The Colette May day sale a few weeks ago had me flicking through their catalogue, where I fell in love with the Almada robe. The whole shape of it, the way it draped on the model, the photographs made me need it in my life. The reviews were all positive, so I bought it.
Without delaying from the actual pattern too much, I have to mention the aesthetic of the robe. I fantasized about this robe, about the life I could have with it, lounging around at breakfast, reading the paper looking effortlessly chic. This is SO not my life but with this robe it could be. This is very much what I took from Sarai in Hidden Glamour. I realise the reality of this dream, but this didn’t stop the robe from being more than just robe to me. Needless to say I was very excited to start sewing this robe.
I went away from the recommendations in this make, rather than a nice drapey fabric as recommended I used a waxed African print, (like almost everything I’ll be sewing these days, it came from the Utrecht fabric market, so I’ll stop mentioning it now!) it’s a little stiffer than wanted, but I thought it would be ok. Pattern matching aside, the fabric was a dream to work with, it held a crease beautifully and didn’t slip at all, it’s almost ideal for beginners.
I decided to try and cross off something on my learning list, pattern matching. I’d never really tried it before and clearly I need to work on it. In hindsight I should have chosen a simpler shape with straighter lines and an easier print, because, wow, it looks like i didn’t try at all! I really tried, I cut the front out in two goes so they would have the best chance of matching the back, but no luck. In fact, I got so exhausted from cutting out that I took a little break and started sewing before I’d finished cutting out the cuffs! That said, my pattern matching isn’t all bad, across the sholder seams its quite good, but not really the side seams.
The pattern itself is good, it comes together easy, I didn’t really follow the instructions and the only alteration I made was to add some length to the small I was making and the ties. My major issue with this pattern was assembling it! Surely there must be a better way for pattern companies to put together pdf patterns that involves less cutting off the sides! This pattern was over 50 pages long and I spent about 30 minutes putting it all together, after that the actual sewing was a breeze.
Back to sewing, I cut the back on the fold, added length and didn’t interface the cuffs or ties. I french seamed everything. I didn’t really follow the pattern except for the cuffs which I attached the way Colette outlined. I made the ties and played around with placement but decided against them. If the fabric was drapey it would have worked but it just looked awkward. So I used snaps. I hemmed and hand stitched as I usually would. It’s a perfect cover up which is exactly what I wanted as I didn’t actually own a dressing gown. Yes, the fabric is a little stiffer than it should be, so perhaps I’ll make another one in the future for winter.
This robe isn’t what I imagined and that’s completely to do with the fabric choice. That said, I do like the way the fabric frames me. I know many people won’t find this a flattering robe at all, and they’re most likely right, but I love the shape it’s so different from what I used to.