It’s May. Why was I planning to make a raincoat? Well, because I had the fabric and I wanted it to move from the stash cupboard to the clothes closet. I got midway through prepping the pattern for the Jalie 2680 Stretch City Coat and stalled because there are too many unknowns right now. I’m waiting for a zipper to get shipped to me (a water-resistant nylon one) and I can’t decide what to use for making the pocket bags, which show inside the coat and need to be strong enough for this purpose.

So I put the pattern pieces aside, and made a bathrobe instead.

Simplicity 5763 is a really handy pattern. I’ve owned it for a good 15 years and I’ve made myself two bathrobes along with two robes as gifts. I haven’t used any other part of the pattern, at least as far as I can recall, but one day who knows? Until then, this is a bathrobe pattern that just keeps giving.

It’s not all straight lines – that would be too much to ask for, wouldn’t it – but it sews up fairly quickly until you get to the band. There is a curved front edge that catches you off guard when you go to fold the band over on itself and sew it down. Because of that slight curve, the band has a sneaky way of twisting and getting misaligned. Pinning it in place and then hand-basting with a running stitch (or whatever else you like to use) is a good way to make sure the layers stay aligned while you topstitch the band from the right side. It seems like an unnecessary step, and Simplicity patterns like this rarely call for hand-basting, so you might think you can just skip it and pin before topstitching. I’m here to say, having made four of these, that the basting is worth your time.

I’ve made this garment out of quilting cottons each time, and it takes 4m to make a full size Large. Twice, I didn’t have quite enough and I used a contrasting solid on the sleeves, then attached a band at the sleeve hem with the feature fabric. That looked really good both times. I strongly recommend considering using a contrast fabric for the sleeves and the band. This time I didn’t, because I had bought 4m of my main fabric and didn’t have a good coordinating solid – plus it’s Pandemic time so I can’t just dash out and buy one.

The other change I made this time was to skip the in-seam side pockets and use a patch pocket that perfectly accommodates my phone, which I like to carry around with me.

In terms of construction, I use a French seam for all the joining seams and though it takes a little bit longer, I strongly encourage this. It finishes things beautifully without relying on a serger or pinking.

All in all, I’m quite happy with the result… though I think my sewing project photography needs a lot of work.