Mr Rat has been in need of a warm robe, so I made him one as a Christmas gift, using a current Simplicity pattern, D0588/1021. I made it in a size medium out of navy blue cotton flannel, bought on a deep discount at JoAnn’s Black Friday sale in November. The pattern is simple to follow, and easy enough for a complete beginner, I think. It took me one day to cut out and two days to finish sewing. Mr Rat was pleased to open it and put it on, even though he had seen me making it, so it wasn’t a surprise.
The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to not interface the front binding that goes around the collar and edges of the robe. The binding gets doubled as it wraps around to the inside of the robe, and since it is meant to be a comfortable garment to lounge in, I didn’t want it to be stiff.
Inspired by the monogrammed handkerchief I gave Mr Rat for an anniversary gift, I also made handkerchiefs for my whole family, embroidering each person’s initials and hemming them by hand. My parents, most of my siblings, and their spouses attend the Mormon temple very frequently, and everything in the temple must be white, because it is a holy place, so I made all the gifts pure white in case they wanted to use them there.
Last year I made myself a nightgown out of two dollar-a-yard cotton flannel (given to me by my mom) using Simplicity 3573 in a size small. I probably could have made an extra-small, but I think small was the better choice, since I wanted my nightgown to be loose and warm and comfortable, and it is. But it is very chilly here in the mornings and evenings, so I went back to my pattern last month and decided to make the matching robe, also in a size small. I waited for cotton flannel to come on sale for two dollars a yard again at the fabric store, and once it did, I quickly washed it, cut it, sewed it, and started wearing it right away. It is satisfying to be warm in layers of soft flannel during this time of year when light and warmth are in short supply.
Simplicity 3573 is a good pattern for an advanced beginner or early intermediate sewer. It does require buttonholes at the front, elastic casings at the cuffs, and patch pockets, which might be challenging for a beginner with no assistance. For a sewer with more experience, it is a fast and easy pattern. The only adjustment I made was to not leave a gap in the front of the robe---I sewed the gathers on mine all the way to the edge of the front button-placket, so that when I am wearing the robe the front skirt overlaps slightly at the top. The neckline is finished with white bias binding turned to the inside and top-stitched, and I finished the seam allowances with pinking shears. The buttons were from my button-box. Luckily, the white buttons for the nightgown and the larger white buttons for the robe matched each other very well.
Mr and Mrs Rat
Mr and Mrs Rat like to sew