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.
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 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.
Now, 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.
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.
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.
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.