Post 36 – The Indecent Caftan

Hi friends! How have you been?!  Things are really starting to heat up in Portland, so all these little dresses I’ve been making are starting to come in handy. No more boots and leggings for me!

Today’s refashion is another one snagged from the Goodwill bins. It is a very lightweight blend of some sort (no materials tag to know for sure), so it definitely cost under $1. I was drawn by the pretty fabric and really wasn’t sure what it would look like when worn. Oh man, it’s a good one!

Caftan - before

I believe this would be considered a caftan, but hard to say. A quick Google search resulted in many different looks. One thing is for sure, it has one serious bat wing!

Unfortunately, for you vintage purists, the bat wing is flying right off this dress. Get it? I’m so clever. 😉

The first step was to remove the 80’s-tastic shoulder pads.

Caftan - removing shoulder pads

Then,  put this on The Body and get to pinning.

Caftan - on body

This was quite tricky, actually. There was a lot of slippery fabric to deal with and the way it was hanging, it was hard to tell if I was pulling too much from one side. This was going to take multiple passes to get right.

Attempt #1

Caftan - sewing sides

There was definitely too much fabric still, so I sewed about an inch in on each side, following my original stitches.

Attempt #2

Caftan - re-sewing sides

It was silly of me to think that removing only 2 more inches was going to work. There was a lot of fabric to deal with.

So, I removed the amount I knew I was not going to need.

Caftan - removed excess

Then put it back on The Body for another pinning.

Caftan - on body again

To my dismay, I discovered that during the removal of the first bit of fabric, I cut through a part I wasn’t intending to.

Caftan - repairing hole

I had no choice, but to pin around this. It was going to be cutting it close (no pun intended).

Then I sewed, ripped, sewed, tried on, sewed, until I achieved a fit that looked like a current dress style. Attempts #3 – #5.

There was actually a button missing at the bottom of the dress, which made it a bit indecent, so I relocated the top button,

Caftan - removing button

To the bottom:

Caftan - relocating button

Yes, that will cover me up for sure! (Foreshadowing) Then, onto my favorite part, removing the sleeves. These actually weren’t attached like normal sleeves, well, they were, but there was a pleating detail at the shoulder that I did not want to lose, so I cut them, rather than seam rip.

Caftan - removing sleeve

My goal was to make the end of the sleeve look like another pleat. So I pinned it up, and sewed.

Caftan - sewing sleeve

After some serious ironing, I tried it on and voila!

Caftan - after

Cute, right?!  The sleeves turned out just how I wanted! In preparation for work, for a second I thought, “hmm, I might be a bit chilly, I can just throw on jeans and a t-shirt and just post the afters on my blog, even if I don’t wear it to the office…..nahhhh, it’ll be fine!” Then I headed out the door.

It was not fine. It was not fine at all. Though, it was not the temperature that was the problem. I neglected to sit down in this dress while altering it. Not only did it show more leg than I was comfortable with, but the space between buttons gaped open. A lot. It was especially bad at my boobs and crotch. A clear sign that it was too tight. Ugh!  Luckily, I had a sweater to help cover my top and a lap blanket for my legs,  but it was pretty disappointing, because it’s so cute otherwise.  Yet another lesson learned the hard way. :p

I hope you all are getting some good weather where you are and YOU aren’t exposing YOUR bits!

Final comparison:

Caftan - final comparison

Stay decent everyone!



4 thoughts on “Post 36 – The Indecent Caftan”

  1. Lmao! That was a great post! I’m sorry your refash didn’t quite work out 🙁
    I also have refash that the buttons gaped a little more than I was comfortable… I used snaps in between the buttons where the gape-age occurred and then sewed a button on top of each. So, it looks like a bunch of buttons but I didn’t have to make any buttonholes! Yay! Good luck, I’m sure you’ll find a great way to make it decent!

  2. It is so cute I would be tempted to add some sort of inset with black fabric to the sides or add a black panel to the front & move the buttons over to gain some width. Just my two cents. Or, maybe you could insert something down the center back?

  3. Just wrote this for you on the refash-Blog; yet can see here same ideas
    (Maria 😀 !)

    ” ” ”

    Hey, dearest sewing-friend

    at the moment sitting in front of some similar ‘problems’ (concerning restricted movement to to, ahem, ‘shrinkage’ 😉 ) with one of my fav. garments.
    My current rescue-idea: stretch-panel inserts in either tone in tone or colour-block.
    Useful for your cute dress as well?

    LG, Gerlinde

    ” ” “

Questions? Comments? Trolling?