So, below the dashed line is the draft (almost complete) of the dress I made but then I found a Vogue pattern 1288 which is similar and think they will have proper instructions and a graded pattern from a professional pattern maker, unlike yours truly who basically is a “pattern winger”.


This pattern is slightly different than mine. Mainly, it has an invisible zip at the back while mine has elastic at the waist and can be pulled over the head. Second, it does not have those nice pleats in the front which gives a bit of tulip shape to the skirt.

I found the pattern randomly on Very Purple Person’s blog and she lays out her steps of attaching the bodice to the lining, which resolved my issue mentioned in my draft at the bottom! Basically sew side seams of bodice and lining, then bodice to neck at arms and neck leaving a little gap at shoulder. Understitch. Then sew shoulder of bodice and dress and then slip stitch lining to bodice at shoulder seams. Not that difficult at all.

—-To document the steps for my own log, here’s the draft of instructions before getting a chance to put the pattern up here ———

I want to document my first ever self drafted garment. Actually that’s a lie, it’s based on an existing dress I had. I guess it should be first dress made without a ready pattern, which I can now make again and again.

Fabric: 2m main self fabric, 2m lining, 1/4 – 1/2″ elastic


0. Cut fabric according to the “pattern” below. These measurements are for a size xs (bust:32″, waist: 27″, hips: 34″)

1. Sew the top front lining to the top front around arm holes, neck and shoulder seams. Press. Repeat for the back. Turn inside out.

2. Pin and sew, front + back lining and front + back self, right sides together, along the side seams. Finish seams as desired.Press.

3. Attach the front and back pieces along the shoulder seams using french seams. Press.

4. Hem or serge the bottom for self top. Set aside.

5. Starting with the centre pleat, sew all the pleats in the skirt self, by stitching along the fold (to make the pleat) 1.5″ down, then across the width of the pleat. There are 8 pleats in all, 4 on each side.

6. Baste across all pleats within the 1/2″ seam allowance

7. Make 2, 1″ pleats on the lining. The width of the lining should now match the skirt. Pin and sew the skirt and lining along the waist, wrong sides together, using 1″ seam allowance. Press

8. Attach the bodice to the skirt. Pin and sew the skirt and bodice lining matching all side and centre seams, right sides together, using 1″ seam allowance. Press.

9. Fold 1/4″ seam allowance of skirt and bodice inside and press. Now pin and topstitch this to the skirt using 1/8″ seam allowance but do not sew all around. Leave a 2″ gap for the elastic.

10. Put the elastic in all the way around, zigzag stitch to make the elastic loop and then sew the remaining 2″ gap shut.

11. Hem the bottom of the skirt and hem/serge the bottom of the skirt lining. Press. Thats it! It’s done.

PS: In the original dress, the lining was stitched to the self and understitched all the way round which I couldn’t figure out how to do. Also, there was no visible seam at the shoulder when joining the front top with front back, which also I couldn’t work out.



What happens when you need to wind a bobbin on a vintage beauty but your bobbin winder is having issues, like there is no belt which is to move to do the winding? You make sure you have your mum around who will show you a trick or two.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the easiest way to wind your bobbin (although I think this will only be true for older industrial sewing machines) Things you need: A thin pencil, makeup brush, or anything that will slide through the bobbin easily Instructions:

  • Place a spool of thread on the spool pin and wind a few threads by hand around the bobbin to start
  • Slide the bobbin through your thin pencil
  • Hold the other end of the pencil. The pencil should be horizontal,  and the bobbin parallel to the hand crank

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  • Press the footer thing to run the machine. Hold the thread with the free hand to direct it as it winds on!

I looked at my mum in awe. This is now my go-to bobbin winding method (for this machine). Who was it that said, sometimes something good comes out of distress, or something along those lines?


How much do I love stuff that’s free? Not too much.

How much do I love good stuff that’s free? A whole lot.

For future reference, here are the “pattern” and instructions to make a fully lined robe! Actually it’s reversible, which is why I’ve used really nice soft navy for the outside and the same material, but in off-white, for the inside (lining). If anyone actually reads this AND ends up using this to make a robe, please share it with me. It will cheer me up to no end. Thank you in advance.


You have to make your own pattern according to your measurements. This size should fit a XS – S and maybe a M. Here are my sizes.

Main piece: My shoulders are 16″, add 8″ (4″ on each side) to determine the width of your back piece, which includes a 1/2″ seam allowance. I wanted the robe to hit just below the knee which (shoulder to knee) was 39″.

Sleeve: It depends on how wide and long you want your sleeves to be. I wanted mine to be 12″ wide and 11″ in length.

Pattern 1 Pattern 2


0. Cut self and lining according to your measurements, using pattern above. Remember to cut lining 1/2″ shorter than the self. All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless stated otherwise.

1. With right sides together, pin and sew the left front and right front with the back, along the shoulder seams.  Press seams open.


2. With right sides together, pin and sew sleeve with the bodice. Make sure that the centre of the sleeve (when folded half lengthwise) matches the shoulder seam from step 1. Press seams towards sleeve. Repeat with the other sleeve. (PS: Sorry about the terrible photos)

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3. With right sides together, pin and sew along the side seams and sleeves, starting from the hem. Press seams open. Repeat steps 1 – 2 – 3 for lining.

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4. Right sides together, pin and sew right-front self with right-front lining starting from the end of the collar mark down it’s length till the hem. Remember, the lining will be 1/2″ shorter than the self. Press seams together towards lining. Repeat for left-front self with left – front lining.



5. Insert the rest of the lining in to the self / shell (the main outer fabric piece), wrong sides together as if you were dressing the lining with the self. Set aside.

6. Take the collar band and if required attach them together (short side) to form one long band. Press 1/2″ seam allowance on to the wrong side, along the length(s) and then fold and press the entire band in half (lengthwise also). Open all folds, and fold 1/2″ seam on to the wrong side, on the two shorter sides. Pin and sew.


7. Fold the collar band in half by bringing the two short sides together to find the collar centre.

Making sure that the collar centre matches the centre back, pin the collar to the lining and self. Right side of the collar should be pinned to the “right side” of the lining which is now the inside of your bodice.

Sew in the “ditch” – the 1/2″ fold all the way around.

Fold the collar band towards the right side (outside) of your garment using the “middle fold” that you had pressed, then fold the other 1/2″ fold inside between wrong side of collar and right side of self so that all raw edges are hidden. Pin and sew using minimum seam allowance (1/8″ or 1/6″) along the fold. Press.

This process is similar to bias binding. See a great tutorial here.

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8. Fold 1/2″ of the lining and self inside (in the middle) of the free end of the sleeve. Pin and topstitch with minimum seam allowance (1/8″ or 1/6″) along the fold. Press. Repeat for the other sleeve.

9. Hem. Fold the self 1/2″ inside and press. Fold 1/2″ again (this time along with the lining) and sew. The robe is almost done!

10. Take the waist band and attach them together to form one long band. Repeat for “lining”. Right sides together, pin and sew along the 2 longer sides. Attach a large safety pin to one of the shorter sides and by pushing the pin in, gently turn the band, right side out.  For both of the shorter sides, fold 1/2″ of both fabric in towards the middle to make a sandwich of the ends, and topstitch to finish off the waistband. At this point you can topstitch all around the band, if you like. Press.

11. Optional. If you like you can attach loops on the bodice but I skipped this because I like to have the flexibility to tie my band at varying heights.

That’s it! Enjoy lounging in your fancy new robe!