Monday, September 9, 2013

Caftan completed - Simplicity 5718

I learned a few valuable lessons sewing this pattern. The pattern was indeed what I wanted. I found it on Etsy:

It was new and uncut, dated 1982. I generally liked patterns from that era and wanted something very simple in lines and construction. The bodice is about the right size. The sleeves fit well at shoulder insertion, but man, they're full of way too much fabric. I added elastic to the cuff because I don't care for hanging sleeves. I also ran out of fabric! I pieced the sleeves. Remember, this is just something to throw on in the morning; I won't be wearing it outside the house. Whew! Lastly, the body of the caftan is huge. I will cut at least 4" from the center of the front and the back next time, and I do have another set of fabrics ready to use. I added a matching ribbon here and there, and am showing a closeup below.
The sleeves look a little funky in the picture because of the piecing, but you can see where there's way too much volume in the gathered portions. That's easily corrected. The non-checkered fabric was used for the cuffs and I used 2" elastic because the cuffs were so large. I will make them half the size next time and perhaps use 5/8" or 1/2" elastic.
I happened on the ribbon at Joann's and it matched the flowery fabric perfectly.

Overall, I'm okay with the pattern itself. The fabrics I chose are too heavy and, as mentioned, I ran out and had to do some not-so-pretty piecing. Live and learn! I have some lighter fabric that I've had for years and wouldn't use for a garment that is perfect for this type of garment. It should be a quicker sew as well. The pockets from 1982 are cut kind of funky, so I adjusted them and made them a little deeper.

This caftan will get worn a lot this winter. I can see me frumping around with this, socks, and slippers when I take the dog out in the morning.

I have a cardigan cut out and ready to go next! Plus, my package of sale knits came today, so more cardigans are in the works!

Keep sewing, even when it's ugly. You will learn something and just might get some wear out of it too.

Update (09/14): Hated this house dress. The yolk is now gone and I used the rest to make a really nice summery skirt. I have a salmon colored tee that goes well with it. 

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