caftan maxi dress

Now that summer is here (in our part of the world, anyway) I’m bracing for some really hot weather. As soon as all this rain stops, at least.


This is another version of the caftan dress from my Creativebug Linen Caftan Workshop. For this version of the dress, I cut the fabric a bit narrower and sewed the side seams along the edges of the fabric instead of leaving that gap the way I show in the workshop. This is a really easy method, and you don’t need to hem the edges until after you’ve sewn the side seams. Then you just fold and hem the remaining edges (armholes, slits for walking, and hem) in the same way we did for the workshop. But you’ve got fewer edges to finish because of the side seams. (Did that just make any sense, or is it the coffee talking this morning?)

I left 12″ slits at the side seams for walking ease. And I have to say that this maxi dress is much more comfortable to wear than I expected. I thought walking would be a pain and the fabric would get tangled up on my legs. It doesn’t. I wore it all day and really liked it!

Cute with the wide belt, too, right? I sort of love it. I used a silk/cotton blend that just insisted it needed to be made into this dress. It’s got a great hand and is quite lightweight but a little stiff, so it holds it’s shape even in heavy humidity. (I can attest to this, as it was steamy outside when I wore it!)  I can’t wait to wear it when it gets really hot out. Although if the weather prefers to give us a little break from the nasty heat and humidity this summer, that would be just fine by me. If you prefer to use a fabric with a little more drape, that will turn out beautifully too. A lightweight sateen would be gorgeous for this style, especially if you’re planning to skip the drawstring and add a belt it like I did.

Creativebug is offering a special discount to Oliver + S blog readers. Use coupon code MAXI to get your first month subscription, on any plan, for only $9.95. With your subscription you’ll also get access to all the great Camp Creativebug classes for kids, including (in a few short weeks) the one S and I did together recently. Not ready for a long-term commitment? That’s OK because this week only, Creativebug is offering all its a la carte classes (including the caftan!) for only $9.99. It’s the perfect way to give it a try.

Have you made the caftan yet? I hope you’ll show me if you have!



  1. You look stunning Liesl.

  2. Laura

    I love it! And it certainly looks perfect for hot weather!

  3. Jennifer

    Just wondering approximately how many inches narrower you cut the fabric to make this dress? I took your class just recently and love my new caftan top, and I would like to try this method! If my regular caftan was 35″ in width, what might be your suggestion? Thanks for your help!

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