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Sewing/pattern question

Ok Craftgrrls, here's my dilemma.

I bought fabric intending to make a reversible bathrobe. I had shoulder width, arm length, and shoulder-hem lengths and just bought fabric based on a mental plan/pattern that was very simple/boxy - I've tried to draw it out here:

Argh, well, I fail at getting this image uploaded. Sorry about that :( Basically it's just a GIANT rectangle for the back of the robe, two somewhat narrower rectangles making the left and right front panels (sewn to the back panel part way in from the shoulder then folded down into a collar), and two rectangles sewn into tubes and sewn on to the top sides, so when it's all sewn together it makes a giant T shape and lies flat, no tailoring/tapering anywhere.

I was just going to cut out all the rectangles, sew the sleeves to the front/back and the front/back together at the sides and shoulders, then connect the two sides together at the cuffs, hem, and front/collar.
Now that I'm ready to start cutting, though, I'm starting to get worried that I should be using a *real* pattern, that the sleeves will hang/fit weird because they're just going to be attached perpendicular rather than on an angle...
Has anyone done something like this before or have any feedback/advice? I think I'm mostly worried because the fabric ended up being way more expensive than I expected/hoped and it's a gift so it's not like it'll just be mine and I can live with it even if it's not perfect - not that it has to be perfect, but I just want it not to suck.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 24th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC)
do you have a big sweatshirt or something you could kind of use for reference? arm holes are indeed round and the sleeves will probably at least look weird if not fit / hang weird. I don't think you need a pattern really, just use a garment you already have to get the general idea for the shapes of the pieces.
Dec. 24th, 2012 02:06 am (UTC)
Maybe I'm reading your reply wrong? The sleeves and armholes will both be round, they'll just be attached perpendicularly, but if you look at the armhole and sleeve hole end-on they'll be perfectly round, vs most patterns the armhole is round end-on but if you disconnect the sleeve and look at it end-on it's elliptical.

I know I've seen things that were constructed this way. I have a couple robes kind of constructed this way (it's actually just a single piece from wrist to wrist across the shoulders), but they're not reversible, so just one fabric panel, and both fabrics are a thin weave vs the flannel + fleece I am trying to use.
I'm not actually sure I have enough fabric to increase the length of the sleeve if I do that ellipse-thing at the top end...
Dec. 24th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
I guess I was referring to the front and back pieces and how there are rounded cut-out parts like you said. I've never really had much success with sleeves anyway haha so don't listen to me.
Dec. 24th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Eh, I think sleeves are hard for me too, hence my post. I'm worried about messing it up before I've even started!
Dec. 24th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
A kimono is basically just a great big T shape. The key is making sure the upright of the T is wide enough so that the join on the sleeves would sit as a dropped shoulder seam rather than on the shoulder, because that would make the sleeves sit funny. Otherwise I see absolutely no reason it wouldn't work; have a look at kimono patterns to check you are doing what I imagine you to be doing/you are close enough to that shape for it to work? (eg. http://www.theweebsite.com/kimono/images/kimono_m.gif)

Do post the finished article!
Dec. 24th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Oh, ha, a kimono is actually one of the items I have that I've been looking at to compare. I'm pretty novice in sewing technology but I think I understand what you're saying. I was making the shoulders pretty wide anyway because the giftee is a fairly new massage therapist and her shoulder width measurement has increased by a good 1-2" in the last year, so I wanted to make sure to accommodate future arm-size increases. I think it's pretty close to that except I wasn't planning for the kimono sleeve-pockets. Thanks! And, will do!
Dec. 24th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC)
Huh. I just saw this post on a blog I follow!


It looks like it might be something you'd like to look at.

Dec. 24th, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
yes, thanks!
Dec. 24th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC)
Garment sleeves are usually cut on an angle at the end attached to the shoulder in order to get the sleeve to hang straight on the wrist.

A kimono sleeve is not cut and attached the way you described. And they do sit crooked on the wrist, but a generally cut to look more flowy to disguise a lot of that.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 24th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Might be worth making a prototype in cheaper material first and then adjust it before making the real thing.
Dec. 25th, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
Ah, what a timely note! This reminded me (this project has been planned for like 2 years) that I had had that exact same thought, and even bought a cheap used sheet to use as a prototype. Thanks!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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