There….I said it…but seriously, I have actually used the robe I made below already – YES,- reason being that we have been leaving the windows open so first thing in the morning, it is actually quite chilly inside as the temps drop substantially overnight.

OK so among the many things I had to learn after I emigrated to Canada, was that were certain “rules” that were considered rather important by some people. Such as: It is SO not cool to wear white before 1st May and after 1st Sept.  This seemed rather bizarre to me coming from a country where seasons were nowhere near as pronounced as in Canada. However, I was a newbie and keen not to rock the boat too much with my different African ways, so this stuck in my mind.

Where am I going with this? Well we are now into September and so I feel it is quite safe to dare to mention the dreaded F word: Fall. Your leaves may be pretty colourful by now and some may even have fallen off trees? We are a bit behind other parts of Canada, but the crisper mornings & evenings tell me that my winter clothing will soon be used frequently.

Wonderfully soft and cuddly minkee.

I sewed this warm winter wrap robe during those stiflingly hot summer days in August. I dared not breathe a word to anyone that I was doing something so very silly. Just cutting the minkee type fabric made me perspire…….remember – ladies do NOT sweat! However, I knew if I did not really get cracking during the summer months with sewing gifts & garments needed for winter and Christmas, it probably would not get done at all.  So I poured another tall iced tea and soldiered on with sewing minkee in August!!

I bought this minkee fabric at one of my dealers – Prince George (Prince George Sewing Center) last year and made it up into a soft, cuddly blanket for my precious little grandbaby as a 2011 Christmas gift.  Now that was a terribly difficult project?! ………….Cut the edges straight with a rotary cutter & ruler, turn over a hem of about 1/2 – 3/4 inch on all 4 sides and sew down with a suitable stretch stitch using a blending sewing thread colour in needle & bobbin. Probably took me no more than 30-4o minutes. If you want to be done even quicker, cut the edges with a curvy/scallop/pinking blade in the rotary cutter Rotary Cutter Blade - Scallop

and it becomes a NO-sew project! THIS is literally a 10 minute project. My little one loves her blankee & drags it around the house.

I don’t know about you but I don’t think it is only little kids who love the soft, fuzzy feel of minkee so I bought more of the same fabric on a visit to Prince George this year (I was so glad they had not sold out of this fabric)  And it has now become a super warm & cuddy winter robe – just the thing for keeping warm and lounging around watching TV on a cold winter’s night.

I have 3 dressing gown/robe patterns in my collection at home. All are wrap style as I cannot be bothered with buttons or zippers on a robe.  I have actually used them all at one time or another so I know they all work.  Kwiksew #2029; Simplicity #7051 or McCalls 2022.  (see below though I am not sure they are still current as I’ve owned them for quite a while – any similar pattern should work fine)

I used the Simplicity pattern for the minkee winter robe and the Mccalls one for the summer african print robe (See blog post coming soon dealing with shell tucks/picot edging).


These robes are super quick & easy to make – they HAD to be as it was like a sauna in my sewing room.  I threaded up my serger for 4 thread serged seams and simply serged the shoulder, side & sleeve seams about as quickly as it takes to pour another iced tea!

I will tell you that I did not worry with the band down the 2 front edges & around neck.  I figured the robe was about comfort & not about couture finishing.  I also did not make pockets as I don’t use them – just my luck and I will forget a kleenex in a pocket and then it will cause a real mess in the washing machine!

All I did was finish off the edge all the way around + sleeve openings with a 4 thread serged edge. This fabric does not unravel but I nonetheless wanted a “sealed” edge & I did not want to turn over the edge twice due to the bulk of this fabric. The minkee was turned over to the reverse side after serging the edge (4 thread overedge finish) and then stitched down with the elastic stitch & yellow sewing thread (see pic below). The Elastic stitch is a suitable stretch stitch that sank down into the minkee and is barely visible. Plus it stretches so it won’t snap if the fabric gets pulled in the washer or when I try to reach to the top shelf in my kitchen – a straight stitch might snap.

The Elastic stitch will be found on many of our ELNA sewing machines. On the EL740 Excellence it is in the Utility menu #11.



About lizafrica

I am the National Education Manager for Janome & Elna Canada (including Artistic Creative products) and I LOVE to sew! I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.

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