Make a Simple Keyhole Kaftan Top With This Easy Tutorial

Donlarrie Couture
by Donlarrie Couture
6 Materials
15 Minutes

I love kaftan tops. I think they’re fun and super cute, and I just love the way they look. They have so much personality and style, and I think they’re an amazing addition to any wardrobe. You know me, though. Why would I buy one when I can make it myself? So in this tutorial, I’ll be teaching you how to make your very own keyhole kaftan. This project is quick and easy, and if you ask me, it’s lots of fun, too.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Fabric chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
Kaftan top
Determine your length

To start off, you’ll be needing your desired kaftan length, as well as your shoulder measurements. Once you have those, take your fabric and fold it in two, with the folded edge at the top. My length was 25” plus 1” for seam allowance, which is my hip length measurement. 

Kaftan shirt
Determine the width

Fold your fabric again so that it is now in fourths. Then take your shoulder measurement, divide by two, and mark it on your fabric. Then add to that the length that you want your sleeves to be, and that will give you the width you need. So for me, my shoulder measurement was 16”, so I marked 8”. I then added 7½ ” of sleeve length and seam allowance, giving me a total of 15½” for my width. Since the fabric is folded in fourths, the total of my width before folding was 31” and the total of my length was 52”. 

DIY kaftan
Mark your neck measurements

The next thing you’re going to mark is your neck measurement. With the fabric folded in fourths, measure out from the edge and mark it down. For me, it was 4½”. You won’t be adding a seam for this part, so make sure your neck hole is a bit wide so that you can fit it on. Then mark your neck depth, going down from the top edge. Mine was 4”. Then draw a curve connecting the points.

Keyhole kaftan
Input your waist measurements

Placing your measuring tape in between the two marks you now have at the top, measure down to your waist measurement, divided by 2. For me, that was 16”. Then draw a line out to the edge. Once you’ve done that, divide your waist measurement by 4, and mark that measurement on the line. Then add 2” of seam allowance and mark that as well. That gave me 10”.  

Kaftan sewing pattern
Determine your keyhole

The last measurement you need is the width of the belt that you’re going to be inserting through the keyhole. Mark that measurement (plus a little extra) around the second line you just drew, with the seam allowance included. Then mark 1½” from that line, which will be the diameter, and draw an oval connecting those markings.

How to make a kaftan top
Shape the hipline

To shape the hipline, take your chalk and draw a curved line from the bottom of the side down to the hemline. Start a bit below the line you drew for the waist measurement, and work your way down in a curve.

DIY kaftan top
Cut out the pattern

You’re now going to take your scissors and begin cutting out the pattern. Start with trimming the bottom, along the curve that you drew, and then cut out the neck hole in the top corner. Now cut out the inside of the oval. To make cutting out the oval easier, fold your fabric and cut a slit into the oval. Then use that slit to cut out the rest of it. 

DIY keyhole kaftan
Finish the keyhole

Open up the shirt so that it’s folded in two instead of four. Now go to one side and take both the keyholes on that side, bring the right sides together from inside the keyhole, and pin them in place. Do this all around the keyhole, then repeat the process for the other keyhole. I know this part is a bit complicated to understand, so if you watch the video, you’ll see that I show you how to do this part multiple times, starting at minute 8:05.

Keyhole kaftan DIY
Add the finishes

To finish the neckline, use some bias tape, and to finish the sides and hemlines you can either fold the edges and sew around, or you can use a weaving machine. For the keyholes, you’re going to notch it around as you pinned it, and then iron it flat. Then add your chosen belt through the keyhole and you are done!

Completed keyhole kaftan

You are now ready to show off your new keyhole kaftan top! I love the way this project came out. I think it’s such a cute shirt, and the way the belt hugs the waist is also very flattering. I’m a big fan of the design of the fabric I chose, and you can totally customize this to your own style by choosing a fabric that you love. You know I want to see your versions, so be sure drop a pic in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Fabric chalk
  • Measuring tape
See all materials

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