September 5, 2012

Made Beach Robes.

So some people when preparing for a vacation frantically do laundry and pack.  I frantically sew.  Because there was no way I was going to take the kids to the beach without a Made Beach Robe:

Last day at the pool. Had a great summer of swimming!
Yes.  I am reposting this picture.  I love it that much.
The whole taking a robe to the beach idea makes so much sense.  Because there is no way you're going to keep a towel on a toddler.  Or even a preschooler.

Beach Robes I made for the kids
The girl is a freeze baby.  So trips to the pool usually resulted in her sitting on the sidelines wrapped up in her towel.  Now she has a towel that goes with her anywhere she wants:

Beach Robes I made for the kids

A few thoughts on the pattern.  First of all - the internet will lead you to believe that this is a quick and easy project.  THE INTERNET LIES.  No, really.  I think I started these robes back in May?  June?  I didn't finish them until mere hours before we left for Geneva.  In August.

Beach Robes I made for the kids
So tired after a day at the beach at Geneva State Park.
 I know that part of it can be blamed on my less than awesome sewing abilities.  So far I've really only sewn basic skirts and hammer pants (no, really.  I made a pair of hammer pants.) so setting in sleeves was new for me.

Made Beach Robes

Another part of it is that I don't have a surger.  Be warned - if you attempt this project w/o one you will sew every seam twice.  So that took quite a bit longer than expected.

Beach Robes I made for the kids
The look on her face is exactly how I feel about that.
But really the deal is that binding all of that takes for-ev-er.  Sandlot style.  I tried to do it like she says in the pattern - to just sandwich and pin.  But that didn't work out so well for me.  I kept missing the fabric in between.  So I used the old school and more proper method of sewing down one side, flipping it over and sandwiching the fabric in between, then sewing down the other side.  It took longer but it was what worked for me.

Made Beach Robes

 About the specific robes:  The girls is two towels from Target's basic collection.  There was no way I was going to be able to do this out of one towel like the pattern says.  That or Target's towels are just skimpy.  The lining fabric is some "vintage" fabric that I got from my grandma's stash.

Fabric shopping at my grandma's house.  #sewing #awesome #family
Behold the awesome that is my grandma's fabric stash.  And that's only one cabinet.
The lining has pink alligators on it and of course was chosen by the girl.  She debated between alligators and flowers but in the end alligators made more sense for the beach.  Obviously.

Beach Robes I made for the kids

I love the bright, grass green against the majenta-y pink!  New colorway, perhaps?

Beach Robes I made for the kids
The Boy's robe is made out of another two towels from Target.  His is the Medium Size and still there was no way I was going to get one robe out of one towel.  Boo.  Originally I wanted to make him a gray robe - he is the dude after all.


But gray on a toddler didn't really work for me.  I like it when my kids are in colors that I can spot easily.  This is a trick borrowed from my mom who used to dress us in the brightest neons the late '80's had to offer.  (Maybe that explains the hammer pants?)  So I just used gray for the binding as a nod to his nick-namesake:

Made Beach Robes

The lining fabric is another "vintage" find from my grandma's stash:

Vintage fish fabric from my granma's stash. #fabric #stash #sew #craft
By "vintage" I mean it's been in the cabinet for awhile.  Decades, possibly.
I love this fabric!  And fish at the beach just makes sense.

Beach Robes I made for the kids

Overall - despite all of my complaining - I'm SUPER happy with these robes.  They've been used and loved every time we've gone swimming since I finished them:

Made Beach Robes

And I can't say enough about how awesome a robe at the beach/pool is.  No fighting to keep a towel around a shivering kid.  No trying to wrap up one while keeping the other warm.  I even left them on for the ride home instead of either changing the kids at the pool or putting a towel down to keep the car seat dry (both of which are a giant PITA):

Made Beach Robes Made Beach Robes

Hopefully they are big enough that the kids can wear them all next summer, too!

But the main Beach Robe event comes next week.  We are taking the kids on a full-on vacation to Myrtle Beach.   YES.
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