After years of working in nursing homes and hospitals, I have learned the extreme value of a good lap robe. Our elders, whether living within institutions or recovering in a hospital setting, depend heavily on the care that they receive from family and staff.
The geriatric body undergoes physical changes that include atrophying muscle tissue, thinning skin and slower circulation, all contributing to a greater sensitivity to cold. Your elder Loved One's hands and feet are often - if not always - cold.
I have designed a lap robe that not only provides the warmth of cover but an added resistance to chill by the addition of attached booties spaced two feet apart to accommodate wheelchair footrests and a flannel panel located at lap-level in which to tuck cold hands.
Built to last and sans the frills, this soft, comforting robe can withstand even those rough cleanings from institutional machines.
Tucked, wrapped and cuddled within one of my "Cozee-Robes", our elders may experience the next best thing to loving arms.
You will find the pictured, western-themed "Cozee-Robe" available in my Etsy shop (www.susanclare.etsy.com) for $35.00. Shipping is free, my gift to the purchaser, an added incentive to get this robe to that certain person who needs it. Thank you for this opportunity to offer something good to the world.
Susanclare's Etsy Shop "Cozee- Robe"
Step 1: Supply List
1. basting thread - contrasting color to fabric
2. machine thread - color of fleece fabric
3. fabric marking pencils
4. fabric - flannel (4' x 6') a flannel sheet would work just fine
5. fabric - fleece (4' x 5' 6" approx.) "themed" panel - I chose a western theme
7. sewing machine
8. sock "booties" size medium or large
9. ruler or measuring tape
10. seam-ripper, pins, basting needle
Step 2: Fabric Prep - Pre-wash, Trace and Trim
Pre-wash fabric and booties to remove excess dye and minimize shrinking. Dry and press fabric.
Position fleece panel facing down. Using fabric pencil, trace a (3' 8") x (5' 3" ) dashed line rectangle within the panel. Mark match points at corners and every ( 6") along dashed line of each side. Trim, leaving ( 1/2" ) seam allowance.
Repeat process with flannel piece. Excess flannel will be used to make Handsleeve.
Step 3: Prepare Handsleeve - Trace and Trim
Using fabric pencil, trace an (8" x 12" ) dashed line rectangle on the excess flannel piece. Cut out, leaving ( 1/2" ) seam allowance.
Step 4: Prepare Handsleeve - Pin, Baste and Machine Stitch
Position fabric piece face up. Turn fabric's seam allowance to inside and pin, then baste.
Machine stitch fabric using matching color thread, (1/4" ) from edge, all the way around. Remove basting thread, trim "tails", set aside.
Step 5: Robe Assembly - Position Fabric, Pin at Match Points
Place flannel and fleece pieces together, each facing out. Pin together at match points.
Step 6: Robe Assembly - "Quilt" Fabric Pieces Together
Position robe flannel side up and, using thread that matches fleece, machine stitch a "quilting" seam, spaced (1) foot from left edge of robe.
Begin by placing a backstitch (1/2) inch below top hash marks then stitch downward, paralleling left edge of robe, stopping and backstitching (1/2) inch above bottom hash marks to secure.
Repeat "quilting" seam (3) times, each spaced (1) foot apart, paralleling the first seam. Fabric pieces are now permanently secured together.
Step 7: Attach Handsleeve - Center, Pin, Machine Stitch to Secure
Place robe flannel-side up, making sure fleece panel's "picture" is positioned appropriate to the placement of the Handsleeve . Place Handsleeve on flannel crosswise, facing up, centered on robe's mid -line and positioned (1) foot below top edge of robe.
Pin Handsleeve to robe. Using thread that matches fleece, machine stitch (1/4) inch from edge along top and bottom sides to secure, leaving left and right sides open for hand placement.
Step 8: Booties - Position and Attach
Place robe flannel-side up, making sure that fleece "picture" is positioned appropriate to position of Handsleeve and booties.
Place booties on flannel, facing down, toes pointed downward and heels facing out so that booty sleeve edges are (1) foot above bottom edge of robe, spaced (2) feet apart from robe's centerline.
Pin front edges of bootie "sleeves" to robe, baste then machine stitch, using thread that matches fleece, about (3) inches across each bootie sleeve, leaving (1/4) inch seam allowance. Double stitch for added strength then remove basting thread, trim "tails".
Step 9: Finish Robe - Fold in Seam Allowances and Pin
Position robe flannel-side up. Moving from left to right along edge, fold in fleece and flannel's seam allowances and pin together.
Step 10: Finish Robe - Machine Stitch Edge
Machine stitch fabric together, (1/4) inch from edge, all the way around, using thread the same color as the fleece. Trim thread "tails"...and you are done. Someone is in for a warm surprise!