Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Child’s Bathrobe Tutorial

bathrobe tutorial title
I started these bathrobes for my boys in October. (Talk about procrastination!!)

I did make my oldest his robe in October. And cut out the second robe for the little guy (who had just started walking…it’d be pretty tough to crawl while wearing a bathrobe).  But the little guy’s robe sat. And sat. Then I moved the pieces to the closet. Where they waited.

  little boy bathrobe (8)

Until a few weeks ago…I finished the robe! Except it actually fits the older guy better. (I made them both generous in size.)

Here’s the little guy wearing it. It covers his hands…and then some.

Anyway, I originally wanted to make these robes with the intention of purchasing this pattern. After making a ton of bias tape, I never used it for the robe because it just was too hard for me to attach. (Until I got my binding foot. It’s a lot easier now.)

By the time I got the binding foot, I’d already cut out the exterior and lining for these robes. And I don’t have a serger, so I didn’t think I could properly finish the inside seams of the robe without using a lining. I chose to use flannel and though I zig-zagged all the seams, I just don’t love the look of an exposed zig-zagged seam. Serged is much neater.

So I decided I wouldn’t buy a pattern….I’d draft my own. So I used a hoodie one size larger than each boy wore. And I lengthened the body. And widened the front so that the sides would overlap. And lengthened the arms. Because our oldest is really tall for his age.

sewing a bathrobe  (1)

And I traced the pattern onto freezer paper (above). It’s great to use because you can iron it onto the fabric  and then cut around it.

Here are the pieces you’ll need to draft. A great way to do the drafting is to carefully cut apart an old or thrifted hoodie. That way you can trace each piece while it is flat.  pattern pieces to cut for bathrobe

You’ll need 2 exterior and two lining pieces for the front (it you’re using a print fabric, make sure the pieces mirror each other).

Two exterior arms and two lining arms.

Before cutting the hood, notice how it is made—two flat pieces attached at the back of the head. You’ll need to cut one piece for each side of the hood (so two exteriors) and then two lining pieces. *Note: Use a contrasting color or different texture for the hood’s lining. I used green cuddle fabric and my oldest loves that touch.*

Two back pieces (one exterior and one of the lining fabric.)

Fabric for a belt. (I used one piece of the lining and one of the exterior, but you can use whatever combination you want.)

Plus a few scraps for making the loop for hanging the robe.

Start by making the exterior hood. It’s made from two flat pieces of fabric. Sew along the back of the hood (faint red line) leaving the bottom and the front open. Press the seam open.
sewing guide for hood

The construction of the robe should be in this order:

1. Shoulder seams (back and front pieces attached at the shoulder)
2. Attach the hood by centering the hood’s back seam on the back of the robe. Pin the hood the rest of the way around and sew into place.
3. Attach the sleeves (pin them in as shown below):
bathrobe map of where to sewputting in sleeve of bathrobe
4. Side seams should be sewn next. To do this, fold the sleeve in half, pin the sleeve closed the whole way to the armpit and then down the side. Sew, press open. Repeat for other side.

Repeat these steps to assemble the lining except add the loop for hanging the robe before step 2 (attaching the hood).

To make the loop, I took a 2” x 5” piece of fabric, folded to hide the raw edges, sewed, pressed and then basted it to the center back of the robe’s lining.

I then attached the contrasting hood over the loop.  IMG_9752

I decided to sew the belt to the robe. I decided where I wanted it to attach (I didn’t want to sew it the whole way around, otherwise it wouldn’t really cinch the robe in very much) and ironed some interfacing at the edges of where the belt would be stitched.

I marked where I wanted to stop sewing with pins…IMG_9765

made sure it was level, and then sewed a large rectangle around the belt. IMG_9766

The last step is assembling the robe. In the interest of keeping things real, I’m showing you an incorrect photo. It’s the general idea, but this is how I made my robe into a straight jacket (easy to correct with my seam ripper…)

So to assemble the robe, place the seams of the hood’s lining and the hood’s exterior right sides together. Pin the whole way around, leaving the bottom open. Do not do anything with the sleeves (like pinning, despite what my picture above shows.)

Sew around the area you pinned. Turn the robe to right side out. Make sure the sleeves are both right side out.

Now you can finish the bottom. I turned each side under, pressed, pinned and hemmed.


To finish the sleeves, I pushed the lining into the exterior sleeve (the way it would be worn). Then I just turned the lining under and then under again and sewed it into place to cover the raw edges.

The last little touch I made to the robe was to sew a narrow rectangle around the loop. This keeps the robe and lining together when hanging on a hook. IMG_9855

I’m not an expert in children’s clothing-making, and these two bathrobes truly did take me forever to finish! But it is satisfying knowing that I made them myself.

And they’re really cute.
  bathrobe. handmade

And the oldest likes wearing his. A lot. That makes all the work worth it.
  little boy bathrobe (10)

Places I have linked:
Or So She SaysTrain to CrazyTater tots & Jello Merry Messy Life, Sugar Bee CraftsReasons to Skip the Housework,  The 36th Avenue, House of HepworthsSomeday CraftsSouthern Lovely504 Main,Serenity Now,  Fingerprints on the FridgeI heart NapTime, Classy ClutterA Glimpse Inside, Somewhat SimpleGingerly MadeSerenity NowToday's Creative BlogThe Winthrop ChroniclesHome Stories A to Z


  1. What an adorable robe ... I love the fabric you used! Thanks so much for linking up to Project Inspire{d}!

  2. Wow......Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks for sharing such a great idea.

  3. It seems easy, I like it.

  4. i love it , realy its amazing to see that , Childs look so cute when they use different dresses , and i think when i make this bathrobe for my baby i think she look so beautiful and thanks for sharing this tutorials with us . i really like that. thanks again


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