Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Pattern-Free Caftan... Effortless Chic!

The obsession started a few months ago... First Christina Hendricks went on Jimmy Fallon to discuss her "Caftans and Casseroles" birthday party.  Then New York Magazine's The Cut ran a feature on getting your body "caftan ready" which sounds far more fun than working on a bikini bod.  Later I tried on some designer selections at Nordstrom while jeans shopping and realized that spending big money on what is essentially two squares of fabric is a bit silly.

So instead, I decided to make my own caftan top ( a dress is likely forthcoming) which would not only be a quick and easy project but also provide a use for the silk panel prints that I have picked up over the years.  I sketched a tentative "pattern design" that looked something like this:

So yeah, basically a caftan is a big square with a hole cut out for the head and some simple side seams.  Now some fancy folk might add some shirring to define the waist or also stich horizontal seams to better define the arms, but I don't have time for that nonsense!

For a bit of added interest (and to hide the break between panels) I added some forest green silk charmeuse at the shoulder. However, this truly is just a big rectangle with a hole in the middle.

  I made bias tape with the remaining green silk.

And used my silk bias tape to finish the neckline and hem.

I then sewed the side seams. And this is even simpler than normal side seams as you sew the wrong sides together.

Now if you want a loose and easy fit and feel you can stop here and call it a day.


However, for those of us who want or need a bit more waist definition, you can sew large buttonholes just outside the side seam and use a narrow belt or sash to emphasize your curves!

Voila! Casual summer glam!