This is my latest installment of the “Summer of Caftan.” There will also be the “Summer of Gingham” heading your way soon. I do have several finished projects yet to blog, but eventually they’ll make it here. I finished a lengthy project with multiple pieces recently and was sewing like a madwoman. My last few projects also took me longer than I expected, which put me behind. I’m back on track now with more finished projects that haven’t made it here. 🙂
I’m very excited to share this dress with you! It’s a BRAND NEW release from Decades of Style in their Decades Everyday collection. The TLC Caftan! I pattern tested this gem and am astoundingly happy to show it off! (Also, the TLC Caftan is currently on sale for 20% using the code: CAFTAN20 )
The TLC Caftan is a bit of a different take on the 1960’s/70’s caftan. I really like the short version as it’s kind of modern, but it has these voluminous sleeves. It’s just so light, cool and comfortable that it’s going to be a staple when it hits the 100’s here in northern California. It’s not even hot here yet and it’s already on heavy rotation along with my Charlie Caftan.
This dress was so different to make from any other dress that I’ve constructed. It has front and back bodice and skirt pieces along with waist insets, but there’s a third piece on each side which gives the dress those amazing sleeves and the feature that comes to mind when you think of a caftan.
It reminds me a lot of a kimono, which is a style that I am very much drawn to. The side panels have slits for your arms and become sleeves. The dress doesn’t have any side seams either! Inside, there are waist ties that give the dress shape. The crossover faux wrap bodice does gape a bit on me, which happens in every pattern I make like this. It doesn’t matter to me with this dress as I need to wear a slip under it anyway (I have a black rayon jersey slip underneath) as this dress is a little sheer. I will fix that with future versions of this pattern. I was afraid that it would be terrible to cut this out, but it wasn’t, as it has several pattern pieces instead of a few humongous ones.
I used this GORGEOUS rayon gauze in a Sketchbook Wildflower print from Cali Fabrics. I admittedly have a problem with black rayon floral prints (more on this later), but I could not resist this. I knew it would be PERFECT for the TLC Caftan. I’m not a big fan of cotton gauze (single layer gauze, not double gauze), but I can get behind rayon gauze. It does fray a bit, but my serger is my BFF, so I tackled that easily. It just drapes so well and is wonderful to wear. It can be slippery, so I used long, thin pins with it (placed at a slant) and microtex 70/10 needles.
The pattern is meant to have a contrast fabric at the waist insets and on the armhole binding. I didn’t plan ahead and didn’t have fabric in my stash that would have looked good with this fabric, so I did it all in the same fabric. I’ve already seen some samples with the contrast fabrics and WHOA do they look AMAZING. I think it might be interesting to have a contrast on the neck binding, too.
Wearing this dress makes me feel fabulous. So much so that I look forward to adding another version to my closet. It does take A LOT of fabric. Four yards for this short version and easily six yards for the full-length version. I’d love to make the maxi caftan sometime, too, but I like this knee-length caftan as it feels more like a “dress” and not so much like I’m wearing my nightgown out (Remember: I’m a new convert to maxi dresses). How cool would it be shorten this to a tunic length and wear it with skinny jeans or leggings? <3
Do you see what I mean about me and black floral prints?
Note: I received this pattern at no cost in return for being a pattern tester. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
- Dress: Decades Everyday TLC Caftan in rayon gauze, made by me
- Slip: McCalls 6696 in rayon jersey, made by me
- Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
- Earrings: Vintage bakelite