Sunday, 15 January 2017

Butterick 5556: Vintage Style Robe

Vintage Butterick 5556 should have taken me no time to whip up especially since I had it all cut out and ready to go on Monday night.  

Butt it proved to literally be a pain in the arse to sew. You see the day that I had plans on sewing this project up after work, I fell and this week there hasn't even been an ounce of desire to sew. I have a bruised tush and my back is killing me. What should have taken me a few hours to sew took me the whole day. Moving the sewing machine on the cutting table abled me to sew while standing up and allowed me to avoid the prospect of sitting down to work on this robe. I finally have this project done after many hours of sewing spurts followed by some quality time with a heating pad and repeat. I'm amazed it's finally done.  

This robe is for Mama R. After she saw the little robes I made for my co-workers' kids she mentioned that she would like to have one but I knew that she's not one for the tie belt versions found in the pattern books and retail landscape. 

The request sent me on a search over at Etsy and it was there that I found out-of-print Butterick 5556. I'm guessing that it is from the 1970s based on the illustration on the pattern envelope and the detail in the construction of this robe. They don't make patterns like this anymore. This pattern is for a fully lined robe! This robe doesn't have a lining it but I might one day revisit this pattern and sew it up as intended. It is a well-drafted pattern and I really like the shoulder dart that extends into the sleeve area, it really gives the sleeve a lovely shape.    

I did make a few changes other than leaving out the lining. The sleeve length was shortened, more ease was added to the mid-section of the robe and the pockets were raised several inches.  

The waffle weave cotton fabric is the same fabric used in the previous robes. It was pre-treated with a tumble through the washing machine and dryer. It handled the pre-treatment process without any issues. The fabric was a 2016 find in the bargain centre at Fabricland. I scored it for a song because there was some fading at the fold-line which I couldn't avoid when I cut out the back piece on this robe. Mama R doesn't mind the fading and even though I offered to hide it with some creative trim detailing she wasn't interested claiming that it doesn't bother her. I think it bothers me more than it bothers her. The centre back is supposed to have a seam, but Mama R preferred if it didn't and wanted the back cut as one piece. 

Now that I have this project off the table and into Mama R's hands, I think I'm going to stop sewing until I'm all healed up. It might be a while according to the physiotherapist. I think I just need to listen to the physio-therapist and take it easy for now.   

The Stats:

Fabric:  3 metres

Interfacing:  1 metre

Buttons:  6 - 1/2" buttons

Pattern:  OOP vintage Butterick 5556

Time:  I invested 13 hours into the preparation of the fabric and the construction of this garment.  

Additional Tools & Supplies:  Sewing machine, serger, threads (for the machines and hand-stitching), cutting table, sewing needle, scissors, pins, wrist pincushion, wrist brace, heating and massage pad, Magic bag, meds, a lot of breaks, tea, and a nap.  

Happy Sewing!  


  1. It's lovely. They don't make robes like this anymore, especially in a comfortable (and warm) fabric. Take care of yourself.

  2. Ouch, poor you! I'm just catching up on blog posts after having an emergency 'gallbladder-ectomy' (there is a fancy name for it but I've forgotten it!) last week. I have barely sewn a stitch and it is killing me. Should be back at the pedal this week though, so I feel your pain. I hope you have a swift recovery.


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