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!


Esther William Swimsuit & Tribal Kaftan

I have been waiting patiently and it’s finally here! My very own Esther William swimsuit!  Without knowing who Esther William was, I have been eyeing her stunning swimwear on ModCloth for months. Then, I read Casey’s post and checked out Esther William’s online store. There was a sale going on! How could I resist a discounted 1-Piece Classic Sheath I have been drooling over and at a more affordable international shipping rate? All the positive reviews I read on ModCloth really did it for me. Furthermore, I knew I needed a regular fitness regime since I last exercised on a regular basis a decade ago and swimming sounded good to me at that moment.  I chose the black fabric with white polka dots as it looked so adorable and retro. I ordered a size 8 and as per many reviews I have read, the fit is very flattering and it has to be my favorite piece of swimwear ever!

If weather permits this weekend, I will try to snap some photos with my family at the pool. That should be fun!

I decided that since I would be swimming on a more regular basis, I needed  to sew a pool kaftan which will take me from my apartment to the pool and back.  I didn’t have a kaftan pattern and didn’t want to buy one as I thought it should be relatively simple to sew.  I decided to  go with the tribal trend. Here’s my tribal kaftan which I think have the potential to be wore out as well, either on its own or with skinny jeans.

I cut two rectangular squares out of the tribal fabric, created a V neck out from the front piece, drafted an external facing for the v-neck using a black scrap fabric and sewed a gold piping onto the facing.  I loved the idea of longer sides so this kaftan ended up with that as well.

This Kaftan is so really easy to sew, it only took me half a day! And because some basic body measurements are taken, it will fit all sizes, even kids. I intend to make a light weight version for visiting the pool and another with a sash for going out.  If there is enough interest, I will post a tutorial for the Kaftan when I sew the next one. I have to look through the stash first.  And if I can’t find suitable fabric to go with my retro swimsuit, it will be a priority when I go on holiday in October.  I am so excited, I can’t wait to tell you more about my next theme!  This project will probably take me to the end of September now that I am going to start swimming. I’m still busy researching and matching my stash to patterns. I found it pretty challenging as it is not easy matching my existing stash and the fabric requirement of this new theme…will tell you more about it tomorrow. Happy Monday!