Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ottobre 06/2011 # 36 Bathrobe ~ Coolest Thing I've Sewn to Date!

Brace yourselves. This is probably going to be a long post.

I set out to make the Ottobre 06/2011 Bathrobe.  It is # 36 and called "Ju-do-ka-ko."  I wanted to make it for Mr. T because he has no robe at the moment and because he loves martial arts.

We are a household of techies and video game freaks.  All four of us from my husband down to Miss K love any form of electronic or video game.  When I saw this "Geeks gone wild" pac-man fabric I knew I had to make something epic and awesome out of it.

Let's fast forward to the end product. Don't you love it!
 fully lined with soft flannel
 Eek! I love the chevron's!

Ok, now let me take you through the process.

TRACING: In the magazine there are a total of 10 pieces you want to trace out.  There is a 1a front and 1a back as well as a 1b front and 1b back.  The a's and b's attach.  This was time consuming.  It took me an hour and a half to trace and seam allowance it all.  I traced a size 152 for T even though I knew he was a 146 because I didn't want it to be too small too fast.  This robe pretty much fit me! (and I'm a small on top and a 10 on bottom). As I was tracing I pre-washed all my fabric.

FABRIC/CUTTING: Next comes the fabric.  This project is a fabric HOG.  The instructions call for 2 yards of the black shell, 2 yards of the blue flannel lining, and a little over a 1/2 yard of the red chevron.  The black shell and red chevron are to be 58"-60" wide; the blue flannel 44" wide.  I wanted the black fabric and it was only 44" wide so I ordered 3 yards to be sure.  The red chevron was also 44" wide so I ordered a yard to be sure.  The blue flannel I ordered 3 yards as well and it was 44" wide.  **** THIS WAS TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT ****  I sweated, prayed, and begged the pattern to fit the fabric.  Luckily the black is a 4 way print and I was able to literally eek out exactly what I needed.  The flannel also was just enough.  It was super stressful to cut this out.  The red chevron was the hardest.  The pattern piece #4 and #7 NEED the 60" wide.  I had to piece this all together instead of having a whole piece.  I also had ONE inch!!!! of this fabric left.  Please, if you want to make this, order 60" wide fabric and save yourself the headache!  Cutting took me at least 2 hours.

SEWING: After two days I finally sat down to sew.  I traced one day, cut the next, and came to sew the third day.  The first step is the pocket, this was a breeze.  I did use 2 of the chevron for the pocket and not 1 of chevron, 1 of black shell like they called for.  Next was the front band of red chevron you see all around the robe.  There was no difficulty here but I had to piece together 4 pieces instead of the two because of the fabric issue above.  Top stitching was utterly boring and thread gobbling but I got through it. The sleeve bands were also constructed the same way as the front band and was easy to do.  Next you join the shell together - this was the fastest, easiest, and most rewarding part.  No issues here.  The same was to be said for the lining.  Joining the shell and lining was where trouble began.  First you place them right sides together and sew all around the front but keep the red band in between.  This was easy and I had no issue.  However, then the pattern states "Bring sleeve edges of shell and lining end to end, line up edges and pin them together, right sides facing and with sleeve bands in between, and stitch.  Note that sleeve and lining are not within one another."  WHAT?? HUH?  I did not get this at all.  A picture would have been a million times better.  I could not envision this so I made do with my own way.  I pressed the lining hem under, slipped it into the arm hole the way it should go (wrong sides together) and then top stitched around the outside on the very edge of the red band.  I know it isn't right but T won't care and inside is where it looks goofy. (If anyone knows what they meant please, let me know).
see how the lining is folded and sewn to the band, this is the inside view
 From the outside view below the stitching looks like it is part of the band's top-stitching

The next problem came when I had to attach the lining to the shell on the bottom. I didn't know exactly what the directions meant but at this point I didn't care to read them in depth either.  I was too anxious to finish this project.  I folded under the lining at the hem and from the shell side I top-stitched with my twin needle, catching in the lining hem on the reverse side.  The belt was last.  This was simple but contained more boring top-stitching.  After all the work on the robe the belt is attached to the back through all layers. I assume this is for strength but I was not happy I ruined the inside look of the lining.  See below. Sewing time was probably close to 4 or 5 hours.  I spread it out over 2-3 days.
View from inside where belt is attached
View from outside where belt is attached

If you want to make your child a special robe - go for it!  This project was LONG but worth it to see how happy T was when I gave it to him.  This is a very time consuming project.  It is also fabric consuming.  Total cost of fabric was $45.  Despite the challenges and time, I'm glad I made this robe.  Would I do it again? I'm not so sure!  Thanks for sticking with me on this long post!

Interested in the fabric?
Geeks Gone Wild Pac-Man Black  Geeks Gone Wild Pac-Man Black 100% cotton

Urban Flannel Stripe Blue Urban Flannel Stripe Blue 100% cotton

Remix Zig Zags Red  Remix Zig Zags Red 100% cotton

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. This is a great robe! I was researching Ottobre robes for my son. Got to love Ottobre instructions. So far there has only been one thing I got stuck on and couldn't finish--a dress jumper for my daughter. I will try again with muslin so I don't have to toss really good fabric. It's frustrating to get so far and then not understand the instructions. I even read them several times before starting a project just to make sure I can get thru them!

    1. Thanks Shirley Ann! Yes, those Ottobre instructions tend to get me all tangled up from time to time. I'm such a visual person that reading the directions first sometimes is hard because I need to do the step as I read it so I understand it! lol. I sometimes take pictures of my steps for future reference. I wish they would include more picture steps!

  2. Great job Sunny!!!
    I was looking for the same cotton bathrobe for me and for my little brother. I like your bathrobe colouring and fabric material. I think its a good tutorial to make some home made bathrobe. I am not good in craft work but after reading your whole article; I take a decision to make some home made bathrobe.
    Thanks a lot for the wonderful share!!

    1. Thanks Daisy! I wish you much success and good luck with the bathrobe :)


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