I was going through my patterns and trying to do some organizing and THINKING about getting rid of some! I organize in terms of priority sewing. What I want to sew next, gets hung up on my wall so that I can see it. This seems to get me motivated.
I came across Simplicity 5931. It's an easy robe pattern that I have made twice but have not blogged about it. Both times I sewed this robe was for Christmas gifts. The 1st one I made was 2 Christmas' ago. It was a thick fleece robe made for my niece. It was easy to sew and I followed the directions to the letter and had no problems. The fleece was a bit bulky at some seams but my machine was able to handle it just fine. I also used this pattern for this past Christmas. I sewed a cotton (light weight) robe for my girlfriend's 10 year old daughter. Personally, I don't really like robes, especially heavy long ones. Since my girlfriend's daughter is very petite. I thought a light cotton robe that stopped at or just below the knee might suit her well.
A word of warning about this pattern... it uses a lot of fabric because of the length of the robe. Since I wanted a short robe, I cut out her size (child's medium) but used the child's small for pattern pieces 1 (front and under collar), 3 (back) and 5 (front facing and upper collar). I also did not sew on pockets. A light robe didn't seem to warrant pockets.
I did follow the directions very closely. It did call for slip stitching the sleeve hem but I chose to machine stitch that part. I also increased my stitch length to 3.5 and it seemed to give a smoother finish to the sleeve and top stitching. I did hand sew (slip stitch) the collar facing as directed in step 17.
As you can see in the picture above, I did serge all the seams. In most cases I serged the seam and then went back and straight stitched to secure the seam. Since the fabric is cotton, I expect it to fray much less since I serged the seams.
I also top stitched the entire front collar. I started from the bottom front and stitched all the way up and around the collar coming back down to the bottom front, as suggested in step 18. However, the directions suggest 1/2" from the edge. That's too big of a gap for me. I sewed closer to 1/8" from the seam edge.
Another word of caution when using interfacing for the collar. Do not use inexpensive interfacing like I did for the collar. When you go to iron the collar (after it's all stitched up), your fabric will start to pucker and can look terrible because the interfacing can not really take the heat from the iron. To try to mitigate this, I didn't use a cotton heat setting on my iron. I went to a cooler setting. This was still not ideal because it was still hard to press the cotton and I really don't think it's worth the extra effort to tip-toe around lesser quality interfacing. Save yourself the headache and use good quality interfacing. I think you'll be much happier for it.
The sewing time was fairly quick. I don't think it took me more than 4 hours to sew the robe together. I did start and stop a lot. I think you might be able to get it done quicker, if you don't have to stop and start a bunch of times.