Layer on a colorful cotton wrap. If you are brand new to garment sewing, this is a great first project as the majority of the seams are long and straight. You’ll get to learn about and apply facings, make a simple square sleeve, create a self-belt with belt loops, and get some fussy cutting practice.
We chose to use the Janome Continental M7 Professional, a top-of-the-line powerhouse with one of the largest sewing spaces available on any home use sewing machine. This extra space was wonderful for the large swaths of fabric that make up the main body panels and even the sleeves of the wrap. We love not having to “scrunch up” our project to get it under the needle!
We originally blended three fabrics from Sunday in the Country, one of the collections in Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory series for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Conservatory is an exclusive gathering of beautiful art from uniquely talented artists. Sunday in the Country is by Nathalie Lete of Paris and is part of the “Bouquet Chapter” of Conservatory. Inspired in part by the 19th century Renoir paintings of Parisians having picnics in the French countryside, it’s a collection full of gorgeous florals. Although the collection is no longer readily available, studying how we used the fabric can help you select and cut from your favorite fabric. As we often suggest, searching eBay or Etsy for fabric cuts from out-of-print collections is a good option.
There is a full pattern download provided at no charge. To reduce the number of pieces required, we’ve used our unique S4H Paper Saver Pattern™process. The main sections are cut as large rectangles, then you need only small pattern sections to cut away the appropriate angles and curves. Included are pattern pieces for the unique triangular back on the bottom of our wrap – another secret design detail that adds to the professional finish.
We encourage you to take the time to fussy cut all the pieces that make up the wrap. Not only is fussy cutting a skill you’ll use again and again on all kinds of projects, for this – it’s what gives the finished garment such striking style. Our border accents are fussy cut from a stripe motif in the fabric.
There is no hand stitching needed on the main garment; all the facings are topstitched in place. This is another reason we were happy to be sewing on the Janome Continental M7. It has the power and precision to make finishing details like these a breeze.
As always, we’ve included lots of instructional details and helpful photos, but don’t let the amount of steps give you pause. This really is a beginner-friendly project that is quick to create. It would be a wonderful design to use to make matching robes for a party of bridesmaids, a teen birthday sleepover, or a girlfriends getaway.
Our wrap is sized as a small to medium, approximately a women’s size 10-12. A drawing is shown below with measurements should you wish to adjust the sizing for your best fit.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
NOTE: Our yardage recommendations include a bit extra for fussy cutting.
- 1⅔ yards of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton for the main front and back panels, facings and belt loops; we originally used Crown in Sissi from the Sunday in the Country collection by Nathalie Lete for Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory series for FreeSpirit Fabrics
- ½ yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton for the sleeves and belt; we originally used Picking Roses in Sophie from the Sunday in the Country collection by Nathalie Lete for Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory series for FreeSpirit Fabrics
- 1 yard of 44″+ wide quilting weight cotton for the body and sleeve border accents; we originally used Apron in Mizi from the Sunday in the Country collection by Nathalie Lete for Anna Maria Horner’s Conservatory series for FreeSpirit Fabrics
- 1 yard of 20”+ wide lightweight fusible interfacing for the facings; we used Pellon Shape-Flex
- All purpose thread to match fabrics
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
Getting Started and Pattern Download
- Download and print out our SIX Robe Pattern sheets, which have been bundled into one PDF to make the download easier.
IMPORTANT: Each page is ONE 8½” x 11″ sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide rule on each page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale
- Cut out each pattern piece along the solid line. There are ELEVEN pieces that make up the SIX finished pattern pieces.
- Patterns B, G, H and J will need to be assembled from nine of the eleven pieces. To do this, butt together (do not overlap) the pieces (two for B, two for G, two for H, three for J), aligning the printed arrows. Tape together to create each full pattern.
- The remaining pieces (I and F) are single pieces.
- A cutting diagram is shown below to help you visualize how to assemble the pattern pieces as well as to show how each is used/cut.
- From the fabric for the main front and back panels, facings, and belt loops (Crown in Sisi in our sample), fussy cut the main panels as as follows:
TWO 14″ wide x 25″ high rectangles for the front
ON THE FOLD: ONE 13½” wide x 29” high rectangle for the back
- Place the two front panels wrong sides together. Place the assembled B pattern along the upper right side (the center raw edges), pin in place, then cut away.
- With the back panel folded, wrong sides together, place the assembled G pattern along the bottom raw edge, pin in place, then cut away.
- With the back panel still folded, place the F pattern at the top right corner, aligning it with the fold as indicated on the pattern. Pin in place, then cut away.
- Also from the main fabric, cut the facings:
Using the assembled J pattern, cut TWO front facings
Using the I pattern, cut ONE on the fold for the neck facing
TWO 4” x 1” strips for the belt loops
- From the fabric for the sleeves and belt (Picking Roses in Sophie in our sample), fussy cut the following:
FOUR 10¾” wide x 12” high rectangles for the sleeves
TWO 4” x 37” strips for the belt
- From the fabric for the body and sleeve border accents (Apron in Mizi in our sample), fussy cut the following:
NOTE: As you can see in the photo above, the cutting diagram above, and the photos of our finished sample, we took advantage of the stripes within our chosen fabric to create a strong border design. It’s worth the extra time and precision cutting to get this cool look.
FOUR 4¼” wide x 12” high rectangles for the sleeve accent borders
TWO 4¼” wide x 23” high rectangles for the sleeve accent border facings
FOUR 4¼” wide x 14” high rectangles for the front panel accent borders and facings
Using the assembled H pattern, cut FOUR for the back panel accent borders and facings
- From the fusible interfacing, cut the following:
Using pattern I, cut ONE on the fold
Using the assembled pattern J, cut TWO
NOTE: If you’re a Sew4Home regular, you know we traditionally cut interfacing and batting layers smaller to keep them out of the seams. In garment sewing, when creating facings, you want to cut the interfacing at the same size as the fabric. Keeping the interfacing in the seam helps give the facings their sharp edges.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the sleeves
- Find the four main sleeve sections and the four border sleeve sections. In the photo below, you can again see how we fussy cut our stripe motif to create the finished border accent.
- Place a border section right sides together with each main sleeve section. Pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance stitch the border to the main sleeve.
- Press flat, pressing the seam allowance toward the sleeve.
- Repeat to add a border to each main sleeve section.
Attach the sleeves
- Find the two front panels and the two sewn front sleeve panels.
NOTE: Your four sewn sleeve panels are all essentially the same. You get to choose which to use for the fronts and which to use for the back based on which look best to you.
- Place a sleeve panel in position next to each front panel to insure any directional motifs are running right side up on all the pieces. Remember, the cut-away edges of the front panel are the center edges; you are pinning the sleeve to the outer straight edges.
- Place each sleeve right sides together with the proper front panel and pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together from the top of the sleeve panel to the bottom of the sleeve panel.
- Because we are working with a standard quilting cotton, we recommend finishing all seam allowances with your preferred method. We used a simple zig zag. If you are new to machine sewn seam finishes, we have a four-part series on the most popular options.
- Press the finished seam allowance toward the sleeve panel.
- Repeat to stitch both the opposite front sleeve panel.
- Repeat to stitch both back sleeve panels in position on the main back panel.
Attach the bottom border accent panels to the main back panel
- Find the two sets of H panels (two exterior and two facings). Place them right sides together along their angled ends. Pin in place.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together.
- Press the seam allowances open and flat.
NOTE: The two seamed panels are essentially the same, but if one is a better fussy cut and seam match than the other, choose it as your “exterior” and keep the other as your “facing.”
- Open up the back panel right side up and flat on your work panel. Make a small clip at the exact center of the panel’s point.
- Place the assembled exterior back border accent panel right sides together along the bottom raw edge of the fabric panel, aligning the border accent panel’s seam with the clip you made in the point. Remember to keep track of any directional motifs; you are pinning the top raw edge of the border accent panel to the bottom raw edge of the main fabric panel. Pin the border in place on the back panel.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch all the way across the bottom of the back panel. Start at one edge, stitch into the seam of the border accent panel, stop and pivot, and then stitch out to the opposite edge. You can see that we are stitching right along the “red border” stripe that we original fussy cut.
- At the back panel’s “point,” trim and clip the seam to allow for the sharpest point.
- Press the seam allowance down towards the border accent panel.
Attach the bottom border accent panels to the front panels
- Find the two main front panels and the two exterior front accent border panels (the remaining two border accent panels are the facings).
- Pin a border panel to the bottom raw edge of each front panel, aligning the inner edges and pining across to the outer side edges.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across the bottom of each front panel.
- Press each seam allowance down towards the border accent panel.
Make the belt loops
- Find the two 4” x 1” strips.
- Fold each in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease line.
- Open wrong side up so the crease line is visible and press each raw edge into the middle to meet at the crease line.
- Fold in half again along the original crease line and press. The raw edges are now hidden within the folds. The ends are raw.
- If necessary, re-thread with thread to best match the belt loop fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Stitch along the folded edges of each strip.
- Set aside the two finished loop strips.
Assemble front to back
- Place the two front panels right sides together with the back panel. You will be pinning along the top edge of each front panel, the top edge of each sleeve, the bottom of each sleeve, and down the side.
- When pinning along the top edge and across the top of the sleeves, carefully match up the vertical sleeve and border panel seams front to back.
- Pin from the open end of each sleeve into the corner ( this corner is the bottom of the previous vertical seam that attached the sleeve to the front panel).
- Then pin all the way down each side. Make sure the bottom border accent panels are also precisely aligned front to back.
- Measure 5” down from each sleeve corner point. This is where the belt loops will be placed.
- Find the two loop strips. Fold each in half, aligning the raw ends. Slip the loop between the front and back layers at the marked 5” point. Pin each loop in place; the raw ends of the loop are flush with the raw edges of the front and back layers. You can also hand baste the loops in place for extra security while finishing.
- Replace and smooth the pinned layers as necessary.
- Similarly to how you pinned, using a ½” seam allowance, stitch in the same pattern. First along both sides of the top edge. Next, from the open end of each sleeve into the corner. Stop in the corner, pivot, and continue stitching down each side.
- Finish all the seam allowances with your preferred method.
Attach the bottom facing
- Find the bottom facing panels: two for the front and the one seamed section for the back.
- Pin one front facing panel to either side of the assembled back facing panel.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the two short seams.
- Press the seam allowances open and flat.
- Press back the top edge of the assembled facing strip ½”. You do need to keep track of which way is up when working with facings. You are pressing back the top edge because once seamed and folded into position on the wrong side of the main garment, this is the edge that will be right side up and will cover the inner seam allowance.
- Place the assembled and pressed facing right sides together along the full bottom edge of the garment, aligning the raw edge of the facing with the bottom raw edge of the accent border panel. First align the center back seams, then pin out and around to either side of the front.
- Using a ½” seam allowance stitch the facing in place. Remember to stop and pivot at the back seam.
- Then continue stitching all the way across to finish at the opposite front panel.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Bring the facing up into position so the facing/border accent panel seam is now the bottom of the garment and the folded edge of the facing now covers the upper main panel/border accent panel seam allowance.
- Pin the facing in place.
- Make sure the machine is threaded with thread to best match the border accent panel fabric in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch slightly.
- Topstitch ⅛” from the main panel/border accent panel seam within the border accent panel, securing the facing.
Attach the sleeve facings
- Find the two sleeve facing panels. Fold each one in half, right sides together, aligning the 4¼” ends. Pin in place, forming a loop.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the fabric in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- As you did with the bottom facing, press back the top edge of the facing loop ½”.
- Slip a facing loop over one sleeve so the two pieces are right sides together. Align the facing loop seam the bottom sleeve seam. Pin all the way around.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch all around. If your machine has a free arm, now is a good time to use it.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Bring the facing up into position at the inside of the sleeve so the seam becomes the finished open end of the sleeve.
- Pin the facing in place. You’ll be stitching on the right side of the fabric.
- Make sure your machine is threaded with thread to best match the border accent panel fabric portion in the top and bobbin. Lengthen the stitch slightly.
- Starting at the bottom seam, topstitch all around just within the border, securing the facing. Repeat to add the facing to the opposite sleeve.
Attach the neck and front facing
- Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the lightweight interfacing to the wrong side of the neck facing as well as the two front facing pieces. The facing and the fabric should be flush on all sides.
- Pin the top of each front facing to either end of the neck facing, right sides together.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary to match the fabrics in the top and bobbin. Re-set the stitch length to normal.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch each short seam. Press open the seam allowance.
- Clip along the outer curve of the neck facing.
- Fold back the outer edge of the entire facing (neck and fronts) ½”. In addition, fold up the bottom edge of each front facing ½”.
- Find the main garment. Make sure it is right side out. Pull out the little belt loops into position along each side.
- Place the raw edge of the facing right sides together with the raw edge of the front panel: both sides of the front and around the neck. Pin in place. The upper seams of the facing should align with the top seams of the garment.
- The fold at the bottom of each front facing should be adjusted so the bottom of the facing is flush with the bottom finished border accent of the kimono.
- Starting at one bottom corner, and using a ½” seam allowance, stitch the facing in place.
- Stitch up one side, around the neck, and down the opposite side, ending at the opposite bottom border – remember to adjust that bottom fold as necessary so it is flush.
- Clip the upper curve around the neck.
- Press the seam allowance flat to set the seam, then fold the facing into position on the inside of the garment. It should overlap the bottom facing at both sides of the front opening. Pin the facing in place.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the main panel fabric in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Topstitch all around to secure the facing. Measure your facing from seam to inner fold to set the distance that will be closest to the inner fold of the facing, but will still securely catch it all around. We used the excellent plate markings on our Continental M7 to keep a precise distance of 1⅞” for our sample.
- Re-thread the machine if necessary with thread to best match the bottom border accent fabric in the top and bobbin. Keep the lengthened stitch. Edgestitch around the entire bottom edge of the garment.
- The garment is now neatly finished on both sides
Make the belt
- Find the two 4” x 37” strips. Place the two strips right sides together, pin together along one 4” end.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch together to form one long strip. Press open the seam allowance.
- Fold this long strip in half, right sides together. Pin across both ends and along the side, leaving an approximate 3-4” opening for turning near the center – but not across the seam.
- Using a ½” seam allowance, stitch across both ends and down the long side. Remember to pivot at each corner and to lock the seam at either side of the 3-4” opening.
- Clip the corners and press open the seam allowance, including along the opening.
- Turn right side out through the opening. Use a long, blunt tool to help turn and to gently push out the corners. A knitting needle, chopstick or point turner all work well.
- Press flat, again pressing the seam allowance along the opening flush with the sewn seam.
- Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread and slip stitch the opening closed.
- Thread the belt through the belt loops.
Project Design: Anne Adams
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Debbie Guild