men's, sewing

Christmas Gifts!

I naturally like to make presents rather than buy them.  Sewing gifts can be tricky if you are making a garment because it’s hard to guess measurements.  Luckily, I keep a file of the measurements of my close family members to make my job easier.

The sari.
Close-up of the sari pattern.

My mom’s present was something that I had been thinking about ever since I was sent this sari for free when I ordered several others.  It was not my color, but I knew right away it was my mom’s color.  When she was visiting this summer, she saw the sari and immediately noticed it.  That was when I made up my mind to make her a top out of it.

My next step was to search my Burdastyle stash to find an appropriate pattern.  I settled on 11-2015-108 because it was fairly simple.  The biggest change I made was to lengthen the sleeve and add a narrow cuff with a button closure.  (The original had a tie closure that I did not like.)  One interesting thing about this pattern is that the sleeve is a hybrid of set-in and raglan.  The sleeve does not go all the way to the top as with a traditional raglan, but the sleeve is two pieces and is shaped like a raglan sleeve.

Pattern matching on the front. It is not 100% perfect, but it is pretty good for such a tricky fabric.


After considering the pattern placement, I decided to use the larger scale design on the pallu section of the sari as the front.  I pattern-matched the front so that the front seam would be minimized.  The straighter seams are finished with French seams and the rest are serged.  The neckline is faced with a bias strip that is slip-stitched down.  The buttons for the neck closure and cuffs are covered buttons made with the sari fabric.  I interfaced the fabric before covering the buttons because I was worried about the thin silk fraying.

The cuff and the matching button.

My second set of gifts is a good choice if you don’t have precise measurements for the recipients.  Last year, I made my husband and I matching robes for wearing around the house.  We really like ours, so I decided to make a set for my sister and her fiance.  For their robes, I used two different colorways of Kaufmann mammoth flannel.  It is a medium-weight flannel that has worked really well for our robes.

The two robes all cut out.
This is all the fabric I had left after having to piece.

Unfortunately, I really should have bought at least an extra half yard of each fabric, and as a result,  I had to piece in a couple places.  I also was not able to do my usual pattern matching.  I have noticed that most RTW does not bother with pattern matching, so I’m trying not to beat myself up about this.  I used my usual light interfacing, Pro-Weft Supreme Light-weight Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply.  The lining is a poly satin.  When I made the first set of robes, I considered using silk, but I really wanted the robes to be something that could easily be tossed in the washer and dryer.  The poly has worked fine so far, so I went with the same stuff.

Some of the piecing I had to do. You can see the seam a bit, but I was able to match the plaid.

The pattern I used is (PATTERN), but I think about any robe pattern would work.  The original design did not come with lining pieces, so I had to draft those.  It was totally worth the extra effort, though, because have a silky lining makes the robes feel really luxurious.  The lining is fully bagged (sewn in by machine).  Lining a bathrobe like this is exactly the same as lining a coat or jacket, but if you mess up it is far less noticeable, so this could be a good way to learn the technique.  I have included some pics of the process.

The lining has been sewn to the front facing and the bottom hem. The lining sleeve is folded and then carefully pinned to the other sleeve.
One of the sleeves is opened about 8-10 inches. The entire robe is then pulled out through the hole.
Once the robe is flipped, the edges of the sleeve are sewn shut. Since it is on the inside of a sleeve, no one will ever see it.

The one thing that I wanted to change about my robe was lining the pockets, so the pockets of these robes were lined with the same satin before being sewn on.

I hope all the recipients enjoy their gifts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *