Thursday, July 27, 2017

Testing, testing: Helen's Closet Suki Kimono Robe

Just when I was in the market for a new robe because my old one had begun to disintegrate on my body, Helen of Helen's Closet had a new robe pattern ready for testing!

This is the Suki Kimono pattern, a basic, but yet not basic, kimono-sleeved robe. 

As Helen describes it, "The Suki Kimono is a luxurious and comfortable robe, perfect for everyday use. It wraps around the body for a flattering waist fit and flares out over the hips. Kimono sleeves offer a classic look while still being a practical shape and length for getting ready in the morning...The Suki Kimono will surely be your new favorite loungewear!"

I appreciate the drama of the sleeves, but the shorter, 3/4 length is perfect, because that means I'm less likely to accidentally dip them in my coffee or eggs!

I love all the little details on this robe, but in particular, I appreciate that the waist tie is sewn to the back of the robe! It's an awesomely functional detail. On the RTW robe I was using before, I kept losing the belt when it slid out of the belt loops, but the Suki's belt stays put!

It's also got inner waist ties to make sure the robe stays closed and doesn't slip open. And yes, these are my schlubby pajamas... PJ pants or shorts and a t-shirt. A stark contrast to my elegant Suki!

The Suki pattern also has an interesting set-in partial front band that you can't see in my photos because of the busy print, but is visible in some of Helen's samples and in her lovely pattern illustrations. The partial front band involves a right angle turn. It's a little bit fiddly to sew, but totally do-able. Helen also provides instructions for sewing the Suki with a full band that goes all the way to the hem, in case you're interested in a less fiddly option. 

Some of Helen's testers did contrasting colors for the front band, sleeve bands and waist tie. They turned out gorgeous! 

More details on my robe: I cut view A, the mid-calf version in size XL. It's close fitting at the waist, but skims out over the hip. 

Because my serger is still on its way from Bangkok to Burlington, I sewed my Suki with french seams throughout, which means I switched up the construction slightly so that my sleeves were set-in, rather than sewn flat before the side seams. I clean finished the arm bands and neckband, so it's pretty spiffy on the inside!

My fabric is a rayon challis from Joann Fabric. You might remember I used the blue colorway for my Olivia dress last year!). 

Although the pattern calls for something lightweight and drapey, I am curious to try the Suki in a cuddly fleece for winter. I think I will size up, do the full front band, and skip the pockets.

Another great pattern from Helen's Closet! Fabulous, detailed instructions, lovely design, and an elegant but practical final product. I'm wearing mine right now as I type this, which is indicative of how useful it is!