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 !