caftan? caftan!

I spend a good deal of my time obsessing over clothing styles for kids. But the remainder of my fashion-obsessive energies sometimes goes toward things that I can wear. And this summer they have all been focused on the caftan look.



I love how this silhouette works as a cute top, tunic, dress, or maxi. It accessorizes really well, works great with jeans, and can be made  in so many different fabrics. I’ve been making all of my summer caftans in linen because of all the crazy hot, humid weather we’ve had and because S and I have been having lots of fun printing on the linen. But I’m moving toward silk for fall because it can be dressed up. (Do you find yourself dressing up more in the fall? I know I do. Maybe it has to do with all the wonderful wool and cashmere? Or the fact that I’m not a sweaty mess all the time once the weather turns cooler? Dunno.) And I’m even scheming to make one from mid-weight wool jersey that will be great with turtlenecks and long skirts or trousers this winter. Kind of like this photo.

I love how the caftan silhouette seems to look good on everyone, too. I think it works because it cinches up under the bust, so it gives a flattering shape. Giulia, who is seven months pregnant, tried on one of the caftan dresses yesterday and it looked adorable on her. I threatened to make her model it so you could see for yourself, but it’s just not right to force a pregnant woman to model against her will. So you’ll just have to take my word for it. S has also been requesting one in her size, and I think it would be so cute. I may have to do that soon. It would be a great swimsuit cover-up for next summer, but it would also be a really cute dress.



Anyway, the caftan is my newest project for Creative Bug, and it’s quick and fun to make. It’s a great advanced beginner project, and you may notice that it’s based on a simple rectangle so there aren’t a lot of pattern pieces to deal with. In the video, I even demonstrate how I printed on my linen versions. You can watch the trailer for this project here if you want to hear me talk about it in person.



Interested in registering and making the project? Creative Bug has generously put together a special offer, just for you. You can take $10 off any 1-month, 3-month, or 6-month subscription package if you use the promo code CAFTAN10 when you sign up. The discount code is good through October 15, 2012. I love this because you an watch as many workshops as you want.

I’ve got a whole bunch of additional projects coming up with Creative Bug over the next few months, and they’re also creating quite a collection of workshops from other great instructors if you haven’t looked lately. We’re having all sorts of fun with their projects at home these days. I’m sure you will too.

And if you need a little more caftan inspiration, I’ve also got a caftan Pinterest board going with some cute fabrics and accessorizing ideas that might get you thinking and plotting your own style.




  1. mel

    Exciting! This looks fabulous on you, and I can imagine it would be adorable on a pregnant woman.

  2. Leslie

    Looks perfect for the California workshop!

  3. Sarah

    Liesl – I’m thinking this will make a great stylish top for breastfeeding too – just loosen the cinching, pop baby underneath and voila!

  4. How fun to see this project that started in Vermont turning into this lovely project! Your caftan version is wonderful. (My local friend Heather Jones says you’ve been drumming up a lot of new opportunities for her lately…I love it!! It’s so great to see these new opportunities arise for her.)

  5. Sandi

    This looks so cute on you! Being short and (ahem) endowed, I wonder if I’d look a I was swallowed by yards of fabric in this. I may have to just try it.

  6. Sandi

    I made the short top length this afternoon and I love it! Great video tutorial, Liesl.

  7. Sandi

    What do you think about curving the front bottom hem down a bit tomake up for the length lost whwn worn by a busty woman? I’mgoing to try it.

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