Recycling vintage blankets

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that I have recently made two dressing gowns from a couple of blankets saved from my late Mother-in-law’s possessions. I managed to get seven blankets and these are the most modern, but are still at least forty years old, and in fact, Mark and I had them on our bed when we visited Hobart, so they are like old friends!

I used the hooded robe pattern from Liz Hayward’s, Zero Waste Sewing.


I have already made myself summer versions of the robe, but knew that I was going to line this one and went up a size to accommodate the lining. The bathrobe takes a specific amount of fabric and I had a really good hunt in my stash for an appropriate lining, but couldn’t find anything, so did what any self respecting sewist would do; I had a good look in my linen cupboard! I found an old doona cover that we used to use when we were camping. The colours worked so I was ready to go.

Unfortunately, it became quickly apparent that the new bathrobe was going to be far too big on me so I converted it for Mark. It needed much longer sleeves so I added cuffs and he wanted it to be quite long so I added a wide band round the bottom. Unfortunately I could not pattern match but Mark assured me he wasn’t fussed. I, however, am extremely fussed by this but I can’t do much without sacrificing another blanket.


I managed a photo of him watching television. I felted his slippers too.


Having made Mark’s I turned my attention to one for me. I went down two sizes and thought carefully about the length and managed to make mine long enough using the full width of the blanket. I still had to add cuffs to make the sleeves long enough, but it was nice not to have to add the hem band.


I used the other side of the doona to line mine. I have to say that sewing the enormous heavy blanket and the lining together tested my patience, and it’s really easy to get things twisted. I was very happy to have this done!IMG_0531

The hood is brilliant. Our house is a bit draughty and I can just pull it up and I’m like toast!IMG_0562

Each dressing gown has the original blanket label sewn into the neck.


I didn’t actually start my blanket revival with the dressing gowns, I used a piece for a quilted rug. This is the backIMG_0421

and the front is made from silk scraps, most of which are sample pieces. I had a huge mess in my sewing room whilst I was doing this.


but order emerged from the chaos.Β IMG_0336

The final quilt top.


Mark’s dressing gown was made from the remainder, which in retrospect wasn’t a good idea, but I got there in the end.

This is another photo of me reading my cloth book with Ted, as in my last post


I don’t think this will be the last blanket dressing gown I make, I really need one at our holiday place where it is freezing in winter.


12 thoughts on “Recycling vintage blankets

  1. These are wonderful! Love that you made them full length and lined them. A warm dressing gown is the key to getting out of bed on winter mornings.
    As you discovered the sizing is generous and flexible – the one shown in the book is a 10 (on a 10 model) but has been successfully worn by women up to 3 sizes larger.

    1. Thanks Liz, yes, they are fabulously roomy and the wrap around means that legs don’t get bared. I love mine so much, we haven’t had the heater going yet!

  2. Gosh they are so gorgeous. I love the colours. I love those old blankets and look often at the 2nd hand shops (oh seeming so long ago to be able to go op shopping) to get one. I love that you used the label. The truth is I am very envious πŸ™‚

  3. You both look so warm and snuggly and the colours are amazing. Mum still has some that we sleep under when we visit.

  4. Magnificent use of resources. I have one on my ‘to do’ list – who wouldn’t want a dressing gown with a hood?
    The quilt is fabulous. Did you sew directly to the blanket or make the top separately and anchor it afterwards?

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