This zipper front fleece robe is part of the Black Leopard theme I’m working on in the month of August! This robe is both soft and warm, perfect for those chilly evenings at home.
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Leopard Print Robe
I have had this idea in my mind for many years. Animal prints are always big for fall. This year is certainly no exception! The leopard velvet fabric was perfect for my zipper front fleece robe. A bit of fun but not enough to make you crazy with too much print. By placing the trim vertically at the center front and neck this style gives you a vertical line that is flattering to any figure. The DIY robe has a long zipper and it’s easy to put on over your PJs or after you step out of the shower. The long sleeves and design of the robe will add extra warmth. You will be wearing this leopard print zippered robe every day of the week!
The black fabric I used is Minky, a recycled material made from plastic soda bottles. It’s very plush and super soft, with a napp similar to the velvet trim. Fabrics with napp have to be treated a little differently than normal materials. Here are my tips for working with fabrics that have napp.
Tips for Sewing Fabrics with Napp
1. What is Napp? Napp is the direction of the cut of the fibers. Similar to a cat’s fur, if you stroke it the wrong way it will “ruffle” and feel different. Napp fabrics such as velvet, velveteen, corduroy, and Minky must be cut with a directional layout. This means that all of the pattern pieces must face the same direction or the colors will appear different from each piece.
2. Use a needle board for pressing. As you may have guessed, velvet type fabrics don’t press well. The pile will flatten with an iron and not recover. The best method is to use a needle board when pressing but one that is high quality is expensive to obtain. If you are on a budget, try using either a terry cloth towel or skip the pressing all together. I don’t have a needle board, and only pressed the facing of this robe so the Minky fabric would stay pristine.
3. The high pile of this fabric makes it more difficult to sew. The fabric is very thick in spots because of its texture. You may need to lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine and increase your stitch length to keep the fabric sliding through the machine smoothly. A Teflon foot may also help, as it will slide easily on the fabric. Some people use a walking foot which also works well. I sewed most of my seams with the wrong sides together, which is necessary during construction and helps to manage the extra thickness created by this fabric.
4. Serge seams to finish. Most fleece type fabrics don’t require a lot of seam finishing but this fabric sheds a LOT. The fabric doesn’t unravel, it’s the shedding that’s the problem. Fortunately, serging the seams fixes all of it and makes a neat looking seam finish.
- downloadable PDF pattern (coming soon!)
- 5 yards black Minky fabric, 58″ wide
- 2 yards leopard velvet for trim
- 38″ long separating zipper
- thread and sewing machine
- Teflon Foot or Walking Foot for your sewing machine
1. Cut out the zipper front fleece robe pattern. (Coming soon!)
2. Sew pockets to side front and back of the garment, matching circles. Stitch in place.
3. Stitch front bust darts in place, press lightly.
4. Sew shoulder seams together, with right sides together. Finish raw edges of the seam.
5. Ease sleeve into armhole while matching notches and keeping side seam of garment open.
6. Finish lower sleeve edge cuff with contrasting leopard print cuff. Fold cuff in half, stitch pieces together with right sides together, press.
7. Sew underarm sleeve seam, side seams, and pocket seams together in one motion beginning at cuff and stitching all of the way to the hem of the garment. Be sure to match underarm seams, pockets, and notches as you sew.
8. Hem bottom with 1 1/4″ hem using a blind hemstitch.
9. Sew contrasting neckband seams together at shoulder placing the right sides together. Press seam lightly open.
10. Finish outside neck edge of contrasting neckband and front facing with a narrow rolled hem on the serger. If you don’t have this stitch available, bind the edge with black bias binding.
11. Sew neck facing on to neck with WRONG side of robe to RIGHT side of facing. Trim seam to 1/4″. Under stitch facing to keep it from rolling out of place. Turn facing to the outside of the garment, baste in place. Topstitch over basting stitches.
12. Place zipper stop at the mark on center front. Pin zipper in place on both sides, separating zipper teeth as needed. Baste in place, then stop stitch from the right side.
Enjoy the coming cool morning in this cozy DIY bathrobe. This zipper front fleece robe pattern will be available soon for download. Be on the lookout for more leopard projects coming soon!
Are you still looking for more inspiration? Here are some more projects you will also love:
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