Hi there! I’m so excited to show off this dress, even though at this point it’s become sort of seasonally inappropriate. As soon as the Closet Case Charlie Caftan was released I knew I wanted to make one to take on our August vacation to the beach.
I had dreams of swanning around on the beach or lounging on a beach chair in my fabulous caftan. July turned out to be one of the busiest sewing months that I’ve had for a while and suddenly it was the last week of the month and I still hadn’t made my caftan. I was getting to the point of desperation and knew I had to squeeze it in somehow but I was feeling like the front inset panel might take more time than I really had to devote to making the caftan.
In typical fashion, I fell down an Instagram rabbit hole when I was looking at other sewists’ versions of this pattern and stumbled across mention of a tutorial from Coco’s Loft on how to do the panel an alternate way. The pattern calls for the panel to be constructed similar to the way a welt is constructed, I believe. Coco’s way is very quick and easy. The front panel is topstitched on, sandwiching the gathered bodice between the front and inside panels.
As soon as I saw that tutorial I knew it was the way I was going to do my panel so that I could get my caftan done in plenty of time to leave for vacation. I would definitely like to go back and make this pattern again following the pattern’s method of construction, but for someone who is doing vacation panic sewing this alternate method worked like a charm!
I made View B of the pattern out of some Art Gallery voile that had been in my stash for a while. I made a size 8 graded to a 12 at the hips. I lengthened the dress by 3″ and added the ties from View C. I did a 5/8″ forward shoulder adjustment, raised the neckline 1.5″, and raised the curve of the armhole by 1″. I wanted to be able to wear this as a dress and not just a swim coverup, which is why I raised the armhole. Even the higher arm still felt like it would be too low for my preference and I’m really happy that I decided to raise it.
The caftan turned out to be the perfect coverup for the beach. Unfortunately it was so windy that I didn’t do much swanning around and the kids really didn’t let me lay on my lounge chair looking fabulous. I did feel pretty amazing each time I put this on, even if it was just for the 10 minutes it took us to get to and from the beach. I wore it to the pool with my best friend when we got home and she immediately told me she wanted one, too. So I will get my chance to make another one very soon!
I would love to make both of the other versions of this pattern for next Summer. The maxi length is so incredible and I like the more structured, pleated version, too. I never knew I wanted a closet full of caftans but this pattern has convinced me that I do! Are you part of the #caftancult?