A while ago my mother in law asked if I would make her a kaftan. I said yes not having the foggiest idea how. She loves that deep cranberry/wine red colour and wanted something like that. A couple of weeks later The Fabric Warehouse had a pop up sale but the sewing gods were not smiling that day for red so I went a little crazy buying up kaftan options. I’ve kind of figured out with my in laws that if I think it’s hideous they’ll probably love it (and vice versa). Some others from the WSBN were there also buying up large and there were more than a few funny looks as I bought up great lengths of some really ugly knit fabrics in purples and pinks and exclaimed in delight at how hideous I thought they were.
The fabric bags were stashed away and realisation dawned that I truly had no idea how to go about making a kaftan without making it look like a large sack but then the sewing gods decided to smile after all and a vintage kaftan pattern wandered into my hands.
“Woohoo! I don’t have to try and figure out how to do this!” my mind was screaming as I politely said thank you and immediately flipped it over to the line drawing. I decided on View A which is the pink version.
Turns out it’s pretty much rectangles as I was thinking, but the pattern included a neck facing and craftily two big fish eye darts at the front with a hole in the middle of each to pass a belt through to tie neatly at the front. The darts and waist tie mean the front is cinched closer to the body which helps avoid potato sack likeness.
The knit fabric while not something I would normally buy print/colour wise had the most wonderful weighty drape and was lovely to work with. It’s completely synthetic but the nice synthetic. I thought the neckline looked a little boring and as I’m still having fun learning all the new stitches on my fabulous new machine I decided to go fancy with some flowers.
The MiL loves the kaftan and really likes the fabric and colour – whew! And the rest of the fabric options? Some I’ve kept for muslins but the others got donated and are out there somewhere lurking in a charity shop – possibly near you!