Saturday, November 22, 2008

barnslig borkum, a.k.a. the litle bear bathrobe

This bathrobe, I'm sorry to say, is my first farbenmix failure. not a total failure, it's still cute! But basically....FAIL.

borkum front

borkum back

The pattern is KleinBorkum, and my motivation for making it was this design example, which as you can see I totally just knocked off!

We already had been using the ikea barnslig bath towels for Emily, and loved them, so when I saw the robe made out of them, I thought it was just too cute (and so did Emily!). I wasn't sure how I'd trim it, but when I picked up the towels to make the robe (a size 98/104 took two towels), I saw these matching barnslig burp cloths in the next bin and ended up getting those to make the belt and the appliques (you can see them in close up here and here), which worked out really well.

Here's what didn't work: first, this was the first farbenmix pattern I've used where the pattern pieces didn't actually match up. I had to really work at getting it to all go together at the shoulders and the sleeves. Then, I realized that I had never checked the measurements since Emily always fits into a 98/104 so well, and the robe is really short! If you look at the design examples a little more closely than I, you can see that the longer robes all have the sleeves rolled up quite a bit. I'm guessing that everyone sized up quite a bit on this pattern. And it's really far too short for her. But the final blow? The bathrobe has been added to the Great Clothing Boycott list of 2008. She loved it in photos, and she thinks it's cute....but she does not like wearing it. Sigh.

I still think the final result is actually quite nice. And if the boycott ever ends, I will actually tackle this pattern once again, this time measuring for proper length and checking all pattern pieces against each other before cutting.

And I did get an awesome bonus -- tons of new household goods made from my leftovers! I have a big set of lovely half-washcloths made from the towel remnants, cute coasters made from the burp cloth leftovers (backed with felt), and as a super-extra bonus, discovered that the burp cloths make the best kitchen towels I have ever had. So good, in fact, that I bought more just for that purpose (and so did my brother)!

the only non-ikea element is the red gingham westfalen bias tape from bunte fabrics.


  1. After living in Germany for 5 years I figured out that they make the robes shorter than we do here in the US. Whenever I bought a bathrobe for my daughter it always seemed that I needed the next size up in order to fit well. Then I saw the German children wearing their robes at the swimming pool and saw that they just wear them shorter than we do. So don't worry about it being too short - you couldn't have known unless you knew the finished length and compared it to what you wanted yours to be. FWIW, I think it looks fab.

  2. I love it and I'm crazy about the IKEA towel idea!! Brilliant!!

  3. I think it's really cute, though, Sarah. Sorry it has been giving you a bit of grief... :) I hope Emily takes it in eventually... ;)

  4. Darn that boycott! I must not sew nearly enough for my kids, or else they are dumb enough to be ecstatic every time I make something for them LOL! Then again, maybe they are afriad that if they complain/don't wear it, I'll never make anything for them again... ROFLMBO!
    Anyway, that is one cute robe - maybe she'll use it in the summer as a cover-up for the pool?
    I've been missing you, girlie!

  5. This is adorable! Maybe Emily will change her mind later and decide that she likes wearing it again...don't kids change their mind every 10 minutes or something? :)
    Also, I'd like to ask if you could recommend any good beginner friendly books for someone with a new sewing machine? My friend just received a sewing machine this Christmas, and I'd love to get her some sewing related gifts. Any feedback would be much appreciated. And Happy Holidays!


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