A Charlie Caftan Summer!


I love IPM month because it pushes me to try new things. That’s why I did a hack of my new favorite pattern, the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Files. It’s a fabulous pattern, with several options that provide ample opportunity for you to do your own thing. You can make a loose gathered kaftan, either short or long, or a more fitted version without gathers.


For my hack, I used Version A, the non-gathered version.il_fullxfull.1223032594_ih2b

I loved the shape of view A so I decided to convert it into a more fitted cocoon dress. I modified as follows:

  • I raised the inset opening by 1 1/2 because, as drafted it was too close to the waist for the look I wanted.


  • The Inset Insertion: From my muslin, I discovered I was not wild about how the front inset is assembled. You’re supposed to insert the inset into a 1/4’ opening and make it smooth and neat. Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen for me. So, rather than an inset, I merely slit the opening, made the pleats as instructed, then topstitched the inset over the slit. It’s easier and looks a bit smoother to me.

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  • The pleats add a cool shape to the dress so I stitched them down.
  • I added large patch pockets to the front with button down flaps. I added self-faced cuffs to the sleeves that can be rolled up and kept in place with button tabs.
  • I added a small raised collar to the back of the neck, to make the neckline look more like a shirt.
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I love my cocoon shaped shift dress. My fabric is cotton lawn, and I could imagine this dress in linen, cotton double gauze or rayon. I’m such a fan of this pattern! It’s so versatile, it’s going to be a go -to pattern for me.  I plan to make a gathered version, both short and long. It’s going to be a caftan summer around here!

I’m loving Indie Pattern Month and all of your makes. Thanks to the Monthly Stitch for organizing this great event. For more of my makes, visit my blog, Ellegeemakes.com. Happy Sewing!

15 thoughts on “A Charlie Caftan Summer!

  1. Really like this and your alteration to the sleeve. I’m thinking that design would work well in block colours too – I’m visualising a dark colour on the bottom and a lighter one on top….hmmmm, off to buy the pattern then!

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