Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Caftan: The Easy Way

Caftans are really popular this summer season.  What's not to like about them?  They're loose, flowy, and super comfortable.  An added bonus is that they can be worn for a variety of occasions depending on how they're made and accessorize them.

Are you looking to make a caftan for a beach cover up or as an easy dress?  Then, this is the tutorial for you.  With just a few cuts and two seams, you will have the perfect easy caftan for the rest of your summer.  Are you looking for a little bit more of a substantial caftan that will look a little bit more high end?  Check out my other caftan tutorial!

Materials:  Jersey fabric, thread, scissors, measuring tape, pins

Note:  Why jersey?  Jersey does not fray.  It will roll up slightly on the ends but does not requiring you to hem the ends to avoid fraying.

1.  Measure the amount of fabric you will need.  Measure from your shoulder to the length you want you caftan to be (mini, knee length, maxi).  Double this number.  This is the amount of jersey you need to buy.  Remember, fabric stores sell fabric by yards.  A yard is 36", so convert to yards before going to your local fabric store.

2.  Measure how wide you want your dress to be.  Fabric is sold in predetermined widths, so you cannot ask the fabric store to do this cut.  Going across you shoulders measure how long you want the sleeves of your caftan to be.

3.  Cut your fabric to the width you measured in step 3.  Make sure you are making a straight cut.

4.  Cut the neck hole.  Fold your fabric in half so that it is the length your caftan is going to be.  Find the center of your fabric and cut a neck hole.  If you want a crew neck or boat neck, cut a circle/semi circle to the width you want it.  If you want a V-neck, cut an ice cream cone shape (v in the front, slight semi circle in the back).

I chose the V in the front and back.  I highly recommend it!
5.  Measure where you want the arm holes.  Put your "caftan" on over your head.  Hold your arms straight out and have someone pin where you want your arms holes to begin.  Make sure these are in the same place on both sides.  Caftans are meant to be loose fitting, so do not pin the fabric so it is tightly against your arm.

6.  Sew your caftan.  Flip your fabric inside out (pattern sides facing each other).  Pin the front and back sides of your fabric together.  Starting at the bottom of your caftan, sew a 1/2" seam up each side of the dress.  Stop when you get to where you placed your arms hole pin.

7.  Flip your dress right side out and enjoy your caftan!

Looking to make your dress fit a little better for going out?  Belt it!  Just place a belt around the dress to give it a waist.

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