Seamwork Almada Robe & Vintage Shorts set

Colette Seamwork Almada Robe in pale pink sheer floral silk cotton

I’ll be honest, my main ambition in life is to dress like this more often.  This is the Almada Robe from an old issue of Seamwork Magazine.  I needed to make a trial version, as my Mum’s considering it for her Liberty silk, and I didn’t want to cut into that for a pattern I hadn’t road-tested.  A girl’s gotta do…

Happily, I had the perfect fabric, a sheer-ish cotton (possibly silk-cotton) with little roses, bought ages ago from Exmouth Fabrics.  It was a lucky match, as I can’t think what I had in mind when I bought it!  It’s not really suitable for anything else, so it was obviously meant to be.

Colette Seamwork Almada Robe in pale pink floral silk cotton

Colette Seamwork Almada Robe in sheer floral silk cotton

My measurements put me bang in-between M and L (anyone else find it a bit annoying when your measurements aren’t even featured in either size?  Like, what the hell do I do?  I made a L, which I’m happy with – it’s pretty voluminous, and I could easily have fit in the M, but I really don’t think it matters one way or the other when you have this amount of fabric involved.

I added about an inch to the hem (I was quite short on fabric, so couldn’t have managed any more anyway), which is a length I’m happy with!  Lots of sewists have commented it comes up quite short, but quite frankly, no-one’s going to see you reaching up to the kitchen cupboard in this unless they’ve already seen quite a lot more, are they?  So it’s long enough for me ;)…

I also left off the snap closure at the front – it stays closed OK without, and it just seemed a bit fiddly.  I also left off the bias-faced finish at the neck edge – I’d like to say I felt it would be overkill for this delicate fabric, and that’s kind of true, but basically I couldn’t be bothered…  I finished the neck edge with a tiny folded hem, which looks fine!

Colette Seamwork Almada robe

Colette Seamwork Almada Robe in pale pink floral silk cotton back view

Because I hate scraps, I made a matching pair of shorts out of the remainder of the fabric – I had to shorten the rise about an inch to squeeze them in, but since they’re from a vintage pattern there’s plenty rise to go at. The instructions were for encased elastic at the waist, but I got lazy and just zig-zagged some 1/4-inch elastic onto the inside – I like the little ruffley thing it makes, anyway!

The elastic’s slightly too loose, but I suppose that just leaves more room for pizza.

Vintage sewing pattern and floral tap shorts

Little tip:  In future I would mark the front and back pieces before sewing them together, as once I’d done so I realised I’d need a label to tell front from back, and then took ages trying to work out which was the back so I could put a label on it…

Vintage 50s knickers sewing pattern back view floral cotton

Both robe and shorts are sewn with French seams throughout, and I hand-sewed the inside of the cuffs down.  I have to say, I’m in love with the finished garment!  I was a bit unsure whether the pattern would work in reality, with its exaggerated dropped sleeves, but unless you’re reaching up a lot it’s fine.  The front tie feature also functions better than I thought it might, and is the perfect finishing touch.

Seamwork Almada robe

Seamwork Almada robe

Do you guys subscribe to Seamwork?  How have you found it?  I’ll admit, I’ve had membership almost since it started, and this is the first pattern I’ve sewn.  I think this says more about how much time I have to devote to sewing, if I’m honest, than to the quality of the patterns.   I do wonder whether I should put it on hold for a bit until I’ve actually sewed some of the things from previous issues, although my experience with the Almada robe has definitely encouraged me to try the other patterns in my library!

Have you made up any Seamwork patterns lately?  What are you planning?

Have a lovely week,




  1. July 20, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Ah! such a summery swoon from over here. Jo x

    • Lucy
      July 21, 2017 / 11:40 pm

      Thank you 😊😊😘, I just want to swan around the house in it! If it wasn’t for all the wallpaper-stripping I need to do, I probably would! X

  2. July 18, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    It’s beautiful! Looking forward to the Liberty silk version! 😉

    • Lucy Turner
      July 19, 2017 / 9:40 am

      Thanks 🙂 it’ll be on its way soon!!

  3. July 18, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    I was a member of Seamwork too almost since it was launched and also NEVER sewed up one garment from it so I cancelled my membership about a year ago There just wasn’t enough patterns that I wanted to make for one thing and secondly I am NOT a fan of PDF. I do it when I have to (for a course or for BootStrap because they are printed to fit you according to your measurements and they DO 🙂 I’ve seen your wrap online and yours is BEAUTIFUL! I love your shorts too. I wear shorts and a sleeveless tank around the house all the time 🙂

    • Lucy Turner
      July 19, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Thank you so much! I hear you with the PDF… I’m not keen on them, although I actually buy most of my patterns that way because of the ability to store them digitally. I’m going to start using an online print service to print a few at a time on A0, which should make it a bit less painful!

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