Summer Kaftan




Introduction: Summer Kaftan

Go from a light weight winter scarf to summer kaftan

This is a simple pattern for keeping cool in summer! It is super cute either as a swimwear cover-all or, with a bit of tweaking, a glam party dress. Using a light - weight material this instructable calls for someone with some skill and/or lots of  patience. But with simple cotton (heavier, but still cool) it is perfect for beginners. 

Step 1: What You Need

You will need:
- A sewing machine (with thin needle - size 8,9 or 10)
- A piece of light weight cotton (roughly 1m x 1.5m / 60in x 40in) for a long shirt/short dress
*if you fold the piece in half and lay it across your front and it goes from elbow to elbow and down to mid -thigh it's about right (see pic)
*My material was a scarf from "RUBI shoes" that i never wore in winter.
- A length of cord/ribbon to tie
- Scissors 
- Thread of a corresponding or contrasting colour (not too thick or it  will make the seams pucker)
- Quick-un-pick (seam ripper)
- Fabric chalk
- Measuring tape
- Pins

Step 2: Draw and Cut the Neck Hole

With the material folded in half, so that the fold is at the top, find the centre and draw a shallow semi-circle (Make it shallower than the picture otherwise it will much to large). Then when you're happy with the shape, cut it out.

Step 3: Prep the Sewing Machine

Don't throw away the piece you cut out because you will need it to make sure your sewing machine is on the right setting for the fabric.
Firstly, try and use a needle sized 8,9 or 10. Next, set the stitch length to between 1.5 and 2 (to stop the material shrinking). Then, move the needle as far to the left as possible to give it more support from the plate (do this by setting the width to as large as your machine goes).
Now you may do a test straight stitch.
Watch for puckering due to:
- thread tension too high
- thread too heavy, or,
- needle to large
Adjust accordingly.

Step 4: Sew the Neck Hole Seam

Fold the edge over about 1 cm and then over again so you have 3 layers rolled then pin. Due to the type of fabric this won't hold or sit flat very well. To help reduce this cut small nicks into the 1st fold of the seam  in-between the pins (see pic 2). Then, sew a straight stitch seam closest to the left (where my thumb is in the picture) pulling and making sure the seam stays an even width as you go. *this is where you need the patience*. After this i also sewed another line of straight stitch closer to the right of the fold to end up with a more decorative (and stronger) seam.

Step 5: Draw the Button Holes

To get the correct dimension lay a fitted singlet in the centre of the still folded material (lined up with the neck hole). From where the singlet is curved most (where your waist is) measure out 10cm. Then draw a line 5cm long  for the belt tie to go through (make it larger or smaller depending on the belts size). Repeat this for the other side ensuring they are of equal distance from the outer edge. Draw the line onto the back piece as well.

Step 6: Sew the Button Holes

My sewing machine has a special setting and foot for sewing button holes, so i used that. If you don't you can sew it by hand. I have also heard of a way where you sew zigzag stitch back and forth the desired length about 6 times and straight stitch at the ends then cut down the middle...something to try.
Only after the material it sewn do you cut the hole in the middle, carefully, with scissors or a quick-un-pick

Step 7: Sew the Side Seam

I didn't want mine gaping at the sides if i decided to wear it as a dress so i sewed a seam up the side from the button hole to about 5cm before the bottom. Just line up the sides, pin, and sew a straight stitch.

Step 8: Finish

Put the belt through the holes and you're done.
Wear it with sandles for the water or roll up the sleeves and put it with heels and a chunky belt for a party. If you find another way let me know.
This design can be easily altered; make it to reach the floor or as a shorter shirt, change the neck shape or put on beading.


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