Make Your Own Square Top Kaftan With Pocket Sleeves From Scratch

by Saltymom
7 Materials
2 Hours

I love kaftan tops, and I also love pockets. So, I thought, why not combine them both?! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create your own kaftan top from scratch, and for that little added bonus, we’ll add some pockets to the sleeves. I think this look is so cute and flattering and I can’t wait to wear mine out and about.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric - 2 yards
  • T-shirt
  • Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
Kaftan top
Trace your pattern

To make this kaftan top, you’re first going to need a pattern. So to make your pattern, grab a t-shirt and fold it in half, lengthwise. Now grab your fabric, which should be about 2 yards, and fold it in half twice. The top left corner will be the neckline. Then lay the T-shirt along the edge and use your chalk to trace both the back and front necklines, as well as the shoulder line, on the wrong side of the fabric.

Kaftan shirt
Cut and sew your pattern

Once your pattern is drawn, open up your fabric and fold it lengthwise, using the back neckline to center the fabric. Then use your scissors to snip off the front v-neck. Then sew the shoulders on both sides on the wrong side of the fabric. 

DIY kaftan
Create your pattern on a directional fabric

If your fabric is directional you’ll have to cut it in half and create two separate pieces for your neckline so that you don’t have one of the pieces upside down. What you’ll do is fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and trace the front neckline and shoulder line of your folded t-shirt. Then measure how wide the neckline is from the fold and use the measurement to line up the back neckline so that the width is about the same size. Be sure to leave some space for seam allowance. 

Keyhole kaftan
Create interfacing for the neck

Cut out the neckpiece and fold it in half, using it as a guide for cutting out the interfacing. Then cut an extra 5 cm (2”) all around. You’ll be left with a band that will fit your neckline neatly. Next, repeat the process with the back piece and you should end up with four different pieces. 

Kaftan sewing pattern

To put together the interfacing, first, you’re going to pin the shoulders together, starting with the zigzag edges. Then pin and sew together the front and back neck interfacing. Open the seams, and pin the interfacing to the neckline, right sides together, and snip all the curves. Next, you’re going to flip the interfacing to the underside and use the seam line as a guide. Sew 1.5 cm (0.6”) and zigzag the back flap of the neckline interfacing. Your four pieces should now be joined into one big piece.

Kaftan with pockets
Sew the sides

It’s now time to sew the sides, which will also become the sleeves. Fold the right side 5 cm (2”) and topstitch it all the way down. This will also create a sleeve hemline. Now create the side by taking the corner and measure a 16 cm (6.3”) square and round off the corner, then sew around it. Once you’ve done that, hem the edges.

Kaftan with pockets DIY
Make the pockets

To make the pockets, take the sleeve facing you, and hand-stitch the bottom of it. Then sew a line to create the pocket side. The measurements will be 13 cm (5.1”) in width and 15.5 cm (6.1”) in length. 

How to make a kaftan with pockets
Make the extra-long pocket

To make the extra-long sleeves, use the neckline interfacing. Then draw a straight line with your chalk to create the sleeve. Now cut off the angle and sew the sleeve back on. Lastly, sew down the sides and hem the edges. Then try your shirt on and see how it fits. If you feel like it doesn’t fit well you can add darts on either side.

Completed kaftan top

Kaftan top with long sleeves

There you have it! Two different ways to create a kaftan top. I personally love the hidden sleeve in the pocket, because who doesn’t love pockets?! An awesome thing about this project is that you can really customize it to your style by choosing a fabric you like, as well as the sleeve-length you like. The sky’s the limit, and I can’t wait to see your versions of this, so please be sure to leave me a picture in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • T-shirt
  • Chalk
See all materials

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