The one where Pa gets a new robe

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


JoAnne said...

I didn't do any quilting on the weekend. I rarely do. Since I'm home most of the time, I do it M-F so my husband and I can do things together on the weekend. I did, however, grind 15 pounds of beef. I detest purchased ground beef--you never know what is in there, so I try to grind my own. Since it is such an ordeal, I do a lot at a time, usually right after when beef is on sale!

Elizabeth said...

Nice robe! You did a beautiful job! It looks really good on you and suits you well. We love Big Bang Theory. I'll have to pay attention to see what Leonard's robe looks like.

Grasshopper is only 13, but I already know we're in for a bumpy ride. His temperament is so much like mine. They say girls are harder, and if that's true, when LadyBug becomes teenager I'm going to have to be committed.

xo -E

Becky said...

Love the robe! I am doing mostly knitting...making a throw. It's about 3/4 done. A couple more days wiyh concentrated knitting should complete it. Then I'm starting a quilt as you go quilt for nephew's wedding. Hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Kath said...

You sure look swell Pa!

Don't mind me, I've been listening to Little house on the prairie, (audio book), while I make pot holders and hand piece an Irish chain quilt.

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Piece by Piece said...

Great looking robe.
My youngest gd (10) was here for the day, we played games and had a great time while Mum was working and sister (15) and Dad were at a Tae Kwon Do tourny. She does not have her black belt yet, but did sparr against four and came in 3rd.

Sunday, I took a day off from my reno work and went to the movies, and then went furniture shopping, nothing came home with me.

Anonymous said...

I made a robe in case i went to the hospital again, but I actually need one to wear around the house. I have the material for two seersucker ones and no time to actually sew. Kid driving me nuts too.

lw said...

Your robe turned out great!

Leonard Hofstader's robe is a version of a robe that shows up in a lot of 1940's movies. Whenever it comes on, I always point it out to my husband-- there's my favorite robe again. And you found one-- but $200 is a lot to ask, even if a robe does last 10-15 years.

I didn't make anything this weekend, but last week almost finished the i-spy quilts for the grandkids.

Rebecca Grace said...

How could Leonard's robe cost $200? He spends all his money on comic books... ;-)

I love your new robe, and the story of the old robe. My 12-year-old son is having so much trouble in school and nothing I do seems to help -- it's like watching a quilt that you've loved and dreamed and labored over just unravel itself stitch by stitch and thread by thread and there's nothing you can do but watch helplessly and self-medicate with ice cream. I wish I had your calm assurance that everything will turn out alright for him in the end. Before I was a parent, I had no idea I was in for so much heartache! Today was just a wretched day.

And yes, you are a good sewist!