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.
Video Tutorial to Sew a Robe
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.
Techniques mentioned in the video above:
How to stitch in the ditch
How to do a ladder stitch
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Tools used in the video above (commissions earned)
Draft a Robe Pattern
Here are the written instructions to draft your robe pattern.
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 belt or sash, cut 2 pieces 5 inches wide by the length of the bust or chest.
To make the double fold binding for the neck and front, 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 – if you want a shawl collar like in the gray striped version I showed, you’ll want to watch the video above for instructions. You’ll also need to check the video or this tutorial for adding the large patch pockets like the gray robe has. If you wanted to add side seam pockets, you can check this tutorial.
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 GARMENT 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 neck band binding) 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.
How to Sew Your Own Robe
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 belt loops for your robe sash, you’d put them in the side seams before sewing. I didn’t add them on my robe.
Match the two short edges of the binding pieces right sides together and stitch.
Note: Quick details on the embroidery for those of you that have that option. I used a design that came with my machine. First I 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 for embroidery.
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. Then 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 the short ends of the sash together to create one long piece, then fold it right sides together matching long edges and stitch around the 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.
What a pretty robe! Thank you for sharing this great tutorial! I can’t wait to try it! ❤️
Well, I just love this! It is going to be my first project of the new year…thank you for the tute!
Yeah, I would keep that for myself too. It’s gorgeous!!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post scheduled for later today that links to your tutorial:
No wonder he didn’t mind cutting it out for you! *wink*
Thanks so much for the reminder that we need to sew something for ourselves once in awhile, and this gorgeous robe is wonderful. I’ll be sharing this on my FB.
Thankyou so much for posting this! I’ve been wanting to make a robe for a while but was lacking the perfect pattern now here it is 🙂 I plan to make a light summer version though as it’s pretty hot down here in Oz!
Very pretty. I can see why you wanted to keep the robe for yourself.
What a pretty robe. It will look nice on my wife, but she’s gone these past fifteen years. I’ll update her next time I go visit her.
Very. Beautiful Kelly. You are SO GENEROUS!!! Thanks Sew much!!
Thanks for this cute pattern! I made a cute robe for my friend to wear when she gets ready for her wedding! I used a nonstretchy material, so I added a bit to the front pieces to create an overlap and little ties to keep it in place inside.
Just made this. Haven’t put the binding on yet and am glad. The front gapes open at the hip area… So I just plan to not fold my binding in half and give myself the extra room to cover my hip area. I think this works great for someone that doesn’t need to worry about their hips being lots wider than their bust. Though mine aren’t (I’d be considered hourglass shaped.) Cute and fun idea but it could be that people with wider hips might not be able to follow these directions.
If you prefer more ease, you can add more than 1 1/2 inches to your first measurement. Each 1/4 inch you add there will result in 1 more total inch added to the circumference of the finished robe.
I had some tube material that I wanted to use as a wrap to use in the house during the winter to just run around the house with. Used your pattern and love it so much I am planning on making some more. Its just above the knees and doesn’t have a tie as I did not want one and the sleeves are 3 quarter in long so I can still clean the house and sew without the sleeves getting in the way. Love this patterns.
Have been wanting a summer weight kimono style robe for years, I remember having what we called “happy coats” many years ago and used to have a pattern that I made a few from. I was looking for a very similar pattern, yours has been perfect. Quick and easy to draft right onto the fabric, a woven print that I found while decluttering my attic space, stashed up there maybe five years ago. It hasn’t taken long to get most of the sewing done. Just some seam finishing and hemming to go. A perfect project to get back into sewing.
I loved its amazing easy
YAYYY! Thanks so much for posting this. I teach Home Ec, and yesterday one of my students asked if she could make a robe. It’s wonderful when they can make something that they don’t have to buy a pattern for 🙂
Diane C Hanke
I love your pattern. Planning an making two of these. One for myself and another for a friend.
Hi, this is a great tutorial and your robe is gorgeous!
Thanks for for the tutorial, you made it look sew easy that I’ll try to make one!
Thank you for your tutorial it was so easy to follow and I now have a beautiful robe for my holiday next week:)
Thanks for the tutorial! It was very easy to follow, and I made it with vintage sheets like in your other post. My only problem was that the arm pits come up too high. I’m a novice sewer, so I probably messed it up somehow. I’ll try again. Thank you!
What a great pattern, thanks so much. Made 2 out of comfy blanket material for my girls. They love it!
Thanks for the tutorial! great visuals. As I am plus size and pear-shaped, I may make a yoke at top front and back and gather a slightly wider length of fabric for the lower portions front and back. I have a hard time keep a belted robe like this fully closed, so will add a spaghetti string tie at edge of the left front waist that will hide behoind the right front side. I’ll add another string tie on the right side seam at the waist – inside the robe. It may not make sense how I’m saying it here, but when you put the robe on, you tie the left front edge string to the string at right side of your waist in a bow, inside the robe. You then overlay the front right of the robe over the left and put on your bigger belt. This helps prevent the robe from falling open and causing emabarrasment as you move around and the big belt loosens. I had a worn out commercially bought robe with this feature.
Awesome – this was easy, thanks! I definitely found that the overall width recommendations were on the slim side in my first experiment, so I’m adding a few extra inches total, and I might taper the arms a bit too. I’m making some wild-colored pop art flannel robes based on this for my goofy brother and his wife.
This is a great tutorial! Simple, clear and easy to follow. I can’t wait to try this out myself. Now I won’t have to spend £120 on a VS robe!
Thank you for this simple and wonderful pattern! Just what I was looking for! Making myself one in pink cuddle minky today!
Janneke E Anderson
I am making this robe for my Daughter in a beautiful dark rose colour. Then, after Christmas, I will make one for myself in a lighter weight material. Not sure if I am going to do embroidery yet. This is so wonderful to download the pattern. I priced a Butterick version of this robe and it was $20.00 Canadian. Thank you!!
I’ve been looking for a lightweight robe that covers more than the robe I have to walk to the bathroom in (I’m a chubby butt with hairy legs) this tutorial has offered me an easy solution!!! Thank you.
Sue La velle
Amazing pattern. So easy. Thank you
Just finished doing this. The measurements were so helpful. I used chiffon material with bias.
Lovely pattern! I used this with a flannel sheet, and it’s turned out wonderfully! I had to tweak the sleeves a little to accommodate my shape, but it looks really good, considering I haven’t made an article of clothing since middle school home ec!
Nice! I will be adding pockets in the side seams, but this is simple and elegant. Your instructions are thorough and understandable, so I also appreciate that! I don’t have an embroidery machine, but the embroidery adds such elegance, I may do some hand embroidery to dress mine up, as well. Thanks for sharing!
Just found this site yesterday and made the robe out of a heavyweight plaid flannel for my big and tall hubby. I based the measurements on his 60+ inch chest and added extra for a good overlap in front. I added pockets and belt loops and used my serger to finish all the seams. It took me longer to thread the serger’s lower loopers than to sew the whole thing! Want to confirm what everyone else has said about how easy this goes together and the clarity of directions. Good job, Melly, and thank you for sharing.
Great tutorial. I was looking for a free pattern to make my grand daughter a housecoat. Really enjoyed this tutorial%. Your a great instructor%. Thank you
YES!!!!!! Just perfect!!
I used your pattern to make my granddaughter a robe for Christmas. I extended the front pieces significantly (width) as she is growing fast and at 9 years old is already into a women’s XS size! I also made it longer so she could have a nice cozy robe to put on after her bath or in the morning before she gets dressed. She loved it and wears it constantly. There was just one small issue 🙁 I picked a lovely thick fuzzy fleece from my stash. It was brightly printed — what I didn’t realize was that it was printed with baby booties and the word “baby” etc. I was so embarrassed however Sophie is wearing it anyway and I will make her another one when I have appropriate fabric to do so! Btw, I am visually impaired and usually ask for help in choosing colours/patterns etc. from someone who has more vision. I didn’t bother this time because I thought it was just a bright “flowery” fleece — that’ll teach me!
I was thinking to make a robe for my daughter to go to camp because they seem to cost alot for something so simple, and it seemed so fussy to get a pattern to layout some rectangles. Your tutorial is just what I needed to get sorta lazy/busy me to get started doing the figuring.
What a fantastic pattern. You’ve just helped me to make my very first piece of clothing and it’s wearable. I used a lovely white, lime green and black pattern duvet cover given to me by my mum. I used my hip measurements, made it wider as I like it to cross over more and I added inseam pockets. I wouldn’t bother next time, they were a lot of hassle for a beginner. I also made it floor length and widened the sleeves as I wanted something loose fitting to take on holiday. I’m so proud of myself, I’ll definitely be trying more of your patterns.
Very easy to understand and fun to sew. Looking forward for more everything was on point. Thank you😍🤩