No, it’s not summer yet. I’m just getting a head start on my summer wardrobe! I’m envisioning myself wearing caftans and muumuus in tropical prints and flitting around the ranch with a banana daiquiri in hand. I probably won’t be glamorously lounging around with cocktails, but I can tell you that I’ll be wearing these dresses daily when it heats up here in California. The first of my dream dresses in my sewing queue is the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns.
Now, I loved this pattern when I first saw it and thought about buying and making it last summer. I love the late 1960’s/70’s vibe and it looks effortlessly chic. I’ve never been into maxi dresses, but when I made this dress last year, I absolutely lived in it. My first foray into long dresses showed me how cool and comfortable they are and how much I love wearing them.
The Charlie Caftan has two versions — a maxi and mini. Both are quite interesting and unique designs, but I was drawn to the maxi version. It has a clever waist inset with ties that are sewn to the sides of it and are drawn to the back to give waist definition. Mine is a little askew and not quite rectangular due to a grading mishap (on me, not the pattern maker). Next time, I’ll get it right. 🙂
I chose the version with the wide kimono sleeves, which really aren’t that wide on me. I included the dramatic side slits in the skirt and I am just in love with them. I’d say my only issue with the pattern that I would change in the future is the V-neck, as it goes a little too deep for me. But honestly, I wouldn’t change anything else as the pattern is perfect. My only alteration was grading this pattern up as it only goes up to a size 20 (bust 46″). I graded up to about a size 22/24.
When Kate from The Confident Stitch contacted me about collaborating with a project, I looked through her impressive selection of fabrics and I was really drawn to the the Hoffman “On the Lanai” barkcloth fabrics. I have a huge love for barkcloth and often search for vintage examples of it when I’m shopping for vintage fabric. However, vintage barkcloth is expensive and I’ve only run across two small pieces out in the “wild”, that I have plans to make pillows with.
Normally, I would choose a floral print, but I was really drawn to this green banana leaf print. I thought it would make an amazing dress and hoped that I didn’t look like a curtain when it was finished. Barkcloth is not one of the fabric suggestions for the Charlie Caftan, but there are so many vintage 1960’s/70’s dresses in a similar silhouette made of barkcloth that I figured it would work and indeed it does. Barkcloth isn’t as stiff as the name implies and it does have a lovely drape as well as being comfortable to wear. Nope! It’s not just for home dec!
Barkcloth is also easy to sew with and I’m thinking about making another dress in this fabric. I also would LOVE to have curtains made out of it in my sun room/porch (yes the LANAI!), but there are seven windows out there and that seems like a costly proposition, even though this fabric is not that expensive. One of my plans this year is to renovate (new paint/flooring) the sun room. It has a distinctive 1960’s vibe with it’s vintage midcentury Acapulco chairs and decor. Barkcloth would certainly send it over the edge! 🙂 Oh, and think about all of the lovely photos I could take out there in my caftans and muumuus!
Thanks so much to The Confident Stitch for this fabric and pattern! It’s no doubt going to be in heavy rotation this summer.
*Disclaimer: I received both the pattern and the fabric for this dress in exchange for a review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions. I am an affiliate for The Confident Stitch and have used affiliate links in the post.
- Dress: Closet Case Charlie Caftan in cotton barkcloth, made by me
- Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens Peep Toe Super High
- Necklace: Vintage 1970’s from my mom’s jewelry box
- Brooch: Redbird Vintage Box
- Earrings: Vintage Bakelite via eBay