Ebony & Ivory Kaftans

The inspiration behind my Kaftan or rather my subsequent decision to make one myself without a sewing pattern was this Chanel resort 2011 runway photo I blogged about previously. It was long, flowy and looked rather effortless to put together. So, I experimented and ended up with the Tribal Kaftan. After creating two more versions here, I dare say I’ve found the easiest way to make a stylish Kaftan. It takes only about an hour and a half to sew and another half hour if you are adding embellishments or trims. There are no zips nor buttons required (unless you are using buttons for embellishment). So, this is definitely something a beginner can sew or something you could whip up for instant gratification! The good news is the step by step tutorial is up. Yes, finally!

While the Chanel design is meant for next year’s resort collection, this full length version closely resembles what you can find on vintage sewing patterns from the 70s like the one below. So, the look is retro yet up-to-date!

My versions here are mid-length and a short top but if you use more fabric, you can achieve something very close to the Chanel look above.

A mid-length version because I wanted one that can double up as a swimsuit coverup and look presentable enough to be wore as a tunic over skinny jeans or leggings. I used approximately 2 meters (slightly over 2 yards) of fabric for this version.  The short blouse version came about because I had a meter (slight over a yard) of lace fabric which I love and wanted to sew into a top but was not sufficient for any blouse pattern I have. I am happy I managed to create two very different looks out of the same method.

Ebony Kaftan

An ethnic style Kaftan with an external facing for its v-neck and embellished with bronze iron-on studs and a bronze centerpiece from this store in Chinatown.

The fabric is a black cotton voile with white circular prints and some circular embroidery in orange and white I bought at this fabric store in Chinatown. It’s a unique print from Japan.

I cut the bottom hem slightly shorter on the front centre and love how flowy it looks:)

Ivory Kaftan Blouse

My husband thought this was store-bought and commented on how vintage it looked, much to my delight off course 😛

This ivory kaftan blouse has an internal facing, round neckline and long draping sleeves. It’s absolutely sweet and charming.

When I found it at Spotlight, this pretty lace fabric only had one meter left but I decided to get it anyway as I loved everything about it.

The actual lace fabric ends were my hand is on this photo as I added a lace trim to lengthen the ‘bodice’. The lace trim is from the same embellishment shop in Chinatown. It’s filled with wonderful items and I wished sometimes I could buy half the store:) Definitely a place my purse wants me to avoid! And finally, a close up of the wonderful lace fabric and trim.

I’ve also decided to include wherever possible the store details for fabric and notions used as there have been some enquiries on these and who knows, some of you might be visiting Singapore some day and wish to know where are the good fabric places to visit:)

Meanwhile, have a blessed weekend everyone! I gotta start thinking about my birthday dress…that actually slipped my mind!


21 thoughts on “Ebony & Ivory Kaftans

  1. Thanks so much! @Christy: I don’t actually have that pattern, it’s something I saw on etsy and I wanted to use that to kinda date the style 🙂 And, yes you can indeed use it to create a beach coverup:)

  2. Oh what a wonderful husband to say anything at all. I love that top so much. Yes it is vintage but also modern. What a great job you did on it. I have a pattern very similar and never thought of making a top with it. I have had it at least 15 years and I have never used it. Now my wheels are turning.

  3. Both are gorgeous but I am partial to the lace version. I love what you came up with for such special fabric. Truly beautiful work.

  4. Pingback: The 1-hour Kaftan Tutorial & Butterfly Kaftan « The Sew Convert

  5. Pingback: Tutorial: 1-Hour Caftan for adults and kids | delta.dnbpt.com

  6. I love the lace top. Just out of curiosity – do you happen to know what kind of lace you used? I’m hoping to find something similar here in the US, but I think I’d have more luck if I knew what I was looking for.

  7. Hi Gina, thanks for asking, I am no expert on lace but after looking through the lace identification page online, I think it’s Coraline lace and I added a lace trim to it as well. Hope that helps!

  8. The Sew Convert :
    Hi Gina, thanks for asking, I am no expert on lace but after looking through the lace identification page online, I think it’s Coraline lace and I added a lace trim to it as well. Hope that helps!

    That does help, thanks so much!

  9. I absolutely love this tutorial. I was just looking for a guide for how to sew myself a short caftan dress for a trip to vegas with my hubby and really had trouble finding a good one. Even more amazing that you gave us varied looks and lengths. Thank you again! Great job

  10. Pingback: Me Made May-The Finish Line! | The Sew Convert

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