The sleeves are finished now except for the gold details. I plain to paint the swirls on using fabric paint. I bought several shades so I can add some depth to the designs. I will try out all of the colors on scraps first because I'm not sure how thick the paint should be or what it will look like after it dries. It would be horrible to just start painting directly on the sleeves and then have it turn out really ugly. So my planned process is:
1. Trace the design onto a piece of tagboard or cardstock to make a stencil. Label one side "right" and one side "left" so I can make sure it will be mirrored exactly on the left and right sleeves.
2. Test the paint on scrap pieces of the purple satin fabric to make sure it bonds well and looks good. Also test the design to figure out which colors to use and how to add depth with highlights and lowlights.
3. Pin the design stencil onto one sleeve and paint on the design. After it dries (if paint got on the stencil), flip the stencil and do the other sleeve.
The lower half of the robe is closer to completion now too. The side seams are finished, including adding a zipper. I am currently working on the bottom hem. I am sewing yellow double-fold bias tape along the bottom hem to give it the gold border at the bottom. The added stiffness should also make the hem less flowing so it is more like a robe than a skirt. Once this is done I should be able to paint the designs on at the same time (and via the same process) as the designs on the sleeves.
Once the sleeves and skirt are complete I will probably start focusing on the side panels or finish the top. I may save the top for last because I could decide to skip some of the back details and opt for a cloak instead.