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Beach Robes!

August 22, 2011

So if there’s anything I’ve learned this summer, it’s that sewing with two kids at home all the time is HARD. I think if Ani was younger it might have been easier – but now she has very definite ideas about what she wants to tell you and what she thinks is going on and what we should do now and “OH HEY MOM, let’s do this!” I’m exhausted.

Wait, where was I?

Oh yes. Beach robes.

A looooong time ago I put up this post, in which I asked all of you to vote for a sewing project – beach robes or the Clever Charlotte patterns. You pretty much all voted for the Clever Charlotte pattern, so I just went ahead and did the opposite.

Wait – no, that’s not what happened. First what happened is I realized that the Clever Charlotte patterns were actual PATTERNS – hard copies that they wanted to put in the mail and send to you. And while that’s a good thing in most cases, it’s kind of a hassle for Canadians because shipping rates from the US tend to be ridiculous, and then they want to charge you duty when it finally shows up here. (Seriously – it’s insane. I looked into ordering a bag of specialty rice flour. The rice flour was specialty, true, so it was like $8 for a 3lb bag. Fine. Do you know what it was going to cost to ship here? $23. Plus duty. Not even I need a bag of flour that costs more than $30.).

So I kind of procrastinated on ordering the pattern. I can always ship it to an American relative and have them mail it to me (which is..regular postage. Not $30). But I don’t like imposing on people so I dragged my heels and then…well, you know. Then it was August and I didn’t really see a huge need to make Ani summer clothes RIGHT now. But I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get my hands on the pattern and make the Clever Charlotte clothes next year! LOVE them still.

The beach robe patterns were PDF, so I went ahead and ordered those, and made them. And OH MY HEAVENS they are GREAT!!!

I made Anika’s first.

I picked up some bath towels from Ikea ($3 each!) and 1m of the pink striped fabric for Anika’s robe. I made the bias tape, which I hadn’t done before – but it’s really not that hard, and I love the look of the stripes binding the whole thing. The striped fabric also lines the hood.

She wanted long sleeves on hers (which makes sense since she tends to be freezing when she gets out of the water).

I think it’s adorable, and it’s SO useful! I loved having it for swimming lessons, and I think it kept her way warmer than a towel does. She could keep it on easily, and it didn’t drag on the ground or anything like that – awesome.

I’ve also used it to shield her when getting her dressed at splash parks and things.

Ani’s robe is in the 4T size (the biggest size), and it fits her with plenty of room. I did the full tie on hers and the lined hood. I can see making it a little longer for her next time, but right now it’s great.

Now, Sam’s robe took a little longer to finish because there just seemed to be SO MUCH LIFE happening this summer. (It’s not the robe pattern – it’s a quick sew really; I just needed a few minutes to string together and kept not getting that).

I did the full tie on Sam’s robe too because I like the “stripes” of bias tape across the back.

Sam’s got the 9-18 month size (the smallest) on, and it’s definitely going to fit him for awhile. We all know my little guy is on the small end of the spectrum though, so that makes sense. The tie is kind of around his butt, but it doesn’t drag so I think it’s fine.

I used store-bought blue bias tape to bind Sam’s robe – and word to the wise, EVEN IF you are making a short-sleeved version of the smallest robe? You still need 3 packages of bias tape. I naively thought “Ehhhhhhh I don’t need three, two is plenty!” I got to the last step and discovered I was about 4″ short. Awesome. Lesson learned! Pay attention to the instructions. Right-o.

I got THE COOLEST board short fabric that I used to line the hood of Sam’s robe. LOVE. IT.

I got it on clearance for like $3. Originally I wanted to make bias tape out of it for Sam’s robe too….but I realized that was going to be tricky since the board short fabric isn’t really something that will take a crease. I weighed the options and decided to save myself the hassle and just put it in the hood instead. I have tons of fabric left over so I’m totally going to make him some matching swim trunks.

One word of warning – If you are making a small version of this for a shortie who doesn’t walk yet (and is crawling) the robe is gonna get dirty. Sam crawled around the backyard in his for a bit, and the hem was pretty wet and dirty by the time he was done. This should have been obvious to me – duh – but I didn’t think about it. It’s fine for him because the towel I used is darker but if you made like a white one or something it might be trouble.

No huge deal though – the robes are totally washable (and I’ve washed ours a good 8 times each in the last few weeks!).

Sam’s has short sleeves, which is perfect for him – keeps his hands free for getting dirty and feeding himself rocks. Awesome.

Overall I really like this pattern and will definitely use it again. The robes are super useful and adorable on the kiddos. Very easy to put together too – definitely recommend!!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    August 22, 2011 2:49 pm

    Ani’s was so cute on her – I know she loved it at the inaugural wearing. You can tell by the bemused expression, when she got out of the 85 degree pool, into the cooler air! And Sammo’s looks great on him. Love the colours!

  2. August 24, 2011 12:45 pm

    I agree! Great idea, and so cute… love all of the photos. Good work!!

  3. August 25, 2011 9:34 pm

    Jeff just said Sammo looks like a little Obi-Won Kenobi in his robe. 🙂

    • August 26, 2011 3:15 pm

      That is far better than our neighbour Kristen thinking he looked kind of like the Hef in his robe!!

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