Kids' sleepwear often comes doused in chemical flame retardants we should avoid, so I'm getting crafty with my own work-around solution! I bring you the Kids' Bathrobe Made from a Grownup Hoody! Want to learn more about why to avoid chemical flame retardants in children's clothing? Check out Part 1 of this 2-part blog series!
By Janeen Ellsworth
Want to turn this...
Then follow The Reductionist's Simple DIY tutorial below, for a quick and easy flame-resistant-free kids' bathrobe!
Step 1:Choose a large-sized hoody. I picked the zip-up kind but I suppose you don’t have to. For my 6-year-old I used a man’s Extra Large. For my 5-y-o I used a Large and regretted it. Measure it against our child if it’s not intended to be a surprise. You’ll be slicing and dicing this puppy, so take advantage of the extra fabric in an XL or XXL.
Step 2: Turn the sweatshirt inside out and lay it out on a flat surface.
Step 3: Carefully snip the zipper off of both sides. I cut along the zipper fabric itself, as you can see from the pic. You could leave the zipper on, but my kids don’t want that cold metal against their bare skin when they’re fresh out of the tub!
Step 4: Snip off the sleeve cuffs, or as far up the arm as you or your child want the sleeves to go. Next, slice off the bottom elastic “cuff.” Once this is gone, it will fall more like a robe should, and you will use this piece of fabric as the belt! But keep in mind, cutting it off does remove length, so be sure you’re comfortable with what you’re slicing here.
The beauty of making all these cuts is that the sweatshirt fabric won’t fray, so you don’t even have to clean up these edges by resewing (unless you really want to punish yourself!).
Step 5: Carve a triangle shape into each armpit. This will keep tighten all that extra chest/shoulder bulk so it fits a child more appropriately.
Step 6: Sew the armpits: I used my sewing machine and just zoomed up the new seam along the chest area, then turned to make that new corner and followed down the arm until the hole was closed. You could use a zig-zag seam or one of the other fancy buttons on your machine, or just go for a straight line. Again, how long is your kid going to be wearing this thing, really?! So don’t sweat it!
Step 7: Use some of your sleeve fabric to cut belt loops. I made one for the back that would go smack-dab in the center, and then one for each side of the front. 3 loops total.
Mine were about 3 inches long and an inch or so wide. Did I mention I don’t measure anything?
Step 8: Turn your robe right-side-out now. Pin your belt loops to the robe in as straight a line as you can. Wrestle this into your sewing machine and fasten these babies on with a couple of quick stitches.
Step 9: Thread that bottom-of-the-sweatshirt “cuff” you cut off before through the newly fastened belt loops and you’re done!
Please please please let me know if you decide to make one of these, and share in the comments how your project goes! Pics, too, pretty please?!
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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