A Pendleton Challenge!

A few months ago an English gentleman asked me if I could reproduce a very old dressing gown/robe he had into a new robe using 2 very thick Pendleton blankets. He selected the blankets for color and motif and then gave me the old robe. It was made of mohair but most of the fur had been worn off except for the inside seams. I opened up most of the seams to have the garment as a pattern.

The original sleeves were 2 piece sleeves with a sewn on separate shaped cuff edged in a twisted robe which was quite popular since the 1900's. The pockets were also decorated with this rope and the braided belt matched the robe trims.
Since using the blanket I had to figure out how to make a large shawl collar without facings to avoid bulk. I layed out the old robe on the new blanket and tried to figure out how wide and how long this new collar had to be and also how to use the existing braid of the blanket to edge the collar without attaching a separate strip.
I took photos of the layout and sent them to my friend Kenneth D. King in New York for advice. He was able to direct me to his Collars DVD which helped me draft a wider and longer collar and still have enough of the wool binding all in one.
The old robe had a side seam but I wanted to use the blanket without cutting a side seam so I opened the underarm seam just far enough down to allow the robe to lie flat and I coiuld use this opening as a long dart at the top instead of a side seam that would ruin the running motif. The client wanted the robe to be 64 inches long from back neck to hem so the layout was important if I was going to use the existing wool binding as the hem edge. All the existing seams were french seamed.
Here is the first layout to determine what part of the blanket would be the front and how long it would be. The back was laid on the fold of the first blanket and the sleeves and belt would be cut out of the second blanket.
Notice the original shawl collar piece. I did not cut it away from the robe but left it attached to use as a solid piece without facings.
The original sleeves were badly worn and not long enough for the client. I did separate the 2 pieces to make the pattern and also the cuff portion. I wanted to use the red border for the cuffs to match the shawl collar and fronts. Also they had to have the same black binding. I did not replicate the pointed feature of the original cuff as it is not add anything to this already busy Native American design.
The sleeve pattern pieces layed on the wool and cuff portions with black binding. Notice the grain lines of the plaid. The underneath wool followed the original grain lines for a nice curved elbow section.
The client wanted his collar to be able to be flipped up to cover his ears for snowy mornings on the patio, so the original piece had to be widen and lengthened and also have a continuous piece of that blanket binding without seams. I measured how much binding I would need to follow the new collar to the center back seam and then removed the binding along the side of the blanket and left it loose until construction.
Not much life left to this worn braided belt.
You can see the worn edge of the old cuff and the frayed rope edging.
The original label from a pretigious British clothing firm. I was able to save this label and sew it to the underside of the new cuffs as a reminder of past days.
The motif on the back was one solid piece and I managed to make the back half of the tie belt to match the design. The front half of the tie belt was made from black cotton which was nicer to tie and avoided the bulk of the wool. Notice the hat in the top corner of the photo. The client wanted a Turkish type of fez hat to wear on frosty mornings. It also was lined with the black cotton and edges with the black wool binding to match the robe.
Almost finished front with 2 lower pockets and one upper pocket.
The happy customer wearing his robe and hat.

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