I have owned only one robe before. Over 20 years ago, when I was in University. It was an off white fleece robe, and I wore it for years. It was RTW and it looked very similar to the new Compose Robe by Love Notions. It’s time to get myself sewing robes for the first time.
I’ve been living in hot weather for years and the thought of a cozy robe is always appealing, but just not practical for my daily life. I still decided to make 2 beautiful Compose Robes robes now with appropriate fabrics for my climate. Why not? The choice of fabric makes all the possibilities come to life. Robes can be for hot weather too!
The Compose robe for kids is also a new release, and it’s practically identical to the woman’s robe. It’s a great cozy style the little one will love to wear.
* The links to both the Compose robe for women and the Compose Robe for kids patterns are affiliate links. If you click through and purchase through my link, I make a small commission that supports my work. Thank you so much if you use my links 🙂 Use my code LPN10 for an extra 10% off.
Table of Contents
Features of the Compose Robe
The Compose Robe has two lengths, one is above the knee and the other reaches the calf. The neckline can be finished with a band or with a banded hood.
The fit is relaxed, the shoulder seams are at the shoulders; the sleeves are long and roomy. You’ll sew belt loops into the side seams and a hanging loop on the center back.
The 2 patch pockets on the front will be practical if you like pockets. I didn’t sew the pockets on mine. The self belt is long and topstitched.
The coolest feature is that the Compose robe will work with both knit and woven fabric. This is GOLD because I dreamed of a nice satin robe AND a knit robe. I was happy that Tami made this design work for both types of fabric.
The Kids Compose robe is almost identical. The only difference is that the back piece is cut on the fold and the woman’s version has a center back seam with waist shaping. So not only is this a comfortable design, it is also shaped and not boxy. This is a huge plus for me.
The Compose Robe comes with a freebie file when you purchase the pattern! a hair wrap. I’d love to make some but don’t have the proper absorbent fabric right now. I’ll look for some thin lightweight towels for this purpose. A hair wrap is super practical for when you wash your hair. In my case, this is daily.
Fabric suitable for sewing robes
The pattern instructions mention medium to heavy knit fabrics like Fleece, French terry, Ponte roma, Waffle knit, Sweater knits and Double knits. Minky and cuddle fabrics will be hard to work with but I’m sure the littles will enjoy the feel of these materials.
As for woven, lots of fabric will work. If you want a flowy look, satin and rayon will be great. If you want a structured look, cotton lawn, chambray, poplin, shirting, and flannel would be great.
My choices for the compose robe
- Knit: I have no access to the cozy cuddly knits, so I chose a type of knit I have used before for outerwear. I have made a Terra tunic and a Sloane Sweater (both Love Notions patterns). This a jersey broderie anglaise that is very stretchy and medium weight. I secretly had plans for the compose robe to be more than just a robe. I wanted a coatigan out of it too! See the photos below so you can get an idea of the type of knit this is and the look it has. Very special and beautiful whilst being a solid color. I was very excited to have a robe with this material.
- Woven: I chose a satin that has medium amounts of sheen. Burgundy background with flowers. It’s a subdued print, compared to others I generally choose to sew with. I used Rayon twill for the band here to provide contrast and also because I ran out of fabric he he. If you’d like a fancy satin robe but are worried about manipulating this silky fabric, you can see my comprehensive video below with more than 20 practical tips that will help you.
As mentioned above, the Compose Robe is available in sizes XS-5X and the upper measurements are a 57.5″ bust circumference and a 59.5″ hip circumference. There is a standard bust option and a full bust option in this pattern.
The design has positive ease and is a relaxed fit. Approximately 3.5-5.5″ of positive ease at the bust, depending on the size and bust cup option. At the hips you’ll have a good overlap and about 6-7″ of positive ease.
I made a size Large up to the waist and then blended to a XL at the hips.
The above the knee version has 39″ in length and the calf version has 45″ in length.
I think if I used a very thick knit, I would have made a straight XL to have more space inside the robe at the bust. Remember that thick fabrics end up being smaller inside because of the volume that the fabric alone takes up. So if you are between sizes and want to use a thick fabric, I would size UP. If you are using a light woven, choose the appropriate size.
For the Kids Compose robe, the sizes available are 2T-16. You can see the size chart below. I’d love to make some robes for my 2 little nieces. I’d be making a size 3 and 8 for them. This pattern is great value as the little ones grow up.
Unfortunately, my 13 year old son is a giant. He fits into men’s sizes now, so the kids version will not work for him. He tried on mine and it fits him perfect!
About making the Compose robe for a man. I think it’s totally possible within reason. You could choose by the man’s chest circumference and use the standard bust option, eliminate the center back seam… men don’t need waist shaping and you can add length if needed on the sleeves ,front and back pieces. Exceptions could be if the man you want to sew for has very very wide shoulders. If you are motivated, you could totally make this for the men around you too. I will make one for my son in a sweat shirting fabric and with a hood for next winter.
Personal fitting adjustments
There is a shorten and lengthen line around the hip area. I added 1″ there to the front and the back. This means I had to add 1″ to the neckband piece too. If you need to shorten by overlapping at the shorten and lengthen line, remember to also shorten your neckband.
There is no shorten and lengthen line on the sleeves. Chose a section in te middle of the sleeve and add your own line. I added 1.5″ extra here. This is something I will do with all of Love Notions patterns.
Considerations to sewing robes
- Seam allowance is 3/8″
- There is a center back seam for the ladies’ version. I love that it’s there. Potentially you could remove it if you wished, but I wouldn’t.
- The instructions are mainly based on the construction of a knit robe. You won’t find directions to stay-stitch the neckline on a woven version. I would suggest you don’t skip this if you make a woven Compose robe.
- Below you can see the neckline has been stay stitched on the front and back and the shoulders pinned, ready to be sewn together.
- The shoulder seams are sewn first and then you can sew the sleeves in the flat. This is traditional for knit garments. I prefer to set my sleeves in traditionally for knit and woven alike.
- A thick knit will turn out very bulky in the underarm area if the sleeves are sewn on the flat. When the sleeve has the same seam as the side seam, the whole garment moves and lifts when raising our arms because the sleeve seam becomes dominant along with the side seam. If the sleeve has its own seam on the round, there’s better range of movement independent from the side seams. Set-in sleeves will be functionally better and less bulky at the underarm are. This is a sensitive area for me. I live for reducing bulk where possible. I’ve shared my reasons. I will rarely sew a sleeve in flat and the exception will be a very light knit or woven fabric.
- My satin sleeves are short. They have a 6″ seam from the underarm plus 1″ for hem allowance. I trued the hem to match this new length.
- The belt loops are cut in one longer piece, flipped right side out and then that piece is cut into three pieces
- Two loops will be sandwiched between the side seams. There is a reference mark on the pattern for this, but I prefer trying on the robe with pins on the side seams to make sure the loops will be at the correct height on my body. I had to place my loops higher than the reference. You can customize this.
- The hanging loop that is on the center back neckline is ok with the satin version. I can’t feel that it’s there. On the knit, however….. the bulk on my neck is unbearable. I removed it.
- The hem of the robe needs to be finalized before sewing on the neckband
- I strongly suggest taking a few minutes of your time to hand baste the neckband. It’s a long piece that can easily start twisting and stretching if you attempt to hold it to the neckline with pins or clips. The neckband is a highly visible feature on your robe. A twisted, crumpled neckband will not look good. Just my 2 cents. There’s something to be said about the simplicity of grabbing a needle and thread with your hands and the difference it makes to the look of the final garment. Very much superior to using pins and clips. Also, sewing pin free is the best!
- For the woven version, use a straight stitch to sew the hem, for the knit, a twin needle if you work with your domestic sewing machine like me. No cover stitch available here 🙂
Sewing robes is easier with my Video tutorial
To see how to sew the Compose Robe in detail with considerations for woven and knit and with a focus on the neckband, see the practical video below. The full review video will be available later today in my sewing channel.
Podcast audio file
To listen to the video as only Audio, you can choose the podcast links below too.
Let’s see both Compose robes
Summer short sleeve satin Compose robe
I have paired my Satin Compose robe with my Luna nightgown from the Luna Nightwear collection, also from Love Notions. I have a video showing how to sew the fold over elastic on the neckline to make it “reversible”: one neckline is round, the other a V. You just flip the nighty around 🙂 See it HERE.
I used rayon twill for my contrast neckband. I originally had sewn in a black satin band, but I really disliked the shiny band next to my face and neck. I much prefer this opaque look, and the rayon twill gives the band a little more structure, along with feeling nice on the skin.
I will never use the long ties to tie my robe closed, it’s not how I live my life 🙂
I did not sew the patch pockets. I think these would not look good with satin fabric. They would sag and ruin the look.
I’m thrilled with my short sleeve satin Compose Robe and it proves a robe can be fresh for summer too! I could get hooked on making more of these! I’d love one in a flowy rayon too.
Black embroidered knit long sleeve Compose robe
I have paired my black jersey broderie anglaise Compose robe with a me-made set of silk pyjamas I made years ago. They are self drafted. The shorts are short and very summer appropriate.
No cozy slippers or mug of a hot drink around here. Flip-flops and icy freshly made mango juice is the name of the game around here 🙂
Here you can see the robe tied up traditionally. I only did this for the photo 🙂
I love the look of my robe! it’s different and I’m happy. This works for me and I always want to sew with fabrics I will wear and that will work for my climate.
Same robe a coatigan! outerwear too!
My Compose robe is not made with traditional robe fabric, so it could be a LIGHT COATIGAN PERFECTLY! I have paired my Compose robe with my Sonata dress and some heels. The Sonata dress has a striking neckline that elevates the look and will distract the eye to the remote possibility that this is originally a robe. You can see how to sew the Sonata and this neckline HERE.
The trick here is to keep the belt at the back and not tie the robe at the front. A belt tied equals robe. A belt at the back equals coatigan lol
I love my Compose robe and that I can wear it for lounging AND to go out! The best for my philosophy that wants to get the most out of garments.
Will I make it again? YES. I have plans. Sleeveless “duster” length version in chiffon and another in a knit. Sleeveless means I can wear it more in the heat.
* The links to both the Compose robe for women and the Compose Robe for kids patterns are affiliate links. If you click through and purchase through my link, I make a small commission that supports my work. Thank you so much if you use my links 🙂
DISCLAIMER: I have access to Love Notions patterns as a brand ambassador. I purchased fabric for this project. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.
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