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Simplicity Pattern 8657 Misses’ Caftan with Options for Design Hacking

Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses’ Caftan with options for design hacking is the perfect garment for a vacation, stay-cation, and a pool party.

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.

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.

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My Hacks

I made two versions of this pattern and I am happy with the results considering I didn’t make a test garment.

Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses' Caftan with options for design hacking

Make Number One

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.

The knit I used was a black and white print witha 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 about 3″ – go figure!

I used foldover elastic to finish the neck edge.

All in all, this is a very comfortable caftan, too short and the slit is to high to wear out, but I do like it and will probably make it again.

Make Number Two

Oh ya! I did make 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 tappered 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 finished 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 the neck from stretching out, then stitched it down. Hope you enjoy this pattern.  It’ s easy to make and fun to wear. Who doesn’t like secret pajamas!

Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses' Caftan with options for design hacking
Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses' Caftan with options for design hacking

When you are looking for something cozy for your next pool party or breezy vacation getaway, try Simplicity Pattern 6857 Misses’ Caftan with options for design hacking.

Happy Sewing,

Sandi

PS If you are looking for some great ideas on what to make, visit my Sewing Makes and Plans Update.

PPS Check out my List of Patterns Perfect for Beginners for easy to sew 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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