Have you noticed that this project has taken a couple of hard left turns, in the journey from inspiration to completion? I am deep on the pantser side of the creative spectrum, so this always happens to me. I welcome it, the work telling you what it wants to be. That green cording, for instance, remember that? Now it is made up and I can wear it I can see that this dressing gown is already so heavy, adding eight yards of heavy cording would have been a truly lousy idea. And frankly a corded hem is excruciating to execute, worse than lace insertion (which is so difficult I have vowed to never do it again). I’d have to do it over and over to get the garment hanging evenly at the right length. How much energy and aggravation I have saved by ditching the idea!
And hemming it up reveals that pushing a needle through the heavy brocade of the lapels is a pain. Suddenly those frogs (still too small!) do not look like so much fun. They’re always a bore to fasten, too. Remember how this project was to be a stashbuster? I rooted through the vast hoard of miscellaneous fasteners, and found this!
This is actually a shoe clip, a single lonely survivor of a pair that, perhaps in the ’40s or ’50s, added bling to a pair of plain black pumps. It clips perfectly to the neck closure of this dressing gown, and I can make it actually hold the garment shut by backing it up with a sturdy snap fastener. Given that, I must continue the snap fasteners all the way down. Sewing on snaps will be perhaps half the labor of hand-sewing on all those frogs. And fastening the garment will be lots easier. Also, snaps are inconspicuous. I am unlikely to actually wear the garment fastened up, and they will be unobtrusive when I do. I am not Thomas Carlyle, in a shocking state of undress under my dressing gown.
And here at last is the dressing gown in action, at the Diana Wynn Jones conference in Bristol. Everyone had dressing gowns, of course, but I do believe I took the palm.