Like everyone else in the sewing world I fell immediately in love with the Closet Case Patterns Charlie caftan and decided that I was not going to go through the summer without one.
I wanted the long version which takes a fair amount of fabric and I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash, but fortuitously I found this lovely piece of viscose at a local op shop for $6 so I was set. But then came all my troubles as this is the shiftiest piece of fabric that I’ve sewn for a while and in spite of multiple pins and every pattern weight I own, and using a blade to cut it out, I finished up with some quite misshapen pieces. Although I had quite a bit of fabric I had to do some pattern matching which meant I didn’t have enough to cut the front and the back on the fold, so I put the back on the fold and did a seam at the centre front. With the gathers and busy pattern I think I just got away with this. Then my brain went AWOL and I accidentally cut one of the inset panel cutouts too long. I had to patch it. Then I found it impossible to sew that inset piece over the top. I just could not get it sitting right. In the end I pressed the seam allowance all round it and simply sewed it over the top, simultaneously adding the inside one as well. Having wasted possibly two hours or so sewing and unpicking, it finished up taking 15 minutes to get it right. Then I found the sewalong which would probably have helped, but maybe not given the aforementioned shifty (not what I was calling it!) nature of this fabric.
As I was struggling with the caftan, dragging around lots of fabric, and generally getting into a terrible mess, I thought back on all the blog posts about it that I had read and didn’t remember a single negative comment. Then I put the caftan on and although I found the neck is really a bit low for me, the caftan is exactly what I wanted, so I was thrilled.
I was less thrilled with my pattern placement on the bodice. I was concentrating so hard on the horizontal that I completely missed the fact that I had those vertical stripes and they aren’t quite symmetrical. I didn’t really notice until I put the dress on for the first time and then chose to ignore it. But it’s there!
I wore it to our Gardens by the Bay excursion in Singapore, and can I just mention how these gardens have matured since our first visit a few years ago, although I’m not too certain about the Lego garden in the photo below!
Although it’s got all kinds of strange light effects going on, I do like this photo of me with Tom.
and all of us… (minus Archie, of course ;( )
The caftan is comfortable, floaty, showy and vaguely elegant. I wore it on Christmas Eve night and felt quite well dressed, except I forgot that I was going to be walking up and down stairs which meant that I was gathering great swathes of fabric into my hands. No matter. It’s a marvellous addition to my wardrobe and I intend to wear it at every opportunity!
I did much better with the pattern placement on the back, getting everything nice and square.
Next time I’m going to make it just a bit shorter, or I may even chop a couple of centimetres off the bottom of this one. I really like this dress though, it’s easy and cool and I can’t wait to make a short version inspired by handmadebycarolyn‘s white one.