Comments on the OTM Tabard

I’ve had a chance to wear both the tunic/gown and the tabard/robe.  The gown is perfect.  I regret making it out of cheap fabric. However, I have noted every alteration to the basic pattern and can easily duplicate the next time. The Tabard/robe however is going to need some tweaks to be successful as a bathrobe. For starters I added 14 inches in length which is entirely too much.  I need to remove about 5″.  I don’t like my clothing getting ragged by dragging the ground as I walk. Also, I regularly, like a dozen times a day, take the stairs in my house.  I hate tripping on my clothing.  The robe must be shortened.  I do like the width of the tabard.  With a long sleeve blouse/T-shirt, it would be a great autumn garment for outside or perfect when you need just a bit extra inside the house.  It is not enough if wearing 3/4 or short sleeves outside (for me at least) and not enough for a robe to wear in the evening after a bath, again for me.  I tend to be much colder than everyone else.  I need my arms covered; that’s just the way I am.  The fix will be a kimono type sleeve about 12″ wide.  Lastly while the open sides swirl wonderfully and would again be great for an autumn outdoors garment or a spectacular accessory indoors, as an after bath robe, it allows to much air flow for me. I keep emphasizing that, because I know that I feel colder than nearly everyone else.  If you are considering this pattern based on my experience, then do take into consideration my tendency to need extra warmth.   So for starters, I will be tacking the sides together from about the knee up to the sleeve hem.  I will leave sleeve vents to aid with movement.  Once this is done, and I’ve had a chance to live in the garment again, I’ll report back.


Progress on the 3rd piece to the set above:


I decided upon using Kwik Sew 3661.  These are garments that I stopped to make because I need new sleep wear for the cooler weather.  Usually the actual sleep garments last about 2 years. I’ll have one left from the previous year and will eventually get a second one made.  You only need 1 set.  I prefer 2 or 3 so that I don’t have to rush the laundry.  For several years, I’d been using my silky long johns as bottoms as well as under my pants on cold mornings and days. My silky johns came from Walmart and were a total surprise.  They were soft and wonderful ……  and 100% polyester.  It’s that thing again where polyester can be dreadful or wonderful. In this case it was wonderful.  My silkies keep me dry and warm.  Since I retired I don’t wear them as much and didn’t have reason to replace as frequently.  At the beginning of summer, I cleaned out my chest of drawers of all ugly underwear.  I also decided that the silkies which were too big (purchased when desperately needed and heck nobody sees these anyway) anyway too big too gone. Starting this year I have 1 pair of silkies and 2 pair of KS3661 dance tights.  1 pair was made from the original pattern without alterations.  I altered the pattern and made the second pair. Perfect. So technically I have 3 pair of white long johns for the winter.


In the stash was a light weight knit purchased when Walmart in Sioux Falls decided to test selling 5 yard bolts. I believe it failed.  They were $7, then $5 (for the entire bolt) and finally $2.  $2 for 5 yards of fabric. Now I’m not sure this is cheap yucky fabric, as in my gown.  But not too many people were interested in stashing 5 yards of light, almost transparent 100% polyester knit.  I think Walmart tested with the wrong type of fabric.  I heard they tried this once before with 1 yard precuts and fat quarters.  The fat quarters were the only successful precut.  Problem is Walmart doesn’t understand the home sewing world.  While quilters would be interested in good quality fat quarters, they aren’t likely to purchase more than 1 of each print.  Crafters might purchase a few, but they look at color and pattern coordination.  Dressmakers look the other way.  1 yard cuts?  Quilters need 3.5 (I think) to finish the back of the quilt and otherwise seldom purchase a full yard (I am of course speaking of those quilters I know and who shared their thoughts with me.  You might be different).  Dressmakers rarely buy a yard of anything.  Even a T-shirt calls for 1-1/4 yards. We seldom buy a coordinating trim. We’re more likely to say “oh look and I can use the 3/4 yard I have left from such and such.”   5 yards is enough to cover a large chair. Who buys and why do they buy 5 yards of fabric?  Make that 5 yards of thin knit fabric?  I purchased 3.  I knew that I wanted to make my own winter long johns, and some  lingerie. One of the bolts matched the pink of the gown exactly. I mean like it came out of the same dye lot.


I didn’t stop with 1 pair of bottoms.  I decided I should use up the whole 5 yards and have it out of the stash. I made 2 pair of bottoms and then pulled out Louise Cuttings Ebb and Flow pattern to make a second night gown.


These are almost done, maybe I’ll have them finished tomorrow.  Today I have a volunteer activity which I’m dreading because last night I had another bad night with reflux.  Today I’m feeling bad, but it’s too late to find a substitute and I’m not seriously ill, just feeling badly.  My activity will only take about 4 hours and then I can come home and go back to bed.  Maybe tomorrow I can finish my winter sleep wear.


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