A few weeks ago, lovely Nina from Nina Lee asked me to be part of her tester group for Seraya Robe, Summer Essentials, which is a relaxed robe that I think is quite versatile and depending on the fabric you can wear it around the house or take it out into the world.
The pattern comes with two lengths options. I chose to test the longer version, I had the perfect fabric for it, a crinkle cotton that I wanted to test for Minerva (more information about how I got along with working with the fabric will be on Minerva’s blog soon) and I had enough about this fabric to make it.
I cut a size 10 with no changes. I wanted the dress to hit my ankles so , I know that if i needed to take out anything I can do it later at the hem. The dress is basically one big rectangle. I found the instructions really easy to follow and even the harder part, finishing the neckline with bias tape. For my dress I used a combination of the instructions and the tutorial on Wendy Ward’s blog about how to finish V necks on a woven fabric with bias tape. I have to say, I am pretty please with the result, even if i had to baste everything together.
In my haste to make the dress, I ended up sewing the sleeves and sides right sides together. I mean we always sew the right sides together, right! Well no, not with this one, to finish it off once the channel for the ties is in, we sew the sleeves and sides wrong sides together. My friend the unpick had to come out for this one. I had to be careful not to run the fabric while taking those stitches out.
Because I did not want to spent forever and a day to hem four sides, I overlocked all the edges and used this as a guide to turn over twice and stitch in place. I know that on the widest setting the distance from the left needle to the edge is 7 mm.
I did not have to shorten the finished dress, as it was already at my ankles. Also, I used for the ties organza ribbon as I wanted a little contrast to all the gray.
Going into this project I did not think the robe will be too flattering on me. But I was so wrong. I love the neckline. It’s simple yet effective. the slight V shape make it delicate. As the waist ties bring in the fabric closer to the body, the robe does not make me look like a barrell, as I would have expected.
And yes, one can walk comfortably in this dress. I had to test this by seeing how far it opens. Since I made it I’ve been wearing it a lot around the house. It would lend itself as the perfect beach cover up.
Rather than sewing the sides all the way up one can only sew the front and the back together to about knee level and leave the rest opened. That way you might even be able to run in this dress.
Will I use this pattern again? Well, of course, I’ll be making a few more versions of the longe dress as well as at least one short one too.