Charlie Caftan Pattern
- FABRIC & SUPPLIES
Nothing says summer elegance quite as well as a dramatic caftan. Get Caftan Body ready with Charlie, a fresh take on this warm weather staple.
All versions feature a deep V neckline, kimono sleeves, inset center panel and roomy pockets. View A is modern and architectural with striking pleats beneath the bust. For a softer, more romantic dress, Views B & 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.
Charlie is available as an instant gratification PDF (with copyshop and print at home files), or as a beautifully printed pattern. See our guide to printing & assembling PDF files here. Both versions feature our meticulously written and easy to follow instructions, designed to give everyone beautiful results regardless of skill level.
Light to medium weight wovens such as linen, chambray, tencel, linen, silk, chiffon, rayon challis, crepe de chine, batiste and voile. .
YARDAGE REQUIREMENTS (45"/1.14M FABRIC)
0-6 = 2.25yd / 2m, 8-14 = 2.75 yd / 2.5m, 16-20 = 3 yd / 2.75m
0-6 = 2.5yd/2.3m, 8-14 = 2.75yd / 2.5m, 16-20 = 3 yd/2.75m
0-6 = 3.5yd/3.2m, 8-14 = 3.5yd / 3.2m, 16-20 = 4yd/3.75m
YARDAGE REQUIREMENTS (58"/1.5M FABRIC)
0-8 = 1.75yd / 1.6m, 10-14 = 2yd / 1.85m, 16-20 = 2.5yd / 2.25m
0-8 = 2.25yd/2m, 10-20 = 2.5yd / 2.25m
0-6 = 3.25yd / 3m, 8-20 = 3.5yd / 3.2m
- Lightweight fusible interfacing
- Marking tool
- Polyester thread
Sewing level: Advanced beginner
Sizes: 0 - 20 (see our sizing chart here)
Finished measurements: See complete final measurements here
Instructions: English & French (French instructions available as PDF only)
Print at Home File (Letter & A4): 48 pages
Copy Shop (36"x48" / A0): 3 pages
I really enjoyed making this pattern as only the second garment I've ever made. The instructions were clear and easy to follow with the exception of the front panel part – for that, I ended up having to come back here to the blog for more detailed instructions and pictures (seems like I wasn't the only one). Other than that is was super fun and easy to make, and very rewarding. Definitely looking forward to making more Closet Case patterns in the future.
I love Closet Case Patterns - I have made several now - and this is one of my favourites. Quick and easy to make and so comfortable to wear. I love my new caftan but if I made it again I'd use something a tiny bit heavier and more drapey, the lightweight cotton lawn I used tends to poof up under the gathers when I sit down because it's so airy. It's nice to have such a comfy roomy dress that still retains some shape with the ties - and it's got pockets ... YAY for pockets in dressed!
I have made the Charlie Caftan four times, two View A, one view B, and one View C, which I immediately shortened to View B length. I plan to make another View A and B in the near future, as this is one of my 5 all-time favorite patterns.
TUTORIALS: I have found the three online tutorials for this pattern very helpful, especially the two for sewing the center front inset, which is fussy and difficult, but also the one for the V neckline, from which I learned several very useful tips. I have noted online that several people have decided to topstitch the tab, rather than doing the inset. I respectfully suggest that following the tutorials makes the tab insertion completely doable for any sewing level, and that the finish is superior, both in looks and strength.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS PATTERN: This is a very clever and fashionable variation on the classic caftan. It is versatile, in that it can serve either as a bathing suit cover up or a nice, casual dress. It is loose and comfortable, but not sloppy. There are three views, each of which is sufficiently different to justify making them all -- which I have done. The tutorials on the Closet Case website are so detailed, that it is impossible not to succeed, even with the fiddly front insert.
I made view B of the Charlie Kaftan, the short one with gathers in front, using some lightweith cotton fabric I bought in India. It turned out absolutely beautiful! Only thing I didn't like were the gathers, as I felt it looked a bit "maternity", but maybe that's down to the fabric. However, the gathers are easily edited out, and now a have a lightweight, supercomfy little dress for summer. Love it! Another great pattern from Heather Lou!
I was inspired to try this pattern from reading the brilliant Noble and Daughter Website. I have been sewing for over 50 years and can honestly say this is the best pattern ever! I have already made 3 completely different versions of this dress, including a very smart back linen in the shorter version which is suitable for formal business wear, and 2 longer versions. I have never had so many compliments from everyone, including complete strangers in the street. I have also had lots of orders from friends who would like me to make one for them, so am going to be very busy.
The pattern itself is quite tricky as the front panel requires some skill, but the instructions are very good and once you have done it the first time it is actually very easy. I would recommend that you take your time and get it right as it is such a nice detail and gives the opportunity to show off your pattern matching skills.
I would recommend that you try this pattern, it is amazing!!
Very cute pattern. I made the long version. I’m planning on making it again but this time the short version.