Finished a robe in pretty linen looking fabric- I think it is a linen/polyester blend with slight stretch to it. The fabric is almost sheer, so it is lined in the same fabric. Lining is attached at the neck and front openning, as well as tacked in place at each shoulder near the sleeve so it can't move around too much. Sleeves are not lined, since the lining is just to provide additional coverage and make the robe hang better.
I got a new book for making dresses: Built by Wendy Dresses: The Sew U Guide to Making a Girl's Best Frock. Good basics, but not a beginner book. Wish it had more info on, say, lining dresses or a bit more on pattern drafting. I got it since I wanted a quick basic pattern for a couple of dress styles I could easily modify. You can read a review on Angry Chicken. In short: get the book if you don't already have a bunch of dress patterns (I don't) and are willing to do pattern drafting- you can make the basic 3 pattern dresses, but the best part of the book is that it uses the 3 shapes and shows you how to modify them to get other styles. This is the best part to me, since patterns just show you how that pattern is constructed.
Glad I ended up getting 4 yards of fabric instead of two- not only did I cut a piece wrong (from charting out the pattern wrong to boot!), but the lining ate up the other two yards (original yardage did not include lining). After washing the fabric I realized it had much more drape and was much more sheer than the fabric seemed pre wash/dry. At least it didn't fade- it is a lovely sand color.
The only problem with the fabric is that it is really hard to tell the front and back apart, even in good light. It is just obvious enough to be a problem- and to result in me sewing the wrong pieces together several times! Did I mention that my seam ripper is MIA?
I used a small piece of tatting- just over a yard of shuttle tatting I did to edge a handkerchief. I ended up sewing it to the tie instead to add a bit of color and whimsy. It has nice big loopy picots.
I just attached the lace a bit randomly with a zig zag to hold it in place.
Mandrin style collar. Sewed in the lining while attaching the collar. Didn't quite understand how the button placket was supposed to work with the collar without there being a really thick section, so I did it my own way instead.
The robe has dress shirt styled sides with a plain hem. The sleeves are turned up and topstitched, much in the same way a dress shirt sleeves would (but dress shirts have prettier seams on the inside). The hem and unattached/unsewn edges on the inside lining layer are zigzag stitched to keep from fraying and to provide a very thin hem/edge.
-That I bothered to line it. The fact that no seams (except the sleeves) can be felt is really nice.
-The dress shirt shaping on the bottom. Adds a nice casualness to it, and means I didn't have to try and make the hem hang or curve perfectly.
-All the top stitching. At both edges of the sleeve cuff, around the collar and to hold the collar in place, etc. Makes it sturdy!
There are simple darts, but I really don't need them- as you can see on the model (which has slightly more bust than me), the bust is a bit too big. If I make a dress using this my pattern pieces for this version I will:
-Lower the neckline. A robe that simply ties in front doesn't bother me, but I don't like close fitting necks
-Make bust smaller
-Lengthen the dress 3-5 inches
-Make it so the sleeves button or can be rolled more easily. For dresses and shirts I don't like sleeves that get stuck at the wrist. This is about 3/4 sleeve and will roll up past the elbow, but I am not sure I want people seeing the seams (but again, this is a robe so that is not an issue here)
-Top stitch in another color- red? white?
-Line in another color. Cream something, and more slippery.
If I were doing this as a dress I would also probably set a zipper in to the back or do it in dress shirt (shirting?) fabric with lots of buttons. A sleeveless shift style dress in linen would be pretty with simple lines and some sort of very simple embellishment at the hem (maybe attached to lining where it can peak out). Loving the semi structured look of this style dress- I think it would be fun in a simple knit fabric that is stretchy too. Or maybe I will need to try one of the other dress styles from the book