Wednesday, June 07, 2006

robe and candy cane

Here it is: the much-anticipated bathrobe.

I know I promised a saga, but it's really more of a tale of woe, so I think I won't bore you with all the grisly details. But here are just a few of the grisly details:
  • fusible interfacing. the point of this stuff is clear enough (to make things stiff), but buying the right kind is like picking the perfect melon at the grocery store. it takes some kind of voodoo or sixth sense. any rate, the kind i picked came out to be too stiff and makes the collar seem sort of overly-formal (but i did get a nice steamy facial while fusing it on). does stiff fabric from fusible interfacing get softer in the laundry? (someone please say yes)
  • crooked cutting. to sew with a pattern, you're expected to be able to cut a more or less straight line. this skill is far beyond me. i also suffer from crooked folding syndrome, and the combination of the two is... well, it adds up to a lot of tears and cursing when you go to sew in fancy things like sleeves.
  • hemless hem. well, just hemless robe. they expected me to hand-sew a hem all around the bottom of this thing. pshaw! hand-sewing is just below cleaning the shower caulk on my list of favorite things to do. so this robe really has no hem. it's folded up and basted, but otherwise, a little rough.
I got so wrapped up in making this thing that I sewed late into the night on Saturday... so late that I pretty much forgot we had houseguests coming. Houseguests that I needed to pick up at the airport.

They politely called after about a half an hour of waiting in the baggage area to see whether I was actually coming. Ha ha! Right! Yes! I'm on that! HWWLLB is a master of the quick tidy-up - by the time we all arrived back here, the place looked as if we'd been expecting royalty. Except that nobody had been to the grocery store for days, so the cupboards were a bit bare... but other than that, fit for a queen!

Thank heavens for sock monsters. This dang stiff-collared robe ate up most of my weekend (really, they call this an 'easy' pattern!) and made me swear I'd never touch my sewing machine again. But tonight we watched our friends' 5 year-old son J (they won tickets to the Carolina Hurricanes game on the radio! can you believe that?) and when he got here, he asked if we could make a sock monster. His mom told him about them, I think.

So we did. It was a good, crooked, crazed monster, because I had to pin and sew quickly so as not to bore J to death. He named it Candy Cane (for obvious reasons), did all the design work and some of the cutting. He also invented an awesome tail for this monster - you can see it peeking out from under C.C.'s legs.

j and candy canej is the one hiding behind the pillow while HWWLLB snuggles with candy cane.

Pretty good work for a 5 year-old, huh?

Some of you have been asking about how to make these things, and even whether I would post a tutorial. The bad news is: no I can't. But you can learn how to make all different crazy kinds of sock monsters from John Murphy's wonderful book, Making Stupid Sock Creatures (check out his great gallery of Stupid Creatures here). The book is really well written with very clear step-by-step instructions - much better than any quick & dirty internet tutorial.

Have fun! And if you make one - send me pictures!


  1. i think the summer robe looks fantastic! i don't know about the interfacing. i'd like to think that it does lose its stiffness with wash & wear ... only time will tell. next time you're at your machine, go ahead and machine sew that hem. i bought some freakish loud fabric years ago to make my summer robe, so perhaps i'll take the time to cut the fabric soon :)
    though sewing may not be your gift, you are clearly blessed with wit & humor, and the ability to share it with your words!
    but, you know, you do sew the best sock creatures on the net!
    you know how some people do freeform crochet and knitting? maybe you do freeform sewing :)

  2. See! I knew Jay was lying when he said that sewing's easy!

    Your robe looks wonderful - I'm so impressed!

    Candy Cane - he looks great, too! I love your sock monsters! I'm going to have to add that book to my "Books to Get" list.

  3. I went to the Stupid Creatures Gallery and we laughed and were amazed! What awesome creativity! Thanks for sharing the link. And interfacing does soften a bit over time. Time and repeated washings being the key.

  4. lovely robe ms pea.
    be proud...
    and candy cane
    is so adorable
    with the spunky


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