I’ve placed pattern pieces above my towels so I could use original hems: I always love when I don’t need to hem anything: sleeves, bottom hem and also hood front hem 😉
If no re-usable hems are available, add 3/4″ to edges that need a hem (sleeves, bodice and hood front)
As you may guess, before you start sewing you need to cut out your pattern pieces from fabric and transfer notches (like the gathering dots on sleeves and the center back).
We’re going to attach the shoulder front pieces to back piece, one on each side WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (the opposite of what you normally do).
To add a (posh) decorative detail and hide seam allowances, we’ll bound that seam. Follow me, it’s not hard at all!
Cut a strip from your lightweight decorative fabric with these measurements:
- length = 2 times your shoulder seams (so you’re sure to cover all the seamline, ending in curved neckline and armholes raw edges)
- width = 2 times desired final width (add 3/4″ for 2 x seam allowances)
Press in half lengthwise, wrong sides together; cut in two pieces lengthwise.
Lay back piece in front of you, wrong side up; put one of the front pieces (right or left, no matter which, if you’re putting it on the right side!) on top of it, aligning shoulder raw edges, wrong sides together; align on top of them one of your decorative strips too (matching raw edges again). Sew together those 4 layers of fabric, backstitching on each end.
Press decorative strip toward the back.
Topstitch along each long side of the strip; trim off exceeding fabric on armhole and neckline, following curved edge on main pieces.
Repeat on the other shoulder
French seamed gathered sleeves
Just because this is a Posh Beach Robe, I couldn’t we can’t leave sleeves seams exposed, hence the french seamed puff sleeve technique! I usually add one more step (basting) to the sequence I’m showing here but this particular microfleece didn’t like being basted (holes alert!), so I skipped it: no problems at all!
Here you can see where you need to place the sleeve when gathered… I had to show it because, when gathered, is a little bit messier, you can’t really see where it goes! … just don’t pin it in place, by now.
Sew a row of gathering stitches (my go-to sewing machine settings are: no tension and longest stitch I have 4.0) inside seam allowances, between the dots marked on the pattern piece, leaving long tails.
To gather, pull bobbin tail (tip: it’s easier to recognize if you use a contrasting color of thread) until it fits inside the sleeve cap (front and back piece);
Wrap tails around a pin (8 shape – around its head, around its leg, repeat) to secure it in place while sewing.
Remember, you need to sew it with a french seam: put them wrong sides together!
Stitch along the edge, using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance; go really slowly, just to be sure you’re not puckering anything.
Double check everything looks good now on both sides, before proceeding; trim to 1/8″ your seam allowance and fold sleeve back toward the body: finger press it and put some pins to help you doing the second and last row of stitches, keeping it next to the first one!
Look how it’s professional from the outside… and the inside too!
Close back of the hood with a french seam (fold along the top, the wrong side together and repeat same steps you followed attaching sleeves);
Attach the hood to the main piece,
but start pinning from the Center Back to each side: perfectly centered with minimal efforts required!
Guess what? Use a french seam here too!
Here’s after the first seam, exceeding seam allowances already trimmed off.
And here you see the Beach Posh Robe from the inside, enclosing raw edges, after sewing the second seam.
… congrats! You’re now mastering french seams 😉
Front decorative profile
Cut a strip on the bias from your accent fabric, 2 1/2″ cm wide, long as two times your front opening (add 4″ for folding in top and bottom) and fold it in half lengthwise, pairing long edges (wrong sides together).
Pin it to the right side of the front raw edge, aligning the three raw edges.
Fold the bottom edge in to hide the raw short side of the strip. Go on pinning along the front opening until you reach the hood, cut 3/8″ longer and fold in the top end as you did at the bottom (see pics above, on the right).
Sew all along, cut out corners on top and bottom so they won’t show and press the decorative strip away from the bodice (this will help you achieving a crisp fold in the next step).
Remember… set your iron to low!!!
Wrap it around the seam, toward the inside of the garment.
Topstitch two parallel rows.
Repeat on the other front opening.
Create your belt loops: cut a bias strip from the accent fabric using these measurements
Fold in half lengthwise, press to crease, then fold again, meeting the two long raw edges right above the first crease, to hide them (press again); cut in half to have two belt loops, then edgestitch on each side.
Side seams are sewn using a french seam, again, but this time we have to incorporate belt loops in it.
To avoid bulk at the armpit, try to fold the sleeve’s french seam allowances one on each side, opposite to the seam (see upper right photo above)
My choice is to stitch the first row of stitching (the one Wrong Sides Together) leaving a small opening at two-thirds height from the bottom, slightly larger than belt loops width.
Turn the Posh Beach Robe inside out and slip on one belt loop to each side seam, from outside to inside the garment and stitch in place.
Sew the second row of the french seam, then trim off exceeding fabric from the belt loop on the inside, trying not to cut the bodice fabric.
Cut a strip from the accent fabric on grain using:
length = 1 1/2″ yard
width = 5″
It happened that my belt was roughly long as my fabric selvage to selvage, so I cut it cross grain, leaving selvages on!
You can do the same, depending on your fabric, or you can fold in heads as we did on front opening.
Press and topstitch exactly as you did for your belt loops (but please, don’t split it in two!)
That’s it: put a glass with some red beverage and a couple of strains in your model’s hands and start shooting… or you can always go swimming and put it on her shoulders when she comes out of it… well, we had a lot of cold here, lately, so we choose the first scenario!
She is so happy in her new Posh Beach Robe, completely refashioned at no cost, I’m pretty sure she’ll proudly wear it at the beach (we’re leaving for vacation!!!!!), ready to explain to anybody that her mom drafted and sewed it for her!
That’s all for today!
Let me know if you like this one and if you decide to sew it, please share some pics on Serger Pepper’s shared board on Flickr.
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