How to Sew a Kaftan Dress With a Boat Neck Without Using a Pattern

Creations by Shey
by Creations by Shey
10 Materials
2 Hours

This DIY kaftan dress tutorial teaches you how to sew a kaftan dress with a super simple kaftan dress sewing pattern. You just need to know how to fold fabric and sew a straight seam. That’s it!

This beautiful dress can be worn for any special occasion and is so comfortable. You can add a glitzy applique to make it even more glamorous! Purchase your fabric and let me show you how to make a kaftan maxi dress.

Tools and materials:

  • 2.2 yards (2.5 meters) of 60-inch wide fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Appliqué (optional)
  • Fabric glue
  • Cardboard
DIY kaftan dress sewing pattern

1. Make the pattern

Fold the fabric in half so that the folded measurement measures 60 inches or your desired length and the width is 50 inches.

Cut the side of the fold so you have the front and back panels. Each piece should be 60 X 50 inches.

Making the boat neckline for the kaftan dress

2. Make the neckline

Place the pieces right sides together. Fold the fabric in half (along the 50-inch line) to find the center. Mark the center.

Measuring the shoulder length

Measure your shoulder length and mark half this amount on either side of the center neck point. For example, in this tutorial, the shoulder length was 14 inches, so I marked 7 inches on either side.

Extending the lines with tailor's chalk

Extend these lines with the chalk and then pin into position.

How to draw a kaftan dress sewing pattern

At the top of the fabric, create a 1-inch fold along both sides of the fabric. Pin to secure.

Pressing the folds on the kaftan dress sewing pattern

Press these folds as flat as possible. After pressing, recheck the center and shoulder measurements to ensure they haven’t shifted during pressing.

Once everything is nice and smooth, pin the sides on either side of the neckline itself back, keeping the neckline pinned down. 

Measuring the sleeves for the kaftan dress

3. Make the sleeves

Measure down 10 inches on either side from the top down.

Marking the pattern with a pin

Mark with a pin.

Hemming the sleeves

Hem from the top down to the 10-inch mark for the armhole on either side.

Sewing the DIY kaftan dress

4. Sew the dress

Once you’ve hemmed the armholes, stitch along the fold line up to the neckline pins on either side. Do not stitch the neckline yet. Use the creases you made previously to guide you.

Measuring the hand for the sleeve opening

Measure your hand circumference to determine the width of your sleeve opening. 

Measuring the sleeves

Measure from the top shoulder down, folding the measuring tape in half. Mark this measurement down the sides. Pin to secure in place. 

Sewing the kaftan dress sleeves

Stitch down the sides of the kaftan, with a ½-inch seam allowance. Hem the sides of the armhole with the new measurement.

Checking the hand fits through the opening

Check to make sure your hand fits through the opening.

How to make a kaftan maxi dress

Keep the katan right sides together. Find the center of the kaftan by folding the kaftan in half so the side seams are one on top of the other. Mark the center on the neckline.

Measuring from the shoulder to the waist on fabric

5. Make the waist ties

Measure your shoulder to waist length. Mark on the fabric.

Measuring where to attach the waist ties

Measure your waist and mark half of that measurement. Mark on the fabric, dividing the measurement equally on both sides. Those two points are where you’ll attach the waist ties.

How to make a kaftan style dress

Cut the fabric 60 inches long by 5 inches wide. Fold in half, right sides together. Sew as close to the end as possible along the long side.

Sewing the waist ties

Once they’re sewn, turn them inside out.

Folding and cutting the waist tie

Fold the tie in half, cutting it right on the fold. 

Pinning the waist ties to the dress

Keeping the dress with the right sides together, place the ties on the marks on the waist. Pin in place.

Sewing the ties to the dress

Stitch with the tie going in the opposite direction.

Placing an appliqué on the dress

6. Add an appliqué (optional)

Turn the dress to the right side. Place your appliqué in the center between the two waist tie seams.

You can choose to hand stitch or glue in place. If gluing, use a piece of cardboard underneath. Be very careful not to spill glue on the fabric and don’t use tissues to clean up any glue spills! 

Heming the DIY kaftan dress

7. Hem

Once the glue has set, remove the cardboard. Hem the kaftan at the bottom. Tie the ties on the inside.

DIY kaftan dress

How to sew a kaftan dress

How to sew a kaftan dress

You’ve made a beautiful DIY kaftan dress! Please let me know in the comments what you think of this tutorial on how to sew a kaftan dress and if you're thinking of making this dress yourself. Thanks for joining.

Suggested materials:
  • 2.2 yards (2.5 meters) of 60-inch wide fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
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