Nothing quite says “summer wardrobe” like a caftan! Here in Montana, we had a long, hot summer. The new Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns was the ideal go-to for an easy, stylish garment that wouldn’t stick to sweaty skin or feel restrictive on those hot, smoky days. It’s perfect for throwing on after a swim or to wear to the Farmer’s Market on a summer Saturday!
“All versions feature a deep V neckline, kimono sleeves, and roomy pockets. View A is modern and architectural with striking pleats beneath the bust. For a softer, more romantic dress, Views B and C feature a gently gathered bodice with an optional waist tie for a figure-skimming silhouette in two skirt lengths. You may also choose between a dramatically wide kimono sleeve, or one slightly higher cut for more coverage.”
Bonnie made View B of the Charlie Caftan, but opted to add the pockets from View A. Because who doesn’t love pockets?!
This pattern runs from size 0 to size 20. Bonnie made her version in a size 8.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The pattern drawing is very accurate. Because the Tencel Rayon is so drapey, it looked a little less structured than what was pictured, but that was simply because of fabric choice.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
As with all Closet Case Patterns, Heather Lou included very detailed and clear instructions. The only tricky bit is the gathered front, but she offers a great tutorial on her website.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
A caftan by definition is a loose tunic or robe, which is what makes this pattern so effortless and comfortable. But it also means that it runs large, with a very deep V and wide armholes. For a swimsuit coverup that’s no problem, but to make it more dress-like, Bonnie opted to take the pattern in quite a bit.
A lovely Tencel Rayon in Blue! We carry a wide variety of drapey, soft, eco-friendly Tencel fabrics, and love them all. Bonnie does warn that the Tencel does fray and can snag, but is nice to sew with. This particular Tencel fabric has a lovely sheen to it that gives it a touch of glamour!
Pattern alterations and design changes
Bonnie added interfacing to the pocket side seams for added stability. She wanted to make it slightly more modest and dress-like, so she brought the shoulder seams up 3/4″ and the sleeves in by 1″. This brought the V-neck up and reduced the armholes, so it offered more coverage.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, definitely! We would like to try it in a slightly crisper fabric, such as a voile or chambray, to show off the design features. The long version would be great in a patterned rayon, such as one of these rayon batiks.
We love Closet Case Patterns, and the Charlie Caftan is no exception! It’s a casual garment that can be dressed up or down, and has such a wide variety of design option. For summertime, this is a piece that is fun to sew and won’t go out of style!