Friday, November 7, 2008

Project 4: Rustic Caftan

As regular readers will know, I made a Celtified kurta for Lingoman for his birthday which went over pretty well! In fact, as I was packing up that weekend he went into the hall closet (not in the metaphorical sense) and pulled out a length of gorgeous unbleached muslin and said "can you make me a caftan out of this?"

"Sure!" I said. He had used the generous length of fabric (about five yards) to wrap a sari at at least one Pagan festival and warned me that there were a few ahem scorch marks on it.

When I got it home and opened it up I found that in addition to the scorched areas, there were holes spaced along its length as if it had been stabbed twice while folded up. That made fitting the pattern pieces a bit of a challenge! Eventually I had to give up and buy a couple yards of very similar muslin to finish the piece. I can still tell the difference, but I don't think many would notice unless it was pointed out.

I started with my same basic caftan / tunic pattern from McCalls. This time I added side-seam pockets, buttonholes up both sides of the front opening for a lace closure, made an optional belt and used the decorative stitches from my sewing machine.

Lessons learned this time out were:

  1. do your decorative stitching before you start assembling the garment
  2. even if your pattern calls for leaving raw edges on the inside find a way to finish them
  3. make double-extra sure that your pockets are in the right place for your hands

Even with the decorative stitch issues that give the caftan the rustic quality I still think it's really cool. I hope Lingoman agrees!


Hippy Goodwife said...

I am sure it will make the already handsome Lingoman even more handsome.

Well done!

Adam said...

Nice work, Seumas.