Make this DIY bathrobe as a gift or for yourself
Hey y’all! Have you ever made a gift you loved so much you wanted to keep it for yourself? Well, that’s what happened to me. I set out to sew a robe as a present, and, well, now I want it to be hanging in my closet. So I made a vintage sheet one for myself.
It was the embroidery on the original that set it over the edge for me. I added these snowflakes as an almost last step, and I just love them.
And then this tutorial was so popular that I decided to update it with a video and a collar variation and sewed this one for myself.
So, want to sew a robe for yourself or as a gift? Check out the video below or on YouTube here, or scroll down for the original written tutorial.
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First, you’re going to need a few measurements. You can take these yourself, or you can use the chart below as a guide. (Please note that I know there are people bigger than shown in this chart, but this is the limit of the size chart I have, so above this personal measurements would need to be used).
Once you have your measurements, you’re going to want to draw a rectangle that is equal to 1/4 of the bust or chest measurement plus 1 1/2 inches. (Bust x 0.25 +1.5)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are sewing the robe for someone pear shaped (ie, their hips are bigger than their bust), you’re going to want to use their HIP measurement every time I use the bust/chest measurement.
It is also important to note that this is a close fitting robe with only 5 inches of ease above the body measurements, it does not overlap very much at the front and the sleeves are narrower than in many conventional robe patterns. See a robe from this tutorial on me in this post. If you’d like a robe with more overlap and more ease, add more than 1 1/2 inches to the 1/4 bust measurement number. Each additional 1/4 inch you add will add 1 inch of overall ease.
For the length, the rectangle should be the neck to waist measurement plus the waist to knee measurement, plus 3″. This will make a just below knee length robe; if you’d like it longer cut even longer.
Next, measure 2 inches down and 1/4 of the neck (Neck x 0.25) over. Curve this line to form the cutout for the back neck. The straight part is now the shoulder seam.
This rectangle, cut on a fold, will be the robe back.
To form the front of the robe, start with the back rectangle. Draw a diagonal line from the waist level to the back neck cutout. Cut 2 of these for the robe front.
To make the sleeves, start by subtracting the shoulder length from the arm length. Add 2 inches to the result, and that is the length of your sleeve. This rectangle needs to be the same as the neck to waist in height; cut 2 sleeves. Alternately, you could make it 1/2 the neck to waist height and cut two on the fold.
For the sash, cut 2 pieces 5 inches wide by the length of the bust or chest.
For the binding, you’ll cut a rectangle 4 inches wide. For the length, you’ll need to add up the length of the front and back as indicated by the red lines. Cut two of these pieces.
Note: Your yardage for this project will vary based on the size and length you choose, so yardages are not given. At minimum you’re going to need two yards. If you don’t want to add up the pieces, you can take your measurements and plug them into a quilt calculator like this one to calculate for you.
Stop here and CHECK YOUR MEASUREMENTS before cutting your fabric. By that I mean, make sure at bust and hip level your front and back paper pieces will add up to your bust and hip measurements plus 4 inches (or more if you wanted more ease; the remaining inch of ease will come from the band) once you take out the 1/2 inch seam allowances. Make sure your sleeve will be at least 3 inches bigger than the biggest part of your upper arm. If you need help calculating these things, see this post.
Seam allowances drafted in with these instructions are 1/2 inch.
To sew, start by placing the fronts and back right sides together and stitching at the shoulders.
Next, center the sleeves over the shoulder seams, right sides together. Double check your measuring here to make sure you don’t sew the sleeves on sideways. Stitch.
Fold the robe right sides together and stitch the sleeve and side seams. *Note – if you wanted to add loops for your robe sash, you’d put them in the side seams before sewing. I didn’t add them on my robe.
I added the embroidery to my binding, using my embroidery machine, then sewed the two binding pieces together across one short end, right sides together.
Note: Quick details on the embroidery for those of you that have that option. I used a design that came with my machine, stabilized the back with fusible interfacing and added a water soluble interfacing on top of the binding to help with the plush fabric. You can see more about embroidery machines here. If you don’t have an embroidery machine, check out these hand sewing options.
Pin the seam of the binding to the center back neck of the robe. Then pin the binding all down the neck and front edges of the robe. Stitch.
Fold the binding the the inside, covering the seam from the previous step and tucking the raw edge under 1/2 inch. Pin. On the right side of the robe, stitch in the ditch of the seam to secure the binding in place.
On the bottom of the robe, fold the raw edge 3/4″ to the wrong side twice and stitch in place to hem. This can get bulky around the bottom of the binding, so if you need to, use a bumper with your presser foot.
Sew short ends of the sash together to create one long piece, then fold it right sides together matching long edges and stitch around edges, leaving an opening for turning. Turn, press, and topstitch it. And you’re done! Now if you decided to keep this one, you can sew a robe for everyone else on your list.
Wrap it up and surprise someone! Or, you know, hang it in your own closet.