striped-caftanFeatured: Oscar de la Renta Caftan

Oscar de la Renta shows us how to relax with this 2009 caftan style. The sheer striped silk print is so feminine and the flat braid trim makes this style ultra luxe. Can you just imagine lounging around in this? (You’ll definitely want to sew one up as no pattern is required.) This is a classic piece that belongs in any collection of beautiful, fine clothing.

You will need:

  • Fashion fabric, 45″ [114cm] wide
  • Flat braid trim, 2″ [5cm] wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • 12 half-ball buttons, line 20 [12.5 mm dia.]

MEASUREMENTS

Measure from the nape of your neck down to the desired length: purchase twice this amount of 45″ [114cm] wide fashion fabric and four and a half times this amount of 2″ [50mm] wide flat braid trim .

CUTTING

Cut the fabric into two equal lengths.

Reduce the width of both pieces to 35″ [89cm].

From the excess cut-away material, cut two rectangles, each measuring 10″ wide x 40″ long [25.5cm x 102cm]. Set these aside to be used for the sleeves.

NECKLINE

Choose one length of fabric to be the front of the caftan. Spread it out on the tabletop, face side up, and fold in half lengthwise. Mark and cut the front neck opening as follows:

frontneckFrom the foldline at the center top edge of the fabric:

Measure down 4″ [10cm] and mark with a pin.

Along the top edge, place a pin 4″ [10 cm] from the foldline.

Arc a curve using a compass from the top of the foldline between the 2 pins.

Cut out the neck opening. Refer to diagram A.

Cut along the foldine of the front piece in two halves  (centerfront seam).

backneckChoose the other panel of fabric to be the back of the caftan. Spread it out on the tabletop, face side up, and fold in half lengthwise. Mark and cut the back neck opening as follows:

From the foldline at the center top edge of the fabric:

Measure down 1 ½” [4 cm] and mark with a pin.

Along the top edge, place a pin 4″ [10cm] from the foldline.

From this pin, measure down 1 ½” [4cm].

Shape the back neck and cut out the neck opening. Refer to diagram B.

ASSEMBLY

On the two front portions of the caftan, turn ½” [12.5mm] seam allowance along the centerfront edges and press flat. Open the folded edge.

braid2Align the edge of the flat braid to the foldline of the seam allowance. The trim should be on top of the seam allowance with wrong sides together. Edge-stitch the braid to the centerfront edge.

Repeat (as mirrored image) to the opposite front piece of the caftan.

Layer both front pieces with right sides together and matching the braid trim. Align the trim at the center front.

Measure down from the neck edge 8″ [20cm] and mark with a pin. This will create a keyhole neckline.

Measure up from the hem edge 18″ [46cm] and mark with a pin. This will create a center slit.

With wrong sides together, stitch the centerfront seam of the front panels between the two pins. (Note: Do not catch the trim in the stitched seam.)

With the front piece FACE UP, gently press the centerfront seam open by placing the braid trim flat. On the open edge of the trim, edgestitch the braid to the caftan fronts.

With wrong sides together, pin/baste back piece to front piece at shoulders. Sew shoulder seams. Press seams open.

Take the two sleeve rectangles and pin braid trim to one long edge in the same manner that was used for the centerfront edge , aligning trim with seam allowance. (There will be some excess at the top and bottom). Edge-stitch braid to fabric to create the wrists.

With right sides together, fold each rectangle in half width-wise and mark  midpoint location with a pin.

With right sides together, pin/baste each sleeve rectangle to the body, matching the pin to the shoulder seam. Sew sleeves to body.

Measure the neck opening of the caftan (do not include seam allowance). Cut a length of braid trim equal to this measurement plus 1 inch [25mm].

Turn short ends of trim under ½” [12.5mm] and press flat. Fold trim in half lengthwise. Bind the raw neckline with the trim. Pin/baste in place. Topstitch along edge of braid from CF to CF.

caftan2To complete the caftan:

Place the front of the caftan together with the back, right sides together. Pin/baste the side seams and underarm seams together.  Trim any excess of the trim, if necessary.

Stitch the sides. Press seams open.

Hem the bottom by binding hemline with braid trim in the same manner used for the neckline.

Sew a thread loop and button at the neckline at the centerfront.

Sew a button at the base of the keyhole opening and another at the top of the center slit.

Evenly space the rest of the buttons along the centerfront seam and sew in place.

 

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