I wear my Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet all the time – so when when Helen asked me to test her new Pattern, the Suki Kimono, I was totally on board. I already have two robes – one is a really fluffy light pink bath robe that my Grandma gave me for Christmas one year and another one is one I got at one of the Victoria Secret sales a couple of years ago. To be honest I don’t really wear either of those robes… but I was pretty sure that this one would have something to offer that neither of those have.
I chose a rayon satin from Harts Fabric. I wasn’t really sure what rayon satin is since I’ve never worked with it before. It turns out that rayon is the material the fabric is is made of and satin refers to the weave of the fabric. The satin weave is what makes the fabric smooth and glossy looking.
One of the great things about this pattern is how customizable it is. You can easily make the sleeves longer or make the front band extend all the way down. I made view B without contrast bands. I used a size S bust and graded out to a size M at the hips. I also shortened the front and back pieces by 2 inches.
The most frustrating step in this whole project for me was cutting out the fabric. The rayon satin was extra shifty and slid around easily, which made it super difficult to cut out. It ended up taking me way longer than I expected to cut out the pattern.
Once I had everything cut out though it was pretty smooth sailing. I appreciated that Helen had you do some of the smaller steps ahead of time like making the loops. That way you can get them out of the way while you still have a lot of momentum going.
I length of the sleeve is perfect – they aren’t going to get in the way at all but also add a little bit of drama to the robe. The inner ties and the tie that is secured at the back really help to keep everything in place. I don’t ever feel at risk of the robe falling open. I also love how high up the neckline is. It really makes a huge difference in how comfortable I feel in the robe when I’m not worried about it staying in place.
I used french seams for a clean finish on the inside. Helen added instructions for how to do a clean finish in the final version, but I sort of winged it. When I got to the front band I also wanted that to have a clean finish so I ended up sewing the outer neckband to the front, sewing the front seams, including adding the front inner tie, and then folding the front band over the front edge, and hand sewing the inside of the front band down. In the end I’m really glad I decided to use clean finishes on this since I wanted something a little more special than the two robes I already have. This definitely fits that. I can see myself wearing this in the mornings on the weekend and wearing it to sew in when working on a project where I need to try on something multiple times.