My mother in law had a special birthday approaching, and as the lovely person who bought me my sewing machine, I figured it’d be nice to make her something. I wanted it to be a surprise, and so it had to be something that wasn’t fitted as guessing measurements isn’t something I want to spend my weekends doing!
I’d seen a few posts on Instagram of lovely kimono gifts, and decided this was the best way to go. I was between the Seamwork Almada and the Helen’s Closet Robe. Although the Almada is gorgeous, I worried it would be a little too short and maybe a bit too revealing, whereas the Robe in the longer version is a great length, and the fit is more in line with a traditional gown. So, a Robe it was.
Finding the perfect fabric took quite a bit of research – I find it really difficult to pick the perfect fabric for a gift. At first we looked a Liberty tana lawns for that feel of luxury – looking at the amazing abstract prints they had on offer was really tempting, but none were quite right.
Then I saw a garment made with ikat, and headed straight over to Merchant and Mills – ikat would be perfect. I roped in my husband for help, and we spent a few days narrowing it down to choose the right one.
This is Glacier Navy (at the time of writing it’s still available online). I love the contrast the arrows create, and the nature of ikat means that no two arrows are the same. They look a little blurry in the photos – it’s because of the contrast between the white of the arrow, and the paler blue at the bottom and how that blends into the deep, almost navy, blue background.
The pattern was a dream and I didn’t really have any problems. Although the fabric requirements are based on non directional prints – the layouts include one of the front pieces placed upside down – and the print of this fabric is directional, it wasn’t an issue for us as we planned to make a feature of the print facing in different directions.
For that bit of luxury, I opted to do French seams, so this wasn’t a super fast sew, but still pretty quick. The instructions on Helen’s patterns are really detailed and easy to follow so it didn’t feel difficult. I love the practical, professional touches within the pattern too like the hanging loop worked into the collar.
I’m really happy with the final result, and my mother in law seemed very happy with the gift. Before wrapping it we took a few photos of me wearing it, just for the blog.
As much as I love my Almada robe, the Robe is so cosy, and a bit more practical – I might just need to make one for myself!