Vintage dressing gown in plaid flannel

Sometimes you get an idea for a project that feels like it comes out of no where, but once you sew up the item you realize it was so YOU all along!

Late in the summer, I started thinking about dressing gowns. House coats. House dresses. Hostess gowns. Hostess dresses. Brunch coats. Whatever you want to call them. Vintage dresses that zip up the front, of varying lengths and styles. I think the seed was planted when someone first suggested that the pattern for my 50s blouses that I sewed this summer would be great hacked into a dress with a zip up the front (since there’s already a center front seam—btw I toootally plan to do that next summer), much like the Bernie Dexter Mari dress. And I’d also made a floor-length maxi dress this summer. I think the two things just merged into my head, and I swished them around and popped out a seasonally-appropriate flannel dressing gown early this fall!

I used Butterick 7053, view B. View B is described as a robe although I prefer calling it a dressing gown, as I think of robes as open in the front and held shut with a belt and inner tie. View C, the shorter length, is described as a brunch coat.

It took yaaards of plaid cotton flannel (this one here from Mood). I think I needed about 4 and a half yards total. That’s… a lot of plaid. To wash, to dry, to work with, to match up the print.

I’d sewn with plaid before but for my intense love of plaid, not as often as you might think. The matching took quite some time (thankfully it prepped me for even more matching on a later project I’ll share soon). Is it 100%? Nope. But it’s pretty damn good, especially for including a huge skirt, center front seam, a 30″ long slot seam zipper up for the front, and set-in sleeves.

I liked that the original cover showed contrasting cuffs, collar and belt on the 3/4 sleeve view, and I kept that with some random red cotton in my stash. At a friend’s suggestion on Instagram, when I waffled between plaid or red on the belt, I did one on each side! It’s the perfect touch.

The turned back cuffs are a nice element, too.

And because who in the hell wants to lounge around their house without pockets, of course I added in-seam pockets!

I did a muslin first so I knew the bodice would fit the way I wanted, and just needed to lower the bust darts and shorten the waist as per usual. With a well-fitting bodice (which does relax a bit with wearing, it being flannel and all) and such a sweeping skirt, I feel completely glamorous in this, in the most casual and comfy of ways. It’s such a fun juxtaposition! And it’s long enough I could easily hide a layer of long underwear under it and no one (read: Mel and our pets, maybe the mail carrier… it’s not like I’m wearing this out into the world) would be the wiser.

All-in-all, a wonderful garment for colder months.

Pardon me while I go glamorously swish around my house in my dressing gown now!

outfit details

dressing gown – made by me
shoes – M. Gemi
earrings – vintage

The plaid fabric in this post was provided by Mood Fabrics in exchange for my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

Filed: Sewing, Vintage Wardrobe

Tagged: , , , , ,

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Golly, 37 Comments!

  • Beyond fabulous, as usual. I have this pattern and aI now need to go out and find some black watch tartan. Though the idea of matching the plaids is always stressful. Did you buy extra yardage to cover it? Did you find you went over the pattern estimate by a lot? Thanks for keeping us inspired.

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    • Thanks! So my fabric was 56″ wide but given that it’s flannel probably shrank a bit, though I didn’t measure. I had 5 yards to be SAFE, and had only about 1/2 a yard leftover. For my view the yardage estimate (just went back to check) was 3 1/8 for 54″ fabric, so I went about a yard and a quarter over. I think the fabric eater was the skirt and not being able to place it on a no nap layout, so they all had to go the same direction.

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    • And I can agree that matching all that plaid is stressful!! 🙂 But so worth it.

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  • Beautiful dress and the touches of red serve as a nice contract. I love long swishy dresses, so much fun to walk in.

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  • I too, have recently been dreaming of a “swishy” dressing gown. Take a look at “White Christmas”, Rosemary Clooney’s pj’s and dressing gown are great inspirations. I love what you have made. It is feminine, yet functional. Hope it brings you many warm seasons! One more comment, the “Mystery” sweater you had completed recently (“Quest of the Missing Map”) left me in awe of your talent! It was fabulous!

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    • Both her and Vera Ellen’s wardrobes in White Christmas are dreamy!! I’ve been inspired by many of them. And thanks so much on the dressing gown and sweater. 🙂

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  • What did you use for the cuffs and collar?

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  • Absolutely gorgeous! I can imagine how nice and glamorous you must feel swishing around your house! Love it XXX

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  • Wow. Absolutely beautiful.

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  • What a beautiful project! It looks wonderful and the blue in the plaid is such a great color on you. Enjoy swishing!

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  • This was so much fun to see and read! I’m 63 so your dressing gown and background brings back actual memories (although my mother was not so glamourous!) Great plaid matching I’d say!

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  • I don’t know what it would take for you to describe the pattern match as 100%! That looks perfecto!!

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    • Ha ha! Well it could be a bit better where the front sleeve meets the bodice, and there’s a blip you can’t actually see under the belt. But it’s quite close. 😉

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  • So glamorous!

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  • Your dressing gown is absolutely stunning! So stunning that I went on etsy immediately after reading your post and dropped $30 on the pattern… Which I will have to grade up! Gulp! But I have been wanting what my mom used to call a housecoat for a while now and something in flannel for myself in the “pj” department and seeing yours made me have to try this! I am a total sucker for plaids. Making 5 button up shirts out of plaid for Christmas as presents this year. Must be matched of course! Some plaids are nicely on grain and some are not. And I also know that for something this monumental I should look for a balanced plaid to make it a bit easier on myself. Yours looks almost balanced. Hope that little double white line versus the single white line didn’t make it too hard on you! Thanks for all the amazing inspiration you provide with your sewing. I always love reading your posts but this is the first time I’ve gotten up the nerve to write you.

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    • Thanks for the reply, Lori! I don’t worry too much about the tiny little differences and it was definitely easier than some plaids I’ve worked with. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a drag to grade this up but at least it’s a pretty simple shape! It definitely qualifies as being in the PJ department without looking like it. 😀

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  • I would feel so glamorous wearing something like this!

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  • Ooh fabulous, and it looks toasty-warm as well!

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  • Wowsers!!!! This is absolutely amazing! I love the red contrast too.

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  • Completely marvellous! I’m just sad you won’t be wearing it out of the house! I certainly would if I’d made such a wonderful item, house coat be damned! It’s glorious, the world should see it! Thank you for sharing.

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  • You say it’s not 100%, then it must be 99,99%. I think its perfect, a marvellous job. 🙂 I love your glasses and your home too. All very stylish. Have a great day. 🙂

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  • Eeeeep!!!! Every time you sew a garment, I am blown away and realize I need the same article of clothing in my life!!! A swooshy house dress? In flannel? Comfy yet oozing style? YESSSSSSS!!!! Okay, now back to the sweatshop that is sewing all 45 piano students little gifts for the holidays….I will dream of it. Thanks for the constant inspiration!

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  • I love it! I have been thinking about making some kind of long, flannel loungey thing but I haven’t had a clear vision of what I want it to be exactly.

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