To the Manor Born

Today I’m catching up on something that I made absolutely YONKS ago, which I’ve been wearing over the last few days for #MeMadeMay2019; a wool jersey dressing gown.

I ended up going on my first ever retreat a couple of years ago, held in a big converted farmhouse in Shropshire. It was a few weeks before Christmas, so I knew that I needed something warm to wear at breakfast etc but it seemed daft to pack my enormous fleece dressing gown. Besides, I wanted to look kinda smart, even when nipping to the loo at night!

I’d been saving this gorgeous fawn wool jersey ever since I snaffled it for a song on Ebay. Truth be told it’s not EXACTLY my best colour, so I knew I didn’t want to make anything too fancy with it. But I loved its warmth and lightness, and I figured that this might turn out to be more like a long cardigan than a dressing gown?

Indeed, it was SO cold, and I was SO proud of it that I ended up wearing it during the daytime, too, which prompted a friend to say that I “looked like the owner of the house, just wandering around”!

The pattern is a vintage one I’ve had in my stash for FOREVER;

This is one of my tried-and-true patterns now!

The first version was made for my C+G in Lingerie MANY years ago. I made a knee-length summer dressing gown out of pale blue polka-dot viscose with contrasting bands of floral fabric and bias-cut pink gingham piping. It looks lovely, and I DO wear it in the summer, but the viscose fabric is ever so limp unfortunately!

The second was sewn shortly afterwards. I used to live somewhere FREEZING, so I made myself a full-length version out of a kind of bluey-green sweatshirt fabric I bought cheaply from Croft Mill. I gathered the sleeves into long self-fabric cuffs and used to wear the collar up, so it was more like a housecoat from the 1940s, to be honest! I felt very relieved to send it to the charity shop, as I’d worn it so much during a period of my life when I was my most ill and most unhappy, alas.

So this is version number three! It’s a few inches below knee level, as I basically made it as long as I could squeeze out of the fabric. I left the sleeves and hem unfinished, as I like how the edges of the jersey roll up, and sewed lots of rows of top-stitching on a last strip of fabric, to stabilise it enough to use as a belt.

As per usual I added in-seam pockets (gotta have pockets!) as I didn’t have enough fabric for patched ones. I used a fat quarter/remnant I bought on impulse, which gave me just enough for the pockets, the back neck facing (as you can see) and the back under-collar piece which you can’t see (okay, when I’m wearing it you can see the edge of it because the collar doesn’t roll properly SIGH).

I’ll be honest, it looks WAY too much like a dressing gown for me to try and wear as a not-dressing gown. BOO. Maybe it’s the shawl collar, or the width of the sleeves? I don’t know, but I also sense that this ISN’T the last one I’ll ever make because even as I write this post, that hip-length version on the pattern cover is calling to me.

(What do you think, a short one would make a GREAT jacket, right??)


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