My partner was watching TV wrapped in a throw comforter, and when he got up to go to the kitchen, the comforter was hanging around his shoulders, about to fall off, when he looked to me and asked:
"Could you sew me something that would stay on when I moved around but feel comfy like a comforter, but not too restrictive?"
Could I? Of course I could! I have sewn a 'snuggie' before, but I find them restrictive and not too easy to walk around in. A house coat is not that comfy feeling that he was looking for, and he specifically DID NOT want fleece or terry cloth. I love to upcylce things, so I thought i'd head to the Red White and Blue store (our local thrift store that benefits veterans) and see what would inspire me. I found this king size comforter, it was priced 19.95 and was half off. I took my find home and decided to make a huge oversized kimono like coat that would be perfect for curling up in on the couch. Here's how I did it....
Step 1: Planning the Snugmono
First I wanted to draw a rough pattern for the snugmono. My goal was to cut the pieces so that I used the already finished edges as much as possible. That would give the garment and more professional and finished look. So when I drew out the sleeves then front and back pieces, I lined them up with the edge of the comforter. I drew out the pattern to include two pockets, a belt and a collar in addition to the main pieces of the Comfimono. I ended up changing the design slightly as I went along, and did not add the pockets or the belt or collar, I decided it did not really need those things, but I have included them in my drawing in case you want to add them yourself.
The dimensions I used for the main pieces of this garment are:
Sleeve (x2) - 44" x 30"
Front Panels (x2) - 18" x 48"
Back Panel (x1) - 24" x 48"
NOTE: back panel is only a few inches wider than the front panel, this allows for the Comfimono to really wrap around you.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces
NExt it is time to cut out the pieces. Since all of these pieces are just rectangles, you can just measure them out and cut them. Or you can make pattern pieces and cut out those. I keep a roll of brown paper that painters use to protect floors and surfaces (this can be purchased at Home Depot or other hardware store) and I use it for creating patterns. I choose to create a paper pattern.
Pic 1 : I folded comforter in half to cut out the sleeves and front panels, since I needed two of each of these at the exact same size. I used binder clips to secure the pattern, the cut away.
Then I cut out the back piece.
Pic 2 : shows the back and front panels
Pic 3 : The back Panel With the sleeves
Pic 4 : All the pieces laid out how they will be sewn (with my assistant)
Step 3: Preparing the Pieces to Be Sewn
Since this is a comforter, there is the batting to deal with. I used both a sewing machine and a serger to get my pieces ready to be sewn together.
When using the sewing machine, I wanted to create a nice edge to sew on. To do this, I took the cut edges, pushed the batting back a bit (.5" or so) from the edge of the fabric, then used pins to hold the batting in place. Then I would sew a quick line to hold the batting in place, and also giving me a seam allowance to use in the rest of my construction.
If you have a serger, you can serge all the open ends together, sergers can handle the thickness pretty well.
Step 4: Sewing the Fronts to the Back, Part 1
When attaching the fronts to the back, we start by just sewing the shoulder seam. I struggled finding a picture that explained this well, so I am going to show you on the pattern.
Pic 1 : you will sew the green lines together and then the red lines together, SEWING RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER
Pic 2 : You only need to sew in about 5". Notice I used Binder clips here to hold the front to the back, and used them to let me know where to stop sewing.
When you do sew this, use a Large Seam allowance. 1.5" - 2".
Pic 3 - 5 : After you have sewn both fronts to the backs at the shoulder, then you want to fold the rest of the back and front back 1.5" - 2" to match your chosen seam allowance. Then you want to topstitch the seam allowance down. This will create a faux collar of sorts that is comfortable and is easy to do (much easier than trying to sew in a collar!)
Step 5: Sew in the Sleeves
Sewing in the sleeves is pretty simple. I laid out the sewn front and back panels on my table. I then fold my sleeve in half, and lay the fold line right at the shoulder seam of the front and back pieces. Once I have done that, I will begin to pin, or as I prefer, clip the pieces together, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.
Once everything is secured, you will just sew the sleeve to the body of the sungmono, once again, SEWING RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.
Do this for both sides. you are now almost done!!!
Step 6: Sewing the Fronts to the Back, Part 2
Only two seams left!
Basically we will now sew up the sides, the fronts to the back, and the sleeves to themselves. Laying the garment out on the table, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, line everything up, then pin, or clip the entire side seam together, from the bottom of the garment, to the armpit then out to the end of the sleeve. Once this is done, just sew that seam in one long seam.
Repeat on the other side.
Step 7: Turn It Inside Out....
and Voia, it's completed! You have your own Comfimono!
Step 8: Enjoy Your Comfimono Mono!
Wear your Comfimono while watching tv, reading a book, or just chilling out on the couch!