Rebecca Page Relaxation Robes
Typically for Christmas Eve, I make PJs for my whole family to open on Christmas Eve, so they will all be wearing cute (sometimes the same) PJs for pictures on Christmas morning. This year, I elected to make robes for everyone instead. And I chose the Relaxation Robe by Rebecca Page, which I had tested a year or so ago, to make them with.
Dropped Shoulder - a dropped shoulder garment is one in which the shoulder line extends beyond the top of the arm. On the relaxation robe, the shoulder seam is a little way down the arm, which makes it an easy pattern to make as a gift, even if you don't have your recipient's exact measurements.
Pattern Grading - To grade a pattern is to adjust for size differences in-between the different measurements. I graded the camouflage robe between a number of sizes, as my son is skinnier than he is tall. This is especially easy to do on kids' sizing (and on this pattern in particular), because they don't have as many curves as adults. I also graded my robe out to the next size at the hips per the pattern instructions, as my hips are wider than my bust.
Adjusting for Height - comparing the height of the model to the height the pattern is designed for, and adjusting accordingly. Since the unisex adult version of this pattern is designed for someone 5'8", I adjusted both mine and my husband's robes so they would better match how tall we are. My husband is 6'1", so I added 3" to the bottom of his robe, while I am only 5'3.5" (don't forget that half-inch!), so I removed 2" from mine. This allowed both robes to reach close to our knees, which is how the pattern is designed to be worn.
Other Hacks - I mostly made this pattern according to the tutorial, but there were a couple things I did to make it easier for me to sew so many of them. I skipped the ironing on the fleece of the kids' robes, since fleece doesn't iron super-well anyway. I also skipped the belt loops (an option in the pattern), instead sewing the tie onto the middle of the back. This makes it so much easier to keep the belts with the robes, which is more of an issue with six kiddos than you might think. (It has the added benefit of allowing the kids to pretend they are horses with "reins" coming out their backs for a sibling to hold onto :) ) Finally, I serged down the edges of the belt loops, belts, and hanging loops of the adult robes with the fabric folded right-sides-facing and then turned them inside-out. This was faster than ironing and stitching down the sides like the pattern suggests.
The Rebecca Page Relaxation Robe was a super-quick sew. (It would have to be for me to sew that many, right?!). It works for both knits and wovens. The kids' robes were made from fleece from JoAnn Fabrics, and the adult robes were made from a thicker cotton flannel from Hobby Lobby. It worked equally-well for both, although the flannel required more ironing and pinning :) I absolutely loved this one, although it might be a while before I make another garment for everyone in the family at once!
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