From Robe to 60’s Style Wrap Coat

A Sustainable Scrubby Solution
The Dark Side of Vintage Recipes

I was given this robe in a group of other vintage things from a coworker (different coworker than the one who gave me that last haul). It used to belong to her grandmother. It was also very warm and comfortable.

So cozy!
So cozy!

I wore it as-is for a little while, but realized I couldn’t just hang out in a robe all day long. I had a beer festival to get to!

Meh. Who's to judge?
Meh. Who’s to judge?

When I looked at the label, I immediately thought, If only this was a coat!

Wool!
Wool!

You see, the event I was going to was being held at the Columbia Convention Center. Usually the annual beer fest doesn’t feature a coat check. As it was chilly, I wanted to be warm, but I didn’t want to be stuck with a big bulky coat.

A lightweight wool wrap coat was exactly what I needed. And I was about to make it happen.

I began snipping of the more robe-y things from this piece.

Snip!
Snip goes the collar!
Snipping each lapel evenly!
Snipping each lapel evenly!
Chopping off those cuffs!
Chopping off those cuffs!

This left a few raw edges to tend to.

First, I serged around the new neckline.

Seeeeeerge!
Seeeeeerge!

When I was done I folded the serged edge under and pinned it.

Alright!
Alright!

Then, I stitched it down.

See?
See?

Those sleeves needed a little attention as well. I’m going for a bracelet-length sleeve, so I folded these up about 2″, which will give the bell of the sleeve a little more structure.

Fold & Pin!
Fold & Pin!
Then stitch!
Then stitch!

But what about the overall shape of this thing? It was still looking pretty robe-y. I decided to give it a sleeker silhouette by adding darts to the back.

Darts are really easy. First, you just pinch a section where the middle of you dart will be…pulling it in as much as you think necessary. Then, just taper up and down above and below that pinned pinch point.

Pinch, then move up and down.
Pinch, then move up and down.

It’ll end up looking like this.

Darts!
Darts!

When you stitch your dart, make sure you start in the middle pinch point, then backstitch until it tapers off the fabric. Then, leave enough thread to knot off the end.

You'll be stitching up, then stitching down. Just start from the middle each time.
You’ll be stitching up, then stitching down. Just start from the middle each time.
Annnd knot! If you stitch & backstitch, it'll gather weird and look lame.
Annnd knot! If you stitch & backstitch to secure the stitch, it’ll gather weird and look lame.

Press your darts on each side, and that’s it!

Now that my coat was looking more tailored, I needed to do something about that length.

Chop!
Chop!
Pin & Hem!
Pin & Hem!

After ironing everything down, I tossed my new coat on and ran out the door to meet my friends.

I LOVE IT.
I LOVE IT.

I adore this one. As someone who hates bulky coats, this offers a great option for not incredibly chilly days.

I completely failed to get a pic of it wrapped up on me (which became necessary when my friends and I piled into our Uber at the end of the night), but here it is on my dress form.

I also chopped the sash down a good bit to make it less robe-sque.
I also chopped the sash down a good bit to make it less robe-sque.

And here’s that nicely-fitted back!

Noice! So tailored!
Noice! So tailored!

My coat was just warm enough and just light enough for the evening. It also seems quite comparable to this one from the 60’s that is selling for $150.

Yay Beer Fest!
Yay Beer Fest!
My new coat was surprisingly breathable on the Silent Disco dance floor!
My new coat was surprisingly breathable on the Silent Disco dance floor!
...and I thought it was tres chic as well!
…and I thought it was tres chic as well!

Cheers!

ba12315

3.4 (68.52%) 183 votes

32 thoughts on “From Robe to 60’s Style Wrap Coat

  1. Now that is really a great upcycle – free fabric and you transformed it from an indoor garment to an outdoor coat. Outstanding!

  2. Your refashion looks exactly identical to the one for $158. I actually prefer yours as the color and darts give it a crisp look. The yellow color and the one straight seam on the back of the other keep it feeling robey still. Did you see the one for sale first and copy it, or did you make yours and then find the advertised one after?

  3. You did a great job! I really admire your ingenuity in the way you see possibilities. I’m inspired by what you do. Have you considered taking some sewing lessons, to amp up your refashions to the next level. I’m not meaning to be snarky or rude. Some fine tuning in the great skills you have would put you at the next level.

  4. Love it! I have a wool wrap coat that I bought at the LL Bean outlet in New Hampshire in either 2000 or 2001. It still looks fantastic and is perfect for our usually mild North Carolina winters. I love your blog!

  5. Oh My I just love the coat. Of course the wool would drive me crazy…allergic. I would amp it up another notch with a vintage pin or big button at the wrap point on the top for a different look.
    Love your refashions

  6. It is a great transformation from ‘Before’ to ‘After’. Colour is very fetching too.

    I want to buy a dress form. I also make clothes for others (not a lot though). Should I buy for my size or an adjustable one?
    thanks

    1. I like having an adjustable one. It’s not only great for other people, but if your weight fluctuates at all, it’s good for you too!

  7. I totally am in AwWwEe of you!!!! You can turn the most hidious things into awesome pieces!!! It’s very few people that I envy (especially pple who I don’t actually know) or wish I was more like (bc of course every single person is awesome in his/her own way) bit GEEEZZ Louise…I would love just a smidgen of your talent!!! Anywho enough “stalker-isk” behavior for this cold Monday!! Keep up the awesomeness :) :)

  8. Yikes! I had a coat like that back in 1968! It was robin’s egg blue and I remember wearing it on a field trip to Washington, D.C. Yours is MUCH prettier ;))

  9. Your beautiful new coat might also look stunning with one of your awesome belts…..black maybe? Not that it matters much. YOU are the cutest accessory for all of your makeovers! Blessings….

  10. I wasn’t sure how you were going to pull this one off, but it turned out great! And bonus post because I have an overshirt in desperate need of a couple of darts but have been too intimidated by other tutorials. Now I feel like I can totally manage it! Great to have a so many new posts!

  11. Thanks for the easy dart explanation, its something I never quite seem to figure out. But this is really easy to follow.

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