly pretty. I know you will keep warm, especially in this weather we are having in the south with our cold fronts lately!
Your daughters are blessed to have a mother that sews!

Anna said...

Ebay, baby! I got this one as a buy-it-now for around $6.00. Just keep your eyes peeled--they do cycle through. lanetzliving.com is another less expensive place to buy.

As far as what's easier, vintage patterns are harder because the directions assume that you know so much already. Modern instructions are much clearer, more explicit, and have helpful illustrations. But once you have some basic skills, I think you can sew vintage. I certainly don't have any training!


Denise JoAnn said...

Hi Anna,
I found your blog a few days ago and keep returning to see your sewing. It is beautiful!
You are so creative.

Anonymous said...

I love the material and it reminds me of night gowns my sister and I had as children!

StarSandSky said...

What a cozy looking house dress, Anna. I love the pattern. The shoulders and pocket are fabulous. I have a similar pattern for a sleeveless house dress that is as yet untried... So many great vintage patterns to sew!

Other great places to find patterns are antique malls/shops and estate sales (usually $.25 - $2 each). I've also run across a few patterns at a local thrift shop: for 18 cents each!

Thank you for the inspiration, Anna!

Poiema said...

I'm chuckling tonight as I read this because just yesterday my daughter asked, "Mom, what exactly is a housecoat?" She had heard the term from her Grandmother (my Mom), who always wore one around the house when I was growing up. We lived in cold country, and it added an extra layer of warmth. You are right, though, about housecoats being less bulky than robes. Yours is beautiful.

Randi said...

I love this robe--as always there is so much lovliness here!

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful Anna! Tell me, do you finish seams with zig zag stitch or a serger?
I would really like to know b/c I sew.. some.. and would like to skip the serging part if a zig zag would do nicely. Thanks. Besides my serger has white thread.. who wants to change that thing out just for the color? lol

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