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!

Vintage 70s Jumpsuit

Here’s my version of the vintage jumpsuit from Simplicity  9677 made with ikea fabric. The pattern comes with doggy ear collar, puffy gathered sleeves and a zipper front. I love the idea of a zipper front. It is just so convenient and easy to put on.

As it turned out, I adored the collar. It didn’t come out as long as what was showed on the sewing pattern cover. I used interfacing for it despite using a medium weight cotton. Oh! I didn’t make it jet black as I kinda like the little off-white detail on the extreme left side. Other than that, the collar is completely black. Since, I do not wear skirts, I didn’t bother making the add-on. I have not gotten used to the puffy sleeves though as I think they are kinda over the top.

Did I adhere to the sewing pattern? For most parts I did. Nonetheless, I reduced the seam allowance for the shorts to 1cm instead of 1.5 so that it is more roomy.  I thought the back of the jumpsuit was a little too straight forward  so I did an oval-shaped cut out which I love. I also like the shaping created by all the darts at the back of the jumpsuit.

After making this jumpsuit I actually think knit fabric rather than woven ones would be more appropriate for this design. I also think the pattern can be pretty versatile. I might create a sleeveless or cap sleeve version in knit someday, perhaps with a hood instead of the collar.

In terms of sewing instructions, they were clear but I didn’t follow all the steps. I figured out I didn’t need the front and back facing for the jumpsuit if I folded in the seam twice behind the zipper and for the collar, I attached it the way I did a men’s shirt, by folding in its bottom.