Zero waste pool robe

Our local pool closed down for repairs so we’ve had to move to a different pool and the first thing we noticed is that the walk from the change rooms to the pool and back is freezing. Especially after the swim when we’re wet. I decided to lengthen my Queen’s Gambit robe by finding the bit of towelling I had cut off to make it fit the look.

If you look carefully you can see the horizontal seam and how much length I achieved. I also removed the pockets and lowered them. They were basically under my armpits, I’m not sure how they migrated up there!

This is me post-swim, and I haven’t lined the hems up, but you get the idea.

Anyway, Mark was exceedingly envious of my now warm walk, so I thought I’d make him one. We began talking about visiting Spotlight to buy towelling, but I was reluctant to buy more fabric, so we had a rummage. We have a whole box of towels which have been left at our house by visiting kids over the years, and we found two the same. Really long ones (2 metres) but slightly manky, in spite of serious washing (they’ve been in the box for at least ten years, maybe more). I remembered that I bought some nylon at the op shop for making back packs, so I thought I’d hide the towelling under a layer of nylon.

My favourite bathrobe is the zero waste one from Liz Haywood’s book Zero Waste Sewing, and this is the pattern I used and the seventh one I’ve made. I joined the two towels together down the centre and cut out and made up the lining for the bathrobe. I had thought I had loads of nylon, but I didn’t. I had to piece the hood gusset and ditch the pockets, which is a shame. But I did get the outer to fit the inner, so I was rather pleased with myself.

Sewing it was a bit of a mission – it weighed a lot and took up a lot of space round my machine.

The end result though is something that Mark is thrilled with. Instead of watching him scuttling to and from the pool, he was happy to stop for photos.

And walking down the dark alley, through which an arctic wind whistles!

the towelling was bigger than the nylon, so I repurposed the rectangles I cut off into floor wipes. I managed to get 24 out of the leftovers, keeping this a zero waste make!

A pretty basic make, but I love that my sewing can create something that makes us more comfortable and our swims more enjoyable.


8 thoughts on “Zero waste pool robe

  1. Excellent use of resources – right down to the floor wipes.
    There does seem to be a change in attitudes for sewing now – attempts to ‘shop the stash’ rather than buying fresh for each project. I know it’s something I’m trying hard to do. Thanks for showing us such a great example 😊

    1. Thanks Kim, I have such a large stash that I need to start reducing it, and I feel virtuous every time I pull another little piece of fabric out of it. I do worry about our local small retailers though…

  2. If his legs get cold on the walk, you may consider making him lounge pants out of more old towels…I made myself a set of sweatpants and sweatshirt from some terry for after swimming and they are Cody. I will have to look for some nylon as an outer layer- thanks got the inspiration!

    1. That’s a great idea! Summer is coming so I have time to consider this. He claims that he’s warm enough, and I think the nylon really stops the wind, so I can recommend it.

  3. A great fabric combo Sue, and good use of Things You Already Have.
    I’m planning a floor-length one made from a huge towel I got from the op shop. I think it’s ex-hospital, one of those blankets that looks like a towel.

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