Dream Vacation: DIY Caftan Dress (Caftancore)

It’s not often that you find a creative challenge, a wardrobe staple, and a (seemingly) new aesthetic all in one project! After witnessing a fabulous dress worn by my fabulous cousin, I was inspired to recreate a seeming simple but very clever design for a caftan. I have made caftan dresses before (like my favorite flapper loungewear from this project), but this new design intrigued me. (I also reeeally wanted a new caftan for summer, so I was motivated! lol) What would be more perfect for vacations and staycations than a breezy, comfortable dress that could be worn at home, at the pool, out to dinner, or all of the above?! Of course, a dress this versatile should have it’s own aesthetic, so I suggest the term “caftancore”! Try making just one and see what you think! I bet you will join the caftancore clan too! Let’s get sewing!

My tropical print, rayon-blend remnant was juuuust big enough for the dress and center panels, so I cut two ties from a similar fabric. I definitely recommend using a breathable fabric with a little bit of drapiness to it.

Here is my very sketchy sketch of what the caftan should look like. Basically, a caftan is just a long rectangle of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for your head and side seams sewn on either side of your body, But see that sort-of-rectangle at waist level in the drawing? That center panel was the intriguing part! On my cousin’s dress, there were two ties coming from that panel on the INSIDE of the dress. The stretchy ties could be tied loosely around the body (still on the inside of the dress) to bring the fabric towards the body at the front waist. This gave some waist definition but still allowed for lots of flowiness.

It took some experimenting to get the design figured out, but I think I got pretty close to the original! Here is the inside and outside of the finished caftan

I love how cute and summery this caftan is while still being suuuuper comfortable! I definitely plan to make more soon… A big thanks to my cousin for showing me her dress and inspiring my caftancore adventure!  Stay crafty, Everyone!

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