Women’s Caftan with Options for Design Hacking
Wow – where have you been all my life? This is the most comfy pattern – okay, it’s really just pj’s, but it looks great, feels great, and wears great. I just love sewing patterns that offer multiple versions of basic shapes. Simplicity 8657 caftan is a perfect wardrobe addition.
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Updated October 2023
Simplicity is trying to make their patterns more versatile for the average sewist. This dress/top pattern comes in different lengths and with a little additional tweaking, it is a fun pattern to make and wear. I look forward to trying other patterns in Simplicity’s pattern hack collection.
Simplicity Misses’ Caftan Pattern 6857 with options for design hacking is the perfect garment for a summer vacation, stay-cation, or pool party. The simple pattern has basic shapes that will drape any body type. With some slight modifications, you can make something a little more flattering. Everyone needs to have a great caftan – it’s a perfect wardrobe goto piece.
Starting with a basic design, you can use the pattern hack collection to craft something that is perfect for you. The hack collection is designed with four different lengths allowing you to express your style and creativity.
Available in sizes XXS-XS-S-M-L-XL-XXL all in one pattern envelope — I love it when sewing patterns have all the sizes in one envelope.
I made two versions of this pattern and I am happy with the results considering I didn’t make a test garment.
The first Caftan I made was out of a ITY knit from my stash. An ITY knit is an Interlock Twisted Yarn Polyknit. They tend to have a great drape, with a decent amount of stretch. They are perfect for dresses, tops, and wide leg pants where you want a floaty feel. You can explore Minerva’s ITY knits or take a gander at Mood Fabrics ITY offerings. Both have uniquely delicious designs.
The knit I used was a black and white print with a bright red poppy border. I laid the pattern out so the border was on the bottom and just at the top of my sandals. What I didn’t take into consideration was that the “V” in the front (and back) was 3″ below my bra – Yikes! So I shortened the shoulder seam 3″ – which, of course, threw off the hem line and it’s shorter than I had planned – but better than the peep show I was sporting. I also shortened the sleeve, because that was all the fabric I had – story of my life – never had quite enough fabric!
For a dress, I thought it was a little too loose and had no shape at all. So I added a 2″ piece of elastic about 8″ long to the center front under the bust. I stretched the elastic and stitched channels in the fabric and elastic to give the dress a little more definition. I’m pretty happy with the results, but since I shortened the shoulders, the slit on the side was too high and I needed to close that up to about 3″ – go figure!
I used fold over elastic to finish the neck edge.
All in all, this is a very comfortable caftan, too short and the slit is too high to wear as a dress, but it makes great lounge wear and works as a beach coverup.
Oh ya! I made it again. This time I made a shorter version specifically as a beach cover up.
So, for the second Caftan, I angled the shoulder seam 3″ at the neck edge up to the edge of the sleeve. I folded down the tissue at the neck edge and tapered it out to the sleeve. This shortened the “V” in the neck but not the sleeve opening.
I didn’t have as much fabric, so I cut it to the length of what I had. Since this was a beach cover up, I didn’t finish the edges of the sleeves and the hem. I just left them raw cut.
I serged on the salvage at the neck edge, to keep it from stretching out, then stitched it down.
When you are looking for something cozy for your next pool party or breezy vacation getaway, try Simplicity 8657 with options for design hacking.
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