Posts Tagged ‘polyester’

Well, here I am at 9:49pm on day 3 of my So Celebrate Sewing extravaganze …whew, getting this post in in the nick of time!  Which is fitting because today I am celebrating that in sewing, all you need is a few minutes to create something super cool.

As in this CAFTAN!

Believe it or not, you can make this dress in about 30 minutes… you need about 3 1/4 yards of fabric.  It takes 4 seams, 4 buttonholes, and one long tube to use as a sash.  That’s it!

Start with your fabric. I used 100% light weight polyester. Next time, however, I think I'll switch to a breathable fabric - 100% cotton for sure.

First, if your fabric has a factory fold that run along the length of the fabric, open it up so that you are facing the entire width of the fabric. Then, fold the fabric in half, right sides together, keeping the fold at the top. This means you'll have two equal halves measuring about 1 5/8 yards with the fold at the top.

To create your sleeves and side seams, measure down along the selvages on each side about 12". Place a pin. Sew all the way down from the pin to the end of the fabric. (Be sure to reverse stitch at the beginning since this opening is your sleeve.)

Now that you've created your side seams and your sleeves, you need to create your neckline. I pinned my fabric right to my ironing board, and then I started guessing how big the opening should be. Start small on this guess - you can always go bigger but you can't go smaller! After trying to pull it over my head the first time, I had to go back and make it a bit bigger.

Next, you'll need to add bias binding along your neckline. If you have enough fabric, create bias tape from the dress fabric. Otherwise, use storebought or coordinating bias tape. I have neither tonight, so I'll grab some later...you can still get the idea!

Now you need to add 4 buttonholes at the waist - front and back right side, front and back left side. To decide where, I held the dress up to me and went to a mirror. I located my waist and put a pin at the very right side and the very left side. Then, back at the ironing board (where I do all my pinning), I used those pins to also mark the identical spots on the back left and back right. (These button holes are used to hold your belt in place ... see photo below!) Also - when opening up your buttonhole with a seam ripper, please be sure it's not too dull. OR ELSE< you'll end up with puckered buttonholes like I did!

Finally - hem the bottom and create a quick tube for the sash. Thread the sash to the front from the back buttonholes. You've got yourself a fabulous caftan, maxi dress, billowy dress!

If you're wondering about hemming the sleeves - you use the selvege so there's no need! This truly is a 4 seam, 4 buttonhole, 1 sash piece - easy peasy!

My friend Erin Tyrrell and I were talking a few weeks ago about Caftans … whether or not we’d ever try to pull one off.  I think I just might try this one out in public!  The fabric definitely feels like flimsy plastic, so I’m not sure 107 degree weather is the best option for this fabric, but maybe something in a nice seersucker or something else light weight.  We’ll see!

Cost: I got this fabric for about $2/yd, so $6.50.  yay!

Time: Again, you really can do this in 30 minutes if you know how to use the buttonhole function on  your machine!

Okay ya’ll….I’m hoping you’re getting the hankering to Celebrate Sewing.  Share your thoughts with me if you like!

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Somehow I developed a very bad habbit of hoarding patterns during $1 & $1.99 sales.  I think somewhere somehow I decided that if I had the pattern then I had just about made the garment.  Hence – I have boxes and boxes and boxes of unopened, never sewn patterns.  And for some reason, whenever I want to make something  new …. you guessed it – I buy another pattern!  Why do I do this?????  I. Have. Plenty. Of. Patterns.

One pattern that I have never ever let myself forget that I have is a really fun Anna Sui Vogue Pattern (V1046).  While Vogue patterns never go on sale for a buck, they do go on sale for $3.99 and that’s only $3 more, so BANG, I’m in!  This one was love-at-first-sight!

Good thing I snatched this one up when I did - it's now out of print! Sorry gals.

I’ve been in the mood to sew from patterns lately, so naturally I’m starting with those stashed away in the crevices of my mind…and this is one of the first to make “the cut!”

Here is my version. Fabric is some sort of flimsy, lightweight polyester that I got for $1 yard!

Can you see the fun pink hidden in the print?

As you can see - it's a true tent dress ... it even makes my size 2 mannequin look a little fluffy. Finally! I've been starting to really hate her for looking good in EVERYTHING!

And here's the back view.

Overall, I’m really happy with the results …

If I was going to review the pattern (a sort of moot idea since it’s no longer in print!), I’d say that the pattern runs very big.  I made my dress a size smaller than I am and it still looks about 2 sizes too big.  I’m wearing it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s definitely fuller in real life than shown on the cover of the pattern.

I’ll try to snap a photo of me in it when I wear it out so that you can see what I mean!

And now for the breakdown:

Cost: $3 for the fabric, $3.99 for the pattern = $6.99.  FOR A DRESS!!!!  Hilarious.

Time: This took more time to cut out the pattern than it did to construct!  Since you have to use lightweight fabric, it can be tricky to pin and cut and keep steady.  So, I’m estimating this took me about 2.5 hours.  I didn’t do it all in one sitting so this is a guess.  I think it was worth it; however, I probably won’t make this pattern again.

So finally that particular pattern is off my list of things to do.

I’m off to conquer the other 400 patterns in my stash …..


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