Finished Object: Housecoat 1939 (Or, My Answer To The Snuggie)

Snuggie is the original blanket with sleeves, keeping you warm and comfortable and able to read a book, use a TV remote or enjoy a warm drink.”  -from the online snuggie store

Wow, I can be warm AND comfortable AND I can use my arms?  Strike me dead.  How did anyone do anything in a cold house and stay warm before the advent of the snuggie?

With housecoats.  Beautiful, ladylike housecoats.  Or in my case, a snuggly warm one I threw together as an experiment.   No front tie, I thought it might be overkill.  I scavenged the blue facing peeking around the CF from Lydia’s corpse.  I mean, skirt.  From her skirt.

Puffed sleeve head supported by net, but comfy enough for lounging.  In these photos, I’m wearing regular clothes underneath.

The skirt feels deliciously glamorous, even in purple flannelette.  I shortened the sleeves by 2″.

I suspect the back would fall in prettier folds had I paid more attention to the cutting.  Speaking of cutting, I paid a hairdresser to cut off the mess I made of my hair.  I don’t want to talk about it.

The back is fuller than the front, which is cut almost flat.   Hem bias bound.  I love my binding foot, it’s a breeze.

Can’t twirl in a snuggie.  What lifts the spirit like a good twirl?

I have a weakness for odd old-fashioned loungewear.  This will be the next in that vein; as much as I want to start it yesterday, I need to knock out some more quick utility sewing.  A minki tiger housecoat for my girl, hemp fleece lounge pants for the man, and I keep thinking I’ll venture into panty-making.  They’re outrageously expensive here.


  1. Cute! I've been wanting to make a housecoat. My robe is the one I had in high school and it's looking decidedly sad. (Not to mention covered in threads since I sew in it sometimes.)

  2. A thousand times cuter than a snuggie. And really, the snuggie idea was NOT an improvement on the robe/housecoat idea.

  3. Wonderful housecoat, suitable for English country house murder mystery! Swoop down the hall and twirl down the stairs… flirt with the police detective… offer tea… I had an awful lung infection last winter & felt so comforted to have a clean flannel robe. If you need one, you need several, and the laundry will wait until you're better. Your color is wonderful and I like the hair too. When I get the urge to sew slapdash–hang the fussy "right way"–I feel like I'm still doing a better job than cheap RTW ever does. I can go back to fix if I want. Kristina in Ohio

  4. Definitely stylish and warm! I am in my pj's with a sweater thrown over the top. I must up my style quotient and after looking at your lovely robe, I will add a housecoat to my list. I love your haircut-it looks fresh.

  5. Oh wow, that is just so gorgeous. I was looking forward to this when you first mentioned it. And that pattern is killing me. I have my own little stash of 30s/40s housecoats, and have been searching for over a year for one with a peter pan collar and single-breasted opening. I have the perfect fabric for it but for some reason have this particular style glued to my imagination. So many of that era's housecoats are wrap-arounds or double-breasted. …Good for you to break your rules. I'm about ready to do that too.

  6. Ooooo I love it! I adore the skirt on it! You must feel so lady-like in it. :) I've been wanting to make myself a housecoat for a long time, but I really do hate those bulky, ginormous-sleeved monstrosities. Maybe I need to track down this pattern, or one like it.After I'm done with my thesis, I mean. *shifty eyes* …yes.

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  8. I apologize for posting on older posts – I’m finally managing to read through your archives.

    I love this housecoat! It looks so comfortable and a heck of a lot more charming than a snuggie. You could answer the door in this and not really raise an eyebrow. Answer the door in a snuggie, the person on the other side will most likely be trying to suppress laughter!

    With Autumn and Winter rolling in, I think I should look into making something like this so I stop the horrific practice of wearing my husbands sweaters along with trackydacks or yoga pants.

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  12. I’m visiting the archives thanks to Tanit-Isis and her house coat pattern. May I say I adore this? Absolutely adore it. When mine falls apart, I’m going to have to find something like that. I don’t like the fold overs much because as I whined in her comments, I find it all too bulky and gets in the way or shifts and I trip on it going up the stairs. Maybe you can drink tea in a snuggy, but how the heck are you suppose to make pancakes or walk?

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