Ah, the humble house robe. So useful in the cold months, but rarely suitable for answering the front door (unless you want people to think you’ve taken a sick day!). I currently live in a house built in the 1930s, and y’all, these rooms are COLD right now. I’ve made do the past couple of years with the aforementioned robe, but felt like my house clothes could justify a slight overhaul. Nothing fancy, but something I wouldn’t feel sloppy running out to check the mail or even popping into the grocery store while wearing.
Making this house jacket actually solved another (minor) problem of mine – I bought this fabric from Mood Fabrics a couple of years ago, intending to make a button-up shirt with it, and realized when I received it that it was too heavy for that application. This madras plaid wool flannel (no longer available at Mood Fabrics – but they have a few other lovely wool flannels still in stock) is warm and thick, but better suited for a light jacket than a shirt. Also, the plaid repeat is pretty huge which I knew would make cutting and matching a little more of a chore than I was willing to deal with. I did love the colors of the fabric, though, so I kept it around for two years and thought about what else I could make with the yardage I had. Once I started thinking about making a house jacket, I knew this fabric would be perfect! The dense, heavy hand is great for staying warm, as well as giving the jacket a light structure. Since I mainly plan on wearing this around the house, I’m less concerned about perfect plaid matching. And the colors are still so great! I ordered a matching lightweight cotton voile to use as lining and set about on my mission.
To really make use of my fabric + garment function, I went with the Wiksten Haori pattern. This pattern is great because it doesn’t have a lot of pieces, is fully lined, and features an oversized/easy fit that is perfect for throwing over multiple layers. Plus, it has giant pockets which I knew would be handy! I cut a size XS / mid length based on my measurements – although I think an XXS might have a better choice, as this is *really* oversized – and opted to use my main fabric for the bands, instead of the lining as the pattern calls for. The kimono sleeves and unbalanced plaid meant that I wasn’t able to successfully match the lines of the plaid, but for a coat I will mainly wear around the house, I’m ok with that. The patch pockets are cut on the bias for a little bit of visual interest. Since they are fully backed with the lining, there is enough support to prevent them from stretching out.
The lining of this jacket makes for a pretty satisfying sew that covers all raw edges. As I mentioned, I used a cotton voile for this purpose. Normally, I would swap something more slippery (silk, bemberg rayon, etc) for the sleeve lining but the sleeves of this jacket are so wide it really isn’t a problem having a cotton lining. Also, since the fabric has so much thickness and body as-is, I did not use any of the instructed interfacing. I think the resulting soft structure looks really good.
To pretreat my fabric, I threw it in the dryer with a couple of bath towels that had been run under very hot water (soaked, but not dripping) and let everything blast on high heat until it was all completely dry. While I do not plan on washing this garment (I’d say it needs to be dry cleaned, but let’s be real here… I don’t dry clean anything lol), I did want to get any shrinkage out before using my steam iron on the fabric.
This little jacket has proven to be very useful! While I don’t think it’s the most flattering thing I’ve ever sewn (it’s a little too ~art teacher vibe~ for my personal style tastes), I can’t deny that it serves exactly it’s purpose – it’s warm, it’s comfortable, it’s easy to wear, and it looks pulled together enough that I don’t feel like I’m just wearing my PJs around the house. I am totally comfortable leaving it on to run outside – or to the grocery store – and the large pockets are big enough to hold my essentials so I can actually forgo carrying a purse. Plus, the colors are just fabulous and they make me so happy! What’s not to love about that? 🙂