Wrap yourself in the fabric you love ™

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Modern Robe in Valley of the Kings

We were asked to make a sample robe in this beautiful Robert Kaufman fabric.  Instead of cutting the collar from the same fabric, the customer wanted a contrasting collar along that would match the belt belt.  We think this turned out beautifully, and it gives the robe an entirely different look. The contrasting collar took an addition 1/2 yard of gold fabric; so, for the collar and belt, we used a total of one yard of gold fabric.  We've now added this as an option in the Modern Robe Pattern.


Both fabrics are a dream to sew with: heavy, luxurious cotton with a wonderful hand.

Fabrics:  Valley of the Kings Jewel by Robert Kaufman Fabrics ETJM-10933-201 and Timeless Treasures GM-c1334 Tan.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Modern Robe in Philip Jacobs and Kaffe Fassett Fabrics

It's no wonder that fabric designers such as Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs have inspired sewers the world over.  Who could resist these lush florals and brilliant colors?  One shop in California selected Philip Jacobs' fall 2011 "Iris and Peony" design for their Modern Robe sample, along with a purple-and-red Kaffe Fassett "Spots" fabric for the sash.  We couldn't wait to share the shop sample with you! These gorgeous fabrics are certain to brighten up the winter days ahead.

Above, L-R:  Philip Jacobs Iris and Peony (PWPJ 043 Red), from the September 2011 collection for Westminster Fabrics.   Kaffe Fassett Spots (GP 70 Purple) for Westminster Fabrics.  As flower lovers, we've always admired peonies and iris. This combination is like a lush floral bouquet, rendered in fabric. The "Iris and Peony" design comes in four beautiful colorways, shown below:

To locate this fabric in your area, go to the Westminster Fabrics Store Locator. For a source of the Modern Robe pattern, email us at The Modern Robe Company.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Modern Robe as Modern Art

As a contemporary art collector, Karleen chose these black-and-white musical notes for her Modern Robe.  Her choice reflects her tastes in modern design.  We love the big yellow circles and graphic accents in the sash.

The robe fabric is Musical Notes from Timeless Treasures Fabrics (Pattern GM-C4930 White).  The sash was made with 1/2 yard of fabric from the Timeless Treasures Taxi Line (now out of print; contact us for a suggested source).  These high-quality, 100% cotton, quilting-weight fabrics are a perfect choice for the robe.  The sash was quilted with straight lines, using a high-sheen polyester quilting thread in the lemonade color, from the Nature's Colors collection by Hollis Chatelain for Superior Threads.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Modern Robe in modern textures: Marcia Derse Designs

Marcia Derse is one of the stars of modern fabric design. About her work, she says:  "Each piece of fabric is a new exploration of color, form, and texture. They are paintings in themselves and when I bring them together on a giant white wall in my studio space each piece becomes a landmark or road in the map of the idea I am translating."  We came across several of her painterly collections at a local quilt store, and we knew that her fabrics would be perfect for our Modern Robe.


This fabric is called Indigo Script and it is from the Stream Line collection for Troy Corporation (TRO-1157/1). Since we purchased this fabric we have learned about Marcia's love of typography, which may well have influenced this spontaneous-looking "script" design.

For the sash we chose Marcia Derse's Modern Texture in Slate (TRO-1210/11, below). We used the reverse (unprinted) side of the slate fabric as it was a good match for the lighter tones in Indigo Script.  We quilted the sash with five free-form wavy lines, in keeping with the Stream Line theme.  With the five quilted lines, this sash stands up well to washing and wearing while remaining supple enough to be tied in a knot, bow or loop.

Recently, Marcia's fifth collection for Troy has been released,  and you can preview it here.  If you are interested in her design process and inspiration, check out Marcia Derse's website and this 2-minute interview from Spring 2011:

Modern Robe in Kaffe Fassett for a Hawaii girl

Debra lives on the big island of Hawaii. Each morning she walks from her hale to an outdoor shower. She wanted a cool cotton robe that would reflect her tropical surroundings while providing privacy for her morning trek. She picked out a beautiful Kaffe Fassett print in purple and orange, along with an eye-catching floral print in orange and pink for the sash. Wow.

Left: Kaffe Fassett GP-71 (purple aboriginal dot). Right: GP-31(pink zinnias) for Westminster Fibers Inc.

This color combinations - of purple, orange and pink - give the fabric a real 1960's vibe (as do many of Kaffe Fassett's colorways !)  This fabric has an incredibly smooth "hand", and is a dream to sew with. You can also see a Modern Robe in batik, with a Kaffe Fassett sash, in our previous post.

Modern Robe in Winter Palace - part 2

Valerie wanted a long Modern Robe in flannel, and she selected this simple but elegant butterfly lace design.  The fabric is from the Winter Palace collection by Maywood Studio.  

MASF710-R (Left) and MASF8091-R (Right) by Maywood Studios
Valerie was debating about using a contrasting floral print for the sash, and she found a half-yard cut of a floral print by Philip Jacobs. Although the robe is flannel and the floral print is not, the reds match perfectly, and the cool blues and greens of the print provide an interesting contrast to the reds.  What do you think ? 

Left: MASF710-R, Winter Palace by Maywood Studio. 
Right: PJ 29, Floral Burst - Duck Egg, by Phillip Jacobs for Rowan.

Modern Robe in Winter Palace (flannel !)

How does the Modern Robe look in flannel?  We decided to check it out with this modern robe for Bea.  She chose the new Winter Palace collection by Maywood Studio. The big and bold winter roses are softened by the ice-creamy color and plush flannel fabric.  Since Bea is only 5'0" tall, we made her Modern Robe in the shorter version (we also shortened the sleeves by 2"). Her robe fits her perfectly, and the cozy flannel will keep her warm in the Wisconsin winters.  

MASF8091-R and -W, Winter Palace by Maywood Studio

The sash was quilted with three lines of stitching in a matching thread.  Due to the thickness of the flannel, this provides just the right amount of structure for the sash (see below).  We freehanded the wavy lines, using a walking foot and stitching one down the center and then placing the other lines to either side.  This easy sash can be stitched up quickly (unlike many other sashes, in our design there is no tube to turn inside out!)

When flannel is used, the collar facing can be eliminated. Therefore, this robe has only 7 pieces! ( For those who love pockets in their robes, optional side seam pockets are included in the pattern.)

Although flannel is quite thick, it worked out fine in the Modern Robe pattern.  However, we do recommend using a new #18 sewing machine needle.

Modern Robe in Princess Mirah batiks

My friend Gay, who is an artist and a quilter, picked out this beautiful forest teal batik from Princess Mirah Designs.  The tropical Bali hand-dyed batiks are perfect for the warm winters of the California desert!  The seafoam green sash provides a luscious contrast to the forest teal and charcoal hues of the robe.

About the fabric:  Founding Bali Fabrics in 1981, Princess Mirah introduced quilters in America to hand made Balinese batiks. Princess Mirah batiks are available from Bali Fabrics Inc.  For sources, see the list of retail stores.

Modern robe in hand-dyed batik with Kaffe Fassett sashing

This modern robe is a store sample, and we went looking for something truly eye-catching. These beautiful hand-dyed and printed batiks were perfect ! We fell in love with the red/orange/yellow smoky tones on the 100% cotton batiks from India. This Modern Robe reflects our goal, as stated in our byline: "Wrap yourself in the fabric you love*."

We looked at dozens of half-yard cuts of fabric for the contrasting sash, until we came across a Kaffe Fassett floral print in taupe.  The smoky yellows and oranges seemed to be a perfect match for the golden swirls in the batik. This striking robe is now proudly displayed on a mannequin in the fabric shop, so that customers can try it on for size.

Left: Fabric Freedom F9082-2, Indian Summer collection. Right: Kaffe Fassett Lake Blossoms GP 93, Taupe.

*Image credits:  "Wrap yourself in the fabric you love" is a trademark of The Modern Robe Company.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In the beginning...

It began about 10 years ago,  on a trip to Japan.  I purchased a lightweight robe at a local shop, and it was the most comfortable robe I ever owned!  The generously cut robe wrapped around me from side to side , and the boxy sleeves were deep enough to provide room to move.  The robe was elegant, and I felt elegant wearing it.  It was nice enough to wear lounging around the house, even when friends and family were visiting. When the original robe became threadbare, I decided to create an easy-to-sew pattern that could be stitched up in a modern fabric I loved.  Here is that first Modern Robe prototype.

For this robe, I wanted a belt that was soft enough to tie into a knot or bow, yet sturdy enough that it would not turn into a string when it was worn or washed.  After some experimentation, I created a simple belt that could be made from a half yard of complementary fabric.

The fabrics I chose for the robe and belt were from the 2011 Katagami collection.  These are 100% cotton prints in indigo and cream.  "Katagami" is the Japanese art of making paper stencils. The technique has been used for over 1000 years and was used primarily for kimono printing, and the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania has an extensive collection of these delicate stencils. Red Rooster Fabrics teamed with the museum to bring out this wonderful collection of fabric designs.

I made the robe in the indigo pine needles print, above left (Pattern #21195-DKBLU1).  When picking a complementary fabric for the sash, I decided on the fish print on the right (Pattern #21192-DKBLU1). With its swirling waves, this bold and graphic print seemed perfect for the long sash.  I quilted the sash in long, straight lines.

The finished robe is exactly what I had hoped for - it's both comfy and elegant.  And, with only 8 pieces, the robe is easy to stitch up !