The 1-hour Kaftan Tutorial & Butterfly Kaftan

I made another Kaftan but this time in toddler size using my very own 1-hour Kaftan tutorial. I had to ensure it worked for all sizes before putting the tutorial on my blog 🙂

Meet the butterfly Kaftan, so named as my lil princess pretended to be a butterfly flapping her wings once I put the Kaftan on her.  Her piece is made with some Anna Maria Horner voile I had in my scrap basket. I didn’t actually have big enough a piece so I joined two pieces together at the shoulder seam for this version and here’s my baby modeling the mini Kaftan!

The Butterfly Kaftan

Isn’t she a natural 🙂 Without further ado, the tutorial:) I hope you find it useful!

The 1-hour Kaftan tutorial:

Materials Required


I would recommend light weight fabrics such as cotton voile, lawn, gauze, lace or chiffon.

The yardage depends on how long you want the Kaftan to be. I am 5 feet 7 and used two meters of fabric for the Ebony Kaftan and one meter for the Ivory Kaftan Blouse.

You will also need a small amount of fabric for the facing. If you are making an external facing (like the Ebony Kaftan), you may want to use a contrasting color.

Embellishments (Optional)

Scissors, Thread, Pins, Erasable Fabric Marker, Interfacing and Measuring Tape

A top/tee with your desired neckline- round, v-neck, square etc

Step 1: Identify the Shoulder ‘Seam’

Fold your fabric into half (selvedges at the sides) and iron. The fold you have just ironed will be your shoulder ‘seam’. Use an erasable fabric marker to mark the centre of the shoulder ‘seam’ . Place your tee over the fabric, matching centre of tee to centre mark on fabric as shown.

Step 2: Create the neckline

Place pins around the front neckline of your tee.

Use the erasable marker to mark points on the fabric.

Join the points with the erasable marker. That is your front neckline. Match the back centre of the tee to the centre mark and trace your back neckline.

You have finished drafting the neckline.

Cut the fabric within the lines.

Try it on ensure it can go over your head. Note that once the facing is added, the neckline will be wider.

Step 3: Attach the facing

Trace the neckline onto the fabric for your facing.

Using a measuring tape, extend the facing width by 8cm all round (for external facing, I extended the facing width by 10cm at the widest point). Join the lines and cut the facing.

Cut and attach fusible interfacing to the facing. Serge or zig zig stitch to finish the outer edges of the facing (only for internal facing).

Attach the right side of the facing to the right side of the neckline and stitch. (For external facing, attach the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the neckline and stitch)
Clip the seams, turn over and press with iron. (For external facing, clip the seams, turn facing out onto the right side of the blouse, press in the edges and stitch, add embellishments).

Topstitch the neckline.Step 4: Finish the Hem

Finish the hem of the blouse by ironing the edges in twice and stitch. If your selvedges are nicely finished, you can leave them as they are, otherwise, finish them as well.

Step 5: Create Armhole and Finish the Sides

Measure yourself from the shoulder seam to below your armpit and add an inch. If you are making this for someone else, you can also measure her tee and add an inch. Measure from the shoulder seam of the Kaftan, mark this point. It is the base of the armhole.

Measure the widest part of your body. This is usually the hip area. Divide the measurement by 4. e.g. 36/4=9″. From the centre mark of the blouse, measure 9″ to each sides.

Draw the lines down the Kaftan on both sides below the armhole mark.

Pin and stitch along the drawn lines, down the front of the fabric, catching the back fabric.

Wipe off all the markings you have made cos’ You are done!


Ebony Kaftan

Ivory Kaftan blouse

Wear the Kaftan and send me a photo or a link! I’ll love to see what you have made using this tutorial:)

Have a blessed week everyone!


40 thoughts on “The 1-hour Kaftan Tutorial & Butterfly Kaftan

  1. Such an adorable child! Reminded of the joy sewing things for my daughter many years ago…
    Thank you so much for your inspiring energy.

  2. Dear Sew Convert,

    I’m one of your blog followers, and I live in the US. I am going to be in Singapore for one day on my way to India, (Sunday, Dec. 12th) and I wondered if you might have time to meet up that afternoon!


  3. Thank you for your lovely words:)
    @Raquel: I’m glad someone will be trying the tute, thanks so much:)
    @Bhoomika: Wow! That sounds exciting! I love the idea and hope it can happen though I must confess that Sun is really bad for me. I’ll send you an email shortly to see if we can meet. Thanks so much for asking:)

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

  6. Great tutorial. Know what I will be doing shortly. Have had a lovely piece of fabric for yonks and just did not know what to do with it.

  7. @Susan: Thank you so much and yes, the lil one loves to be the centre of attention:)
    @Adele: Thanks! Can’t wait to see what you create with it, the possibilities are endless!
    @Jali: Thanks so much Jali, the sleeves do resemble wings don’t they kekeke, but it’s deceptive, she is hardly one:P

  8. Hello! The photo function isn’t working but if you go to the Anthropologie website, you find the top labelled, “Palindrome Sweater”. I think your pattern is the closest to this look (I’ve been searching for awhile). Can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Mary

  9. Hi Mary, I saw the “sweater”. You can definitely use my original kaftan tute to create almost an exact garment. I think the tough part is in finding the right fabric. You need to buy a borderprint (border print on both sides knit which border ends near the shoulder. The width of the fabric should end somewhere below your elbows, selvage to selvage when you put it against you. The neckline is more of a boatneck rather than the round one I made for the lace version. Choose a tee with a boat neckline as your guide to create the neckline and you should be on the right track. Use the same color thread for sewing down the bodice as the fabric’s non border portion. Can’t wait to see it!

  10. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Can’t wait to get started as soon as I find that elusive fabric 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing this! All these are lovely, but the lace is stunning! I’m definitely going to give it a try for me and my little one:)

  12. Thank you so much Cindy for letting me know. I am so glad you tried the tutorial as your Kaftan is splendid! It really looked like a RTW and great work cutting triangular pieces at the bias to shorten the sleeves, that is a great option for fabric with longer width.

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  16. Help me out I in need badly for a local supplies of 100& cotton fabrics for my patchwork and quilt. Buying from the school itself is cutting my throat. Save $ for good course reason I am sewing and donating to some places in mine.

  17. Fabulous!!! I just made a gorgeous top out of a hideous tablecloth. It was awful on the table, but great as a top! What a wonderful tutorial you posted!

  18. This is Great! I think even a sewing dummy like myself could do it. Could you maybe suggest a way to make it with just one sleeve? I’m going to try it as soon as I find the magical right material!:)
    Thankyou so much!

  19. Thanks for such a great tutorial. I really like the v neck in the ebony Kaftan. Was this done using the same procfess with a tshirt?

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