Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Closet Case Patterns
Closet Case Patterns

Welcome Summer with our Charlie Caftan Pattern!

I am reaaaallly excited about this one. We are going through a serious heat wave in Montreal right now, when all you want to wear is loose, easy dresses that keep you covered and cool. The launch of our new design, the Charlie Caftan pattern, could not be better timed.

The genesis of this pattern started last year when I made an enormous linen caftan for a trip to France. My mother in law and I wore our caftans all week long and tried to start a caftan cult of two. I’m hoping with the debut of Charlie, a  lot more of you will join us.

While I loved that particular caftan, it ate about twenty yards of fabric – it was basically an enormous rectangle with a neck opening. It was pretty heavy and wasn’t always the most practical thing to wear; it trailed on the ground and I had to be really careful walking up stairs. I started thinking about ways to to take the same idea (easy, comfortable, covered-up up chic) and translate it to today, with an interesting shape and some fun constructions details, without requiring more than a few yards of fabric. Enter Charlie.

Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

In an ankle grazing length with a deep V neckline and slits at the side seams, the maxi variation of Charlie is covered-up with a few peeks of skin that keep it feeling modern and a little glamourous. The dramatic kimono sleeves and gently gathered waist add visual interest to an otherwise simple silhouette.

Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case PatternsCharlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

This variation includes ties in the inset center panel for a little bit of waist definition, although you’re more than welcome to leave the ties off for something loose and free flowing. I love the maxi Charlie in a show-stopping print and soft, drapey fabric like rayon challis, voile, tencel, silk crepe de chine, noil, or chiffon.

I am also pretty heady-over-heels for our mini variations.

Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

I envisioned this as more of a chic, easy to wear summer dress that could do double duty as a beach cover up. We kept the kimono sleeves and the V neckline, but replaced the gathers under the bust with striking diagonal pleats. I love how modern and architectural this feels, especially in a crisp white linen like the one we chose for this sample. I suggest fabrics that have a slightly stiff or crisp hand for this variation to hold the pleats; think shirting, linen, chambray and poplin.

Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case PatternsCharlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

Our third variation is pretty charming too.

Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case PatternsCharlie Caftan Pattern / Kaftan Pattern // Caftan sewing pattern // Closet Case Patterns

This variation has the same loose fitting silhouette as our maxi, but we’ve eliminated the waist ties and added slightly higher cut kimono sleeves for more modest coverage. This variation looks beautiful in softer fabrics like the gorgeous Nani Iro double gauze we used for our sample.

And did I mention they all come with roomy pockets? I love this pattern so much, and I can see it equally at home on a city street or by the pool. A new summer uniform for sure, especially if you pair it with our Bombshell or Sophie Swimsuit!

A few notes:

In many ways this is one of our simplest patterns so we will not be doing a full sewalong. I do have a few posts planned on fabric, fitting and inspiration, and we will also be doing a full post on how to sew the inset panel since this is the one step that I think could use some further explanation.

Also, someone asked about bra peekage with our kimono sleeves. A bra will definitely show with the lower-cut sleeves when you raise your arms; if you want the mega drama sleeves I suggest wearing a pretty bra you don’t mind seeing or using it it as a beach cover-up. We added the higher cut sleeve option for more modesty, but you can always raise it even higher if you want a closer cut arm.

We hope you love Charlie as much as we do. We’re starting a caftan cult – the only requirement is to wear a caftan and enjoy the summer!

GET THE CHARLIE CAFTAN PATTERN

ps. This pattern is named after Charlie, the English brains and beauty behind the wonderful sewing blog, Noble & Daughter. We admire Charlie’s contemporary and deeply personal sense of style, and love to imagine her swanning around her adopted city of New York wearing this modern caftan, paired with some of her characteristically amazing footwear.

pps. How to get your body Caftan Ready for summer (have a body, wear a caftan).

pps. If you love the espadrilles in these photos, you can find them at our new favourite Etsy store Mumi Shoes; everything is handmade in Spain! 

  • Woohoo! Congrats on another great release! I love the version I made and am drooling over your samples here!

  • Jusr “WOW”.
    And Charlie is the perfect inspiration for this garment. I love it.

    • Thank you Tasha! She’s a great muse for this one, for sure.

  • Jenna Sprague

    I hit “add to cart” so fast my head spun. I love everything about this pattern! And the shoes and the ear rings… Just lovely! Can’t wait to sew some up for an upcoming vacation. There’s going to be a lot of #caftancult in my future!

    • That makes me so happy to hear 🙂 Especially with the earrings, those were a total last minute DIY when I couldn’t find any I liked in shops!

  • Cadi

    Bought it yesterday when it hit my inbox, printed, taped and sewed the maxi version up in cotton voile by noon, and swanned around all afternoon yesterday while the mercury climbed to 111 in California. Your timing could not have been more perfect.

    • Holy cow, you’re amazing!! I’m so impressed Cadi.

  • You’ve done it again Heather Lou, another stunning, fashion forward and useful pattern. I only wish it wren’t winter downunder! But this will have to go on my ‘to do’ list for summer. Huge pat on the back, it’s gorgeous.

    • Thank you! Summer is coming eventually Lesley!

  • jsews

    I love this pattern – looks perfect for summer. Is that double gauze still available.? It’s lovely!!

    • I’m not sure! Maybe try Miss Matatabi? I bought it in Barcelona last year.

  • Sweet! I’ve been hoping for this ever since I saw your striped caftan post. I liked your caftan so much I went so far as to find that exact pattern. I’m so glad I won’t have to eat up so much fabric now!

    • I still love that Caftan but omg like 5 yards of fabric!!!

  • Kathryn

    OMG, your mother-in-law with her caftan and her cigarette! Not that I endorse smoking, but it is still a completely rad picture. My mother-in-law is also rad, in that classic ‘Alberta Hoser’ kind of way…no cigarettes for her, but a can of beer or three for sure. I wonder if I can convince her to throw on a caftan….?

    • Kathryn

      with a jean jacket over it? Yes. Yes.

  • Naomi

    Love this pattern, you have great taste Heather. Your model is gorgeous + great styling too!

    • Thank you Naomi! I really like her too; we ha da super fun day shooting and she *perfectly* fits in our sample size 10 so it was meant to be 🙂

  • Catherine Daze

    What a lovely pattern! Exactly what I want to wear in the current heatwave. I love the shorter variation with the pleats; it’s a nice twist.

  • Charlotte Elliott

    Once again you’ve knocked it out of the park! I cannot tell you how long I’ve been looking for a perfect caftan and/or pattern. I love all 3 versions but especially the maxi. Plus I can totally see Charlie on the streets of NYC in the maxi version.

    • Thank you Charlotte! That means the world to me; I see many caftans in your future!

  • Caroline

    Oh my god, thank you! I live in southern Louisiana, where the heat and humidity make it feel like you’re trying to walk through warm peanut butter for roughly half the year. Looking forward to swanning around town in an army of these.

    • Melissa Grover

      “trying to walk through warm peanut butter” is *the best* heat description I’ve heard in a very long time.

    • It gets pretty hot humid here too but it’s more like molasses. Peanut butter sounds even worse 🙂 My studio manager made a great point; no sweat stains with those kimono sleeves!

    • Love The Lorax

      Over here in Vegas with record highs, I feel your pain!

  • I’m doing some pre-summer trip sewing and now, as you might expect having released two amazing patterns back-to-back, I’m completely torn between making this and the Kalle!!

    • BOTH! Ha ha, sorry, I’m an enabler 🙂

  • Chloe Anderson

    Aha! That’s what the DIY earrings were for! Gorgeous, and very tempting. I love all the options, can’t decide which would be best…

    • ALL OF THEM! Haha. I’m hoping to ma ea few more for my vacation this summer…