I get a new bathrobe approximately every 20 years. When I was a kid, my Dad and I didn’t wear robes. And, even today, Rob and I prefer a t-shirt and lounging pants or loose shorts. In between, I’ve gone through long spurts of wearing a robe, so I always have one, and I wear them out. And then I make a new one. I always spend more than what I planned on fabric, but when you consider how long they last me, that’s a small price to pay, so I get over it pretty quick.
This is my last robe.
This robe has led an interesting life. It was green. I remember buying the fabric from Hancock Fabrics, two locations ago. It was dark green plaid and woven in Pakistan. I didn’t think I’d ever get it to stop bleeding. At some point, it got a bleach stain on the sleeve. It bleached out to orange. I considered making a replacement sleeve. Then, after living with that stain for about 8 years, I decided to bleach the whole thing. And, then, I had an orange robe and didn’t need a new robe anymore.
Over time, it’s been torn and mended and now, the butt is threadbare and there’s yet another hole in the sleeve and those original bleach spots have never stopped getting lighter, so they’re almost white.
Time for a new robe.
I love Leonard Hoffstadter’s bathrobe on The Big Bang Theory. I can’t find a picture, but I did research it and it turns out it’s a Beacon Bathrobe from the Beacon Blanket company (red) from the 30’s-60’s. I tried to find one. $200.
So, I decided to make one. Now, my Mom has a story about the year she decided to make herself a coat to save money. By the time she bought all the stuff and made the coat, it cost way more than just buying one would have, so I don’t go into things like this thinking I’m going to save a bunch.
I looked and shopped for a while. I found a pattern in my stash. It was the pattern from my last robe, so I knew it fit perfect. Except I’d lost the instructions. I looked through what turned out to be a collection of robe patterns, purchased with patterns for things like boxers and lounging pants that I wanted to make and found another set of instructions that was close enough. I had Friday off and my plan was to cut out my robe from fabric I had on hand. But, I needed the trim. At my new JoAnn’s location, I ended up finding fabric that I liked better and bought the trim and spent more than I planned. But, ta-da!
I got a new robe. It’s made of a very blanket like fabric (like a Beacon) and it has a rope tie (like a Beacon). It’s light enough for summer and heavy enough for winter. I have a bit of finishing to do; tieing the knots in the rope and adding the crocheted carriers for the rope and stitching down the inside facing and adding a block of interfaced fabric to the back, between the shoulders, so I can hang it anywhere without worrying a hook will poke through.
That took almost all of my Friday and Saturday, putting in, taking out, re-designing, deviating from the pattern, trying, ripping and trying again. I did manage to work on a quilt top a bit, too and I cut out a shirt that I can work on a bit at a time. That I have the instructions to!
I worked through a lot of stress while working on this robe. For one thing, I realized, at the end, that I am a really good sewist. And, if something is hard to do, I shouldn’t just soldier through it. I should look at how I’m doing it and see if there’s an easier way, like a different foot or a different machine. But, soldiering through a certain amount of that allowed me to work through some stress I’ve been carrying, and today, I’m feeling pretty terrific about myself and about to step out into the world…which will not likely waste any time giving me a kick in the shin.
Sydney is being a pain in the…rear. She is 15. It’s her job to be a pain in the rear. And, it’s my job to deal with my stress in ways that let me be okay with her being a pain in the rear. Because I’m finally getting to practice what the therapist told us all along. Acknowledge what you like so they’ll keep doing it. Ignore the rest.
What I ignore, she eventually tires of and stops doing, at least for a while.
Be well. Have a great Monday. What did you make this weekend? Lane