Simplicity 8657
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Simplicity 8657 Misses’ Caftan

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

The Pattern

Simplicity 8657

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.

The Fabric

Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses' Caftan with options for design hacking

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.

Version One

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.

Version Two

Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses' Caftan with options for design hacking

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.

Happy Sewing,

Sandi

Simplicity 8657

PS:

If you are looking for some great ideas on what to make, visit my Sewing Makes and Plans Update. Check out my List of Patterns Perfect for Beginners for easy to sew patterns.

I love my Bernette 38 Sewing Machine. It is perfect for sewing beautiful garments. 

Make your garments better with my 21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End

Do you love Sew Alongs and Sewing Tips and Tricks? My Youtube channel Barrett’s Custom Design is filled with great sewing techniques served up with a few laughs. 

My Sewing With Sandi Etsy Shop has over 500 hard to find women’s, men’s, and children’s patterns. You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns.  You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns. 

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50 Comments

  1. I admire sewing! I never really learned, though, unfortunately, and I don’t have a daughter to motivate me. Those do look quite comfy. 🙂

  2. These both look great. I like that you added the elastic to define the waist more and I love the patterns!

      1. I love this!!! I don’t see anymore because I gave away my sewing machine and I no longer have space to see in my tiny apartment. I need someone to make this for me!

  3. I love this dress! I am really into maxi dresses right now and they can be so expensive in the stores.

  4. What a nice dress! I love how you can just improvise on the spot. It would take me some serious stress to figure out how to change things that weren’t working. I do think this pattern works amazingly well as a beach cover up. And secret pajamas is right! How fun it must be to be able to sew like that!

  5. You make it seem so easy to make. I recently attempted to use my sewing machine and have no clue what I’m doing. I should probably try an easier pattern like this.

  6. I never would have imagined how cute that dress could be from the picture on the front of the pattern! Great ideas to make a simple pattern really cute!

  7. Thanks for sharing. My daughter wants me to make her a caftan so I picked up this pattern and S8877. I’m going to have to add pockets on this one I think. You did a great job both times.

  8. Your kaftans look great. I have the pattern and opened it today, wow its more difficult than it looks this sewing business so it’s on the table waiting for me to muster up the courage to tackle it. If it turns out half as good as yours I’ll be impressed ?

  9. I just bought this pattern. I’m 5’8″ and thought I’d do a medium in cotton. I plan to wear it out. Do you think I’ll need to take in the shoulders?

    Did your elastic go all the way across or just about shoulder width?

    1. Diana,

      I’m sure you will love this pattern. I would check the neckline by mocking up a piece, you can do it just to the bust to see how low you want it to go and how wide across the neck. You may want to extend the shoulder seam into the neckline and shorten the “V” – depends on how much skin you like to show.

      My elastic is is about 3″ in from each side seam; just to give the caftan a little shaping.

      Happy sewing!

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