I had been mooning around wishing I had a better summer dressing gown, one that works for the majority of summer when the morning sun isn’t blazing through the windows & provides enough gentle warmth by wrapping itself around you when you need it, & floating, billowing out behind you when you don’t. Something that is not the fleecy winter dressing gown, but a bit more than my above-the-knee kimono which is pretty good for heatwaves.
Fabric though eluded me. I had a certain aesthetic in mind in terms of quality (plenty of drape essential for ‘flouncing’) but of a pattern that harked back to vintage dressing rooms. It didn’t have to be ‘vintage’ but I knew the kind of colour combination I wanted & the scale of floral. The grey floral I bought from Croftmill is lovely, but is too sheer – it is a chiffon. (Wait until you see what I made out of it instead!)
And then I found myself in the Clapham shop belonging to Sew Over It. Of course there would be something suitable here. The website shows such a fine array of rayon/ viscose that I knew I would be taking my future Buchanan home with me. I almost chose this one. But the fabric I took home is not online by the look of it. You’ll have to go into the shop! A beautiful navy floral. I needed to get a contrast for the collar, cuffs, belt & pocket top & matched a plain navy poly lining in my local fabric shop – being able to make sure it had the quality I was looking for to work well with the floral viscose.
So I cut it up pretty quickly after purchase as this is something I had an immediate need for. I added 30 cm to the length as this pattern usually hovers around the knee perhaps?
This is my first Gather pattern, and I liked the envelope for starters – it is robust & has a gusset so that your pattern pieces, never the same once you have to refold them, easily fit back in.
I had a feeling it would be nice to make it up & wasn’t wrong.
Lovely instructions But it was the order of the construction that I liked. You start by getting all the ‘bits ‘ ready- sewing the belt & hanging loops, prepping the pocket, sewing the cuffs onto the sleeves.
And then you make the gown, with everything ready waiting for you.
– I varied slightly by using French seams throughout as the fabric is fray-heavy- both types.
I loved the way the belt loops are caught in the side seams.
I also finished the hem of the front contrast collar as you would the front facing of a shirt rather than turn it up as part of the hem.
Securing the facings (front & cuffs) can be done with the machine & some nice top stitching but because my thread was not a brilliant match I hand sewed them all – it took 2.5 hours, but a great thing to keep my hands busy whilst sitting in front of a film.
The only thing I would change- is the pocket placement- my fault- the pattern comes with options for both patch pockets and side seam pockets. Well I chose patch pockets, because of the contrast top, but only wanted one. And even though I thought I’d got it on the right front, it turned out that it’s the left!
I love the luxury of wearing this gown though….the satin contrast feels amazing next to my neck, and the gown itself is so light & yes, it can billow (not that there was a breeze when the photos were taken).
And that bow! How can you not look at a scrumptious satin bow & not think “posh”?
And I always store away ideas for sewing gifts & making up a Buchanan dressing gown for someone special is now also on my list.