Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Make a Basic Kaftan Top





A kaftan is a loose fit blouse or dress.
It is a favoured garment in hot climes for obvious reasons.
Thus, it is somewhat of a traditional wear in various cultures across the world; from Malaysia, to India, to Africa.
Some may have open sleeves, while others have regular, seamed but loose sleeves.
The picture above is a kaftan blouse with open sleeves, and a boat neckline.

It is made from a square piece of cloth that was at first a scarf. Yes, a scarf.





To make a kaftan blouse, you will need the following materials:

  • a squarish piece of cloth measuring at least 45" by 45" (114cm by 114cm)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a sewing machine (although you can also do this entirely by hand)
  • sewing thread
  • ready-made bias binding (optional-depending on your choice of neckline shape)
Measurements to take: 
  1. bust circumference + 4"
  2. Bust height (from base of neck on shoulder, to bust point)
  3. shoulder width - from left shoulder point, across the front neck, to right shoulder point
  4. shoulder length - from left or right shoulder point, to side of neck on the same shoulder
Ready? Let's go 😊



Steps;

Hem the raw edges of the cloth first.
A narrow rolled hem is preferable but any neat double fold hem will do nicely.
If you are using a ready-made scarf, then of course, you can skip the hemming.

 fold the cloth into 2


 and fold again into quarters



from the top of the foldline, measure and
mark out half the shoulder width




from the end of the shoulder width,
measure and mark out the shoulder length
to make a boat neck, measure down 1"
from the top of the foldline.

for a round neck, measure down 
at least 2" from the top of the foldline.
for a V-neck, measure down about 5"-6"
from the top of the foldline.

for the boat neck, measure and mark 2"
from the end of the shoulder width.
for a round neck and a V-neck, measure and mark 3"
from the end of the shoulder width.
draw a smooth curve from the marked point 
on the shoulder to the point on the foldline.

OR
mark accordingly for other neckline shapes



from the top of the foldline, measure down
and mark the bust height



then from the marked point, measure across 
one-quarter of (bust circumference+4')
and mark the point



use a chalk or water soluble pen to draw a line
down from the point marked above



if you prefer a wider hip, slant the line out 
about an inch or two.

pin the layers together and 
mark the other side as well.



now cut out the neckline


unfold once and you should have your kaftan
marked and ready for some sewing.


To finish the neckline, use the ready-made bias binding to wrap around the cut edge.
I recommend you do this if you have opted for a round or V-neckline.
For the boat neck, you can do a narrow rolled 'hem' finish.



this was rolled by hand and hand-stitched with a simple running stitch.


The next step is to stitch the 'side seam' to create the open butterfly sleeves.

as it says, pin through both layers and sew along the line.
You can definitely do this by hand with a simple running stitch as well.


And that's it.
Simple, no?

The same method applies to a kaftan dress.
Just measure your body length from shoulder to the floor and multiply that by 2 to get the length of cloth necessary.




If you do try this out, feel free to share your kaftan project on social media and tag or link back to me 😎.

Happy sewing, everyone!


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