Bubu Top Tutorial: How to Sew a Kaftan Top Quickly & Easily at Home

by The SILEM
8 Materials
15 Minutes

In this tutorial, I'll be showing you how to sew a kaftan top, also known as a bubu top! There is some sewing involved, but it’s a great project even if you’re a total beginner.

This super-simple top doesn’t have darts or zippers and is a beautiful kaftan style. Here’s how to make a kaftan top at home without a pattern. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • 1½ yards of chiffon style fabric
  • Scissors
  • Marking or tailor’s chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Bias tape
  • Sequined fabric strip (optional)
  • Fabric glue (optional)

I’ve added a 3-inch sequined strip to my top because I love the way sequins catch the light. This step is totally optional. If you want to add sequins to your top, add fabric glue to your sequined strip and lay it in the center of the fabric.

How to make a kaftan top without a pattern

1. Make the pattern

Fold the fabric in half. Pin one side of the fabric so the fabric doesn’t move when you’re cutting it.

Folding and cutting the fabric

Then fold the fabric again. If you’ve glued the sequins in, make sure when you fold the fabric, the sequins are in the middle of the fabric. Cut the fabric so it is in a nice square.

How to make a kaftan top

Mark the length of the top at 21 inches. 

Marking the bust measurements

Then mark the bust point at about 10 inches down from the top of the fabric. Mark 13 inches down from the top for the under the bust or rib cage measurement. 

Measure your bust size. Divide your bust size by 4. Mark the bust measurement at the bust point and add 1 inch for seam allowance. 

Measuring and marking the waist

Measure your waist. Divide your waist size by 4. Mark this measurement at the bottom.

How to make a kaftan top at home

Draw a line to connect the waist and bust measurement points.

Marking and measuring the sleeves

At the top, mark down 9 inches to serve as the armhole line. Draw a curve to meet that point. Add 1-inch seam allowance. 

Measure your shoulder measurement. Divide it by 2. Mark on the fabric at the very top from the center fold outward.

Measure your sleeve length and mark it on the fabric. Draw a curve to the end of the fabric.

Cutting out the pattern from the fabric

2. Cut the pattern

Once you’ve measured and marked the fabric, it’s time to cut! 

Cutting the fabric for the bubu top

Cut along the curves.

Cutting the neckline

Measure the neckline to be 3½ inches down and 3 inches deep. Mark the points on a curve and cut. You want it wide and deep enough so you can pull it off and on easily.

How to cut a kaftan top

3. Sew up the shirt

Once everything has been cut, open up the folded fabric.

Stitching kaftan tops

Place the fabric right sides together. Sew up the sides using a straight stitch, with a ½-inch seam allowance. Follow the curves while sewing.

Sewing bias tape to the neckline

4. Strengthen the neckline

Add bias tape to the neckline. Place the bias tape and sew it on the right side. Sew all along the neckline. Then, fold the bias tape over into the wrong side and sew it down all along the neckline.

Gluing sequins to the bubu top

5. Add more sequins

If you haven’t added sequins to the center of the top, you may want to add sequins at the ends of the sleeves. Glue the sequin strips to the sleeve edges for a dramatic finish.

Cute bubu top

How to sew a kaftan top tutorial

How lovely is this top? So cute and easy to make as well. Let me know in the comments what you think about this tutorial on how to make kaftan top at home and if you’ve made it.

Suggested materials:
  • 1½ yards of chiffon style fabric
  • Scissors
  • Marking or tailor’s chalk
See all materials

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