March 29, 2015


And here is my new robe! 
It's a very rainy and cloudy day, so conditions for pictures were far from perfect but at least today, I could ask E to help me with them.

This is my second project for this year's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. As a 1950's design, it doesn't exactly meet my intention to explore new periods of vintage fashion but it was made using a new-to-me pattern system. Lutterloh. I already showed you the pattern and the special ruler in an earlier post, and described how to use it. 

It wasn't difficult to use but of course, I didn't really have a clue about the size and fit the resulting pattern would give me. Luckily, this design only has one piece which has to be fitted close to the body, the upper bodice and skirt and loose shapes with gathers at the joining seams. 

The fabric I used is a cotton jersey/sweatshirt fabric with a bit of stretch horizontally. I would have liked to give you some clue about how much fabric you need for this design, but I'm afraid my experience won't be of much use: I had four meters of this fabric which was enough, I even had a triangular piece left over. However, this was a tube knit which helped with the lay-out because I could cut pieces on the fold on either side and, most importantly, it was extra wide, about 190 cm wide.
In the picture, there is a frill along the neckline which I didn't make. I'm not a big fan of frills. Instead, I cut a separate facing to finish that neckline. For the closure, I used jersey snaps instead of buttons because they suit this material better. And I only put them in the waist piece, like in the drawing. On the pattern, there are four button positions marked on the waist piece and four on the skirt. I think this looks better and I don't really need a closure on such a full skirt of a garment which is only meant for indoor wear. 

To fit the robe, I constructed upper bodice, waist piece and skirt separately, made the gathered bits and pinned the whole thing together. In the pattern, there are darts sort of sketched on the waist pieces (sketched because there are not points or numbers with them). I had marked those on my pattern but because my fabric has stretch, I thought I might get away with fitting the waist pieces at the side seams (which looks more like the illustration anyway...). I took in about 4 cm at each side but I don't really blame the pattern for that. After all, it prescribed darts and it was meant for a non-stretch fabric. I could have fitted closer but I wanted the end result to be comfortable and not too pull at the front closure. And with wide kimono sleeves like this, fitting their bottom edge closely to the body and limit your range of movement. 

Those sleeves were the only other thing I changed: I wondered about the 'bulge' shape on the upper arm seam but that is a design feature so I kept it. However, the sleeves (maybe, again, partly due to my fabric choice) were a bit wide at the wrists so I took them in 3 cm on the under arm seam (tapering to nothing at the curve of that seam).

I used fusible interfacing for knit fabrics on all facings and made a simple machine hem. I had cut the skirt pieces with 5 cm extra for the hem (just to be on the safe side) but I ended up cutting off a little more than that and I still have a 5 cm hem. So, as far as I can tell, I have no reason to worry about Lutterloh patterns being too short for me because I'm a bit smaller than their 'standard' size (94 cm bust). Which is a little bit of a surprise to me because the Dutch 1950's patterns I've used where usually intended for slightly shorter ladies (I'm 1.67 which is very average now).

All in all, this is an interesting garment. That huge sweeping skirt gives it a bit of drama even in such a casual fabric. 10-year-old me would have loved something like this to play princess in, although I guess she would have wanted it in pink.
(by the way, they back skirt is pictured without a seam and that is how I cut it. However, it's 160 cm at its widest point so you couldn't cut it like that on the straight grain in a normal fabric. And the front skirt pieces are a lot wider that half of the back so you would even need at least 140 cm wide fabric to cut those on grain)
It's comfortable, oddly elegant and ideal for snuggling up with a good book.  


  1. It is indeed a fantasy garment. And a great idea to have a lounging robe with a full skirt, that way you can fold your legs up on the sofa and still keep everything warm!

  2. This looks great :) I've always thought the Lutterloh system looks very interesting, but have never got the pleasure to try it out for myself. So many lovely designs.

  3. It reminds me of the robe that Marilyn wore in How to Marry a Millionaire. That was stretch material (towelling) and the full skirt had no visible fastenings. Her dress had a very corset like midriff which seemed to be made from a non stretch fabric. Perhaps it was an actual corset. Yours looks much more comfortable!

  4. This is like a hostess gown in some fifty's movie. It's fabulous.

  5. Absolutely wonderful! Lutterloh are absolutely my favorite patterns in the world, they are drafted so well and have such lovely lines. You certainly do have the starlet factor dial set to high with this one.

  6. Gorgeous... I would wear that! That is how I measure something that I really like.

  7. Gorgeous... I would wear that! That is how I measure something that I really like.

  8. Hi! This robe is beautiful on you! Wow! Time after time I look at Lutterloh patterns, including this one, and they always look better once they are sewn than on the drawn models. This confuses me because I can't figure out if I'm passing something by because it doesn't look that good on the drawn models. You have done a great job! Thank you for posting and the inspiration! Kathy G.

  9. This is beautiful, I've been looking for that specific book for ages! Soany swoon-worthy styles