Dressing gown, 2008

As my dear old dressing gown was becoming quite worn, I had been planning to make a new one for some time - trying to find a ready made one, too, but never finding the right one. The main problem with making it myself was finding a good material, but finally I managed to find the perfect cotton jersey velvet, which is decadently shiny but not too shiny with a plastic look.

I had recently seen a couple of Angelique-movies from the 60's, and the robe definitely has a funny, cheesy pseudo-historical touch. Another source of inspiration was the legendary dressing gown of Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, that I have always wanted to have, but I ended up copying only the lovely combination of dark velvet and white lace. And then there is, of course, the painting of Marie Antoinette in a navy gown trimmed with white lace...

I wanted the sleeves in the style of late 17th century paintings, they are both comfortable and more practical than Scarlett's gothy sleeves.
My good luck in finding materials for this project didn't desert me with the trimming: I found pretty, affordable lace in the right width, that is also uncommonly soft, and doesn't need any ironing either. I combined two tiers on the sleeve ends, and pleated one on the neckline.

I also found a satin ribbon that matched the velvet perfectly. Under the decorative bows in a true bodice-ripper fashion there is a bit more practical snap-button fastening. The robe is all machine sewn, but as the stitching disappears on velvet pretty well it has a nice historically-inspired feeling still.
The dressing gown turned out pretty well as a sewing project, and also became one of my favourite clothes. It's really amazingly comfortable, and the long, wide hem is very warm to my old bones... and it helps to gather the dust off the floor too!

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