For comfort and ease, a caftan is the perfect lounge wear for a quiet day at home. Learn how to sew an easy caftan for men or women.
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Things you need
- Sewing machine
- Measuring tape
- Hot iron
Measure the intended wearer of the caftan around the widest part of their body. This is probably the hips for a woman. The caftan must be larger than this measurement; that will not likely be a problem because most fabric is 112.5 cm (45 inches) wide. Also measure the height of the person from shoulder to the floor.
Buy your choice of fabric for the caftan. Add 30 cm (one foot) of fabric to the height measurement of the wearer when having the fabric cut. Cotton is a great choice for comfortable caftans.
Lay the fabric flat on a table or the floor and fold in half lengthwise to the height of the person who will wear it. Cut off the extra at the bottom and put it to the side. Fold the large piece in half the other way to determine the exact middle of the top fold. This is where the head will go. Cut extra from the width so the caftan is not too wide. It should be only several inches wider than the person who will wear it.
Fold the extra piece of fabric over the top fold of the caftan material and pin the centres together. Measure out approximately 10 cm (4 inches) on each side of the centre point and cut a one inch wide piece out along the top for a hole where the head can fit. Also cut a slit down the front side only of both the caftan fabric and the extra piece.
Place the right sides of the caftan material and the extra piece of material together so the cuts match and pin them securely. Carefully sew around the entire outside edge of these two pieces.
Turn the two pieces of fabric right side out and press them carefully with the iron. Clip the curves on the inside to 6 mm (1/4 inch) of the stitching to ease the corners. Use your sewing machine to stitch around the outside of the ironed seam once or twice. Cut any excess fabric off the inside of the caftan's neck hole. You should now have a neat edge to the caftan head and neck opening.
Fold over 2.5 cm (1 inch) of fabric on both long sides of the caftan fabric, iron a straight crease on the edge, and then fold it over again. Iron another crease in the edge to hold it all together. Use your sewing machine to neatly stitch up each side hem.
Make a hem on the front and back bottoms of the kaftan in the same way. Fold over and iron the fabric twice and stitch for a neat seam.
Drape the caftan fabric, wrong side out, over the intended wearer and have them stick their arms straight out. Use a straight pin to attach the caftan fabric together from under the arm to just below the knee. Make sure each side is the same. Then pull the fabric off the person and use a sewing machine to stitch the pinned sections together. The caftan is now complete.