Punky Brewster Caftan: Burdastyle 4/2015 #130

Hello good people. I decided at the beginning of Covid-19 lockdown I would sew all the things and work on a summer wardrobe, starting with this rainbow happy caftan. I in fact only sewed this caftan, 100+ masks and one bralette. Womp womp. June was Pride Month in the United States and it felt like the right time to show off this caftan a bit, while living out all my Punky Brewster, Rainbow Brite and Lisa Frank dreams. Yet, here I am in August finally getting around to posting. Sigh.

Burdastyle Plus Caftan-3

I was inspired to use this Milly rainbow print after seeing a Mr. Turk’s “Hurley Caftan” in 2019. When I send my brother in law a photo of my finished garment, he asked if it was to officiate a same-sex wedding. This time, it is not!

I die

I don’t recall who, but someone on Instagram DM’d me when the fabric was up at Fabricmart and I have rarely bought fabric so fast! I even paid full price. Worth it, because it sold out that same day.

Viscose Dress A, B 130 | 04/15Now, about the caftan and pattern. As you (but not me) can clearly see from the fashion photo, the caftan has longer arms. Since the pattern is basically a rectangle with elastic at the waist, I found my sleeves continually caught on things like our banisters.

The editorial photo also shows a very drapey material. While I’m happy with my lightweight but crisp shirting fabric choice, it lent itself to “flanges” around my waist and hip. If I’m already gonna wear five yards of fabric, I’d like it to be a bit more streamlined.

Burdastyle Plus Caftan

After a few months of wearing it around the house, I decided to narrow the side seams by 4″ on each side. Taking out 8″ total in width. I initially planned to narrow it even more, but that would have cut into the rainbow design at the sides. My change to the garment shortened the sleeves, making them less likely to get caught on things and took some excess fabric out of the flanges.

The second change I made was to shorten the hem by several inches. It was so long that I risked stepping on the hem, especially taking stairs.

Burdastyle Plus Caftan-4

The original pattern also has a lace-up neckline. I skipped the tie because I was lazy. I didn’t have loop tape and I didn’t feel like making tiny bias tubes. While I like the deep V and think it’s necessary for balance in this garment, it’s wide at the very bottom and gaps a bit. If I stumble upon some nice sew on loop tap, I will add it.

Burdastyle Plus Caftan-7

I’m not very experienced with the Burdastyle plus. I’ve made two or three patterns from them and I think they might have too much ease for how I like to wear my clothes. I chose a pattern size based on my high bust, and I could have easily gone down a size or two, and possibly avoided the initial church choir robe vibes.




  1. I am so envious, this would be the perfect outfit for our usual booth at Pride 😁. But seriously, you should be proud to have gotten anything done. I made a pair of joggers and I am still working on the bralette, nothing so glamorous as this 😉

  2. SPECTACULAR caftan! It is like happiness on steroids! The pattern placement is perfection- the curving rainbow stripes beautifully highlight your hourglass figure! If I had been on that beach I would have needed stern and repeated social distancing warnings because I don’t think I would have been able to keep myself from ogling up close!

  3. What a headturner! It is elegance and whimsy, joy brought to life. And hurray for a Rainbow Brite shout-out (who is patiently waiting for her reboot, or did I miss it?).

    • I’d be thrilled with a Rainbow Brite reboot! It’s so weird to sound like my parents and talk about all the old things from my childhood coming back, lol.

  4. FAB Rainbow caftan! And doubly appropriate if you consider all the rainbows in British windows during their lock-down. (Great to know I’m not the only sewer making changes after a few wearings. 😉)

    • Oh yes! I’ve seen a couple of rainbows around Baltimore, but nothing like I’ve seen about England. I usually don’t make changes, but this was going to break my neck if I didn’t, lol.

  5. Fantastic! I broke down and made a first caftan not long ago: Those sleeves are something else, by which I mean not.useful.for. modern. life. I attached light ribbons inside the shoulders so that I can tie up the sleeves when I need to actually, you know, do anything. It’s not a bad fix, though the ribbons dangling inside take a little getting used to.

    • What a clever idea!! I think I’ll try something similar. I didn’t count on those sleeves being so unwieldy. I actually ripped the seam a bit on the stair railing! I knew I was going to have to change it up to make it wearable.

  6. So fresh and summery-looking. It’s lovely on you. And you handled the stripe pattern so beautifully. I’m glad you took it to the beach. Well done.

  7. Love, love, love this. Great for lounging and relaxing anywhere. Great for a BBQ party or pool party that lasts all day.

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