How to Cut and Sew a Kaftan Dress - Simple, Step-by-Step Tutorial

Made By Deola
by Made By Deola
7 Materials
2 Hours

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to cut and sew a kaftan dress. If you’ve been dreaming of exotic locales and loose breezy kaftans, this DIY kaftan dress pattern is for you! The hardest part will be choosing the fabric.

If you know how to sew a straight stitch, you can make this easy kaftan sewing pattern at home. Let’s get started so you can wear this tonight!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric - 3 yards
  • Ruler
  • Clips
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Marking chalk
  • Sewing machine

1. Measure your body

Measure your hip size, shoulder width, and bust. Keep the measurements handy.

Making the DIY kaftan dress pattern

2. Fold the fabric

Fold the fabric widthwise and then lengthwise so you have 4 layers. Clip it in place.

3. Make the pattern

Mark the fabric with these measurements:

The width of the dress is your hip size divided by 4 + 4 inches. So for example, if your hip width is 36 inches, then that is 9 inches. Add 4 to mark 12 inches for the width.

Easy kaftan sewing pattern

The shoulder width is your shoulder measurement divided by 2 + 2 inches. Mark the shoulder measurement at the start line.

DIY kaftan dress pattern

Then mark 1 inch down for the shoulder slant.

Drawing the easy kaftan sewing pattern

Mark the neck depth for the front and back on the fold: the back is 2 inches and the front is 3 inches.

How to make a DIY kaftan dress pattern

Then mark the neck width of 3 or 4 inches. 

Measuring the easy kaftan sewing pattern

Draw the shoulder slant. From the shoulder slant, measure 9 inches for the armhole and connect the two lines.

DIY kaftan dress pattern step by step

Add the bust measurement: your bust is divided by 4 + 3 inches. For me, that is 10 inches.

Marking the easy kaftan sewing pattern

Find the midpoint on the armhole to use as a guide to draw the armhole.

How to draft a DIY kaftan dress pattern

Then curve out the neck area. Add seam allowance to the entire pattern. The length of the dress is up to you!

Cutting out the fabric using the pattern

4. Cut out the pattern

Cut the pattern following the drawn lines. For the back cut all 4 layers.

Cutting the neckline of the DIY kaftan dress

Cut the front neckline on the upper layer only.

How to make a kaftan maxi dress

5. Make the sleeves

The sleeve width and length are 10 inches with a ½-inch seam allowance. Make a slant to fit at the shoulder seam. 

How to cut and sew a kaftan dress

Cut out the sleeves. 

Kaftan dress tutorial

Use the first sleeve as a guide for the second sleeve.

Adding facing to the DIY kaftan dress

6. Add facing

At the neck opening, mark 5 or 6 inches on the center front. Then mark ½ an inch on either side of the center line and connect in a V shape, as if you were making a dart.

How to make a kaftan at home

Cut a piece of fabric for the facing and place it under the front neckline. Pin it into place. Sew it along the neckline, excluding the shoulders. 

Cutting and sewing a kaftan dress

Once it is sewn, cut off the excess fabric.

Cutting through the center line

Cut through the center line. Trim the corners on the seam allowance. Make little snips in the seam allowance on the curved edges so it lays flat. 

Turning the facing to the wrong side

Then turn the facing to the wrong side. 

Adding a topstitch

You can leave it as is or topstitch.

Adding facing to the back of the DIY kaftan

7. Add facing to the back

Repeat the same steps for the back facing but without adding the V. Add the facing fabric. Pin and sew. Cut off the excess. Make small snips in the rounded seam allowance.

How to add pockets to a DIY kaftan dress

8. Add pockets

To add pockets, measure 8 to 9 inches from the armhole and put a snip or notch there.

Placing pockets on the DIY kaftan dress

Pin the pocket pieces, right sides touching. Sew on the seam allowance.

How to sew a kaftan dress

9. Sew everything

Pin the shoulders and side seams. Sew the shoulders and the sides up until a few inches under the pockets for the dress side slits. For the sleeves, sew the side seams and hem. Pin the sleeves to the dress and sew on the wrong side.

Hemming the DIY kaftan dress

Hem the side slits and the bottom and you’re ready!

How to cut and sew a kaftan dress tutorial

How to cut and sew a kaftan dress tutorial

This is an easy stylish maxi kaftan you can make at home! I hope you enjoyed this kaftan maxi dress tutorial. While I don’t have fashion school experience and don’t do things the standard way in sewing, my dresses work for me. I hope they work for you!

Please let me know in the comments what you think and if you plan to make this!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric - 3 yards
  • Ruler
  • Clips
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Madd Maxx Madd Maxx on Oct 16, 2021

    What a wonderful, well-thought out tutorial, Deola! I am going to enjoy following your instruction instead of trying to copy an old caftan. Don't fret over unconventional sewing methods. It's part of the joy of sewing!

  • Teresa D. Teresa D. on Oct 23, 2021

    Love it!!!