Hello everyone! I’m curious to know what inspires you in life. I was asked this question in an interview recently, and immediately I thought of other women. I’m inspired by women. God has blessed me with a group of women who have demonstrated character traits that I need in order to be the woman of grace He has created. Simply observing the lifestyles of these women, I’ve learned what unconditional love looks like, how to be guided by wisdom and discernment, how to walk in confidence, the importance of encouraging others, and how to gracefully persevere through trials. I plan to formally introduce you to them in a future post. They are my inspiration to be a woman after God’s heart. Everything else falls into place as it should be when the foundation is properly set.
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Vogue 1473 – Caftan-Style Dress – Pattern Hack
Today’s DIY look comes from another type of inspiration. This is a pattern hack of Vogue 1473, a design by Lorcan Mullany for Bellville Sassoon. This pattern has been in my stash for a long time, and the reason I’ve waited so long to sew the dress is that I couldn’t decide on the type of trim I would use on the side edges. Do you remember I told you last week that I get sewing inspiration when I see women wearing beautiful garments? Recently I ran across a photo on Instagram of a woman wearing a beautiful caftan (kaftan) and I was struck by the stylish look she was able to achieve with it. Seeing her photo is what inspired me to create this look. I have never been a fan of the caftan because it reminds me of “back-in-the-day” when some parents wore what we called “muu-muu’s.” I didn’t think they were attractive at all, and I knew I would NEVER wear such a thing when I grew up.
Fast forward to 2017, at 50 years old, this lady is rocking a caftan-style dress. I can’t help but wonder if the younger generation will look at this dress and think as I did, that they will never wear such a thing. Hahaha! I’m so in love with this dress for several reasons. (1) The comfort is by far the best feature. I used an ITY knit fabric (not traditional for this garment), so it’s nice and slinky-soft against the body. Caftans are typically sewn with flowy, woven fabrics, and the side seams are sewn closer to or on the edges. The suggested fabrics on the pattern envelope are; Crepe, Satin Back Crepe, Silk Jersey, and Jacquard. (2) I also love that it’s stylish, not your typical Muu-Muu. (3) Lastly, it is so versatile. I can wear this to lounge around the house, take a trip to the grocery store, or step out on a date night with my husband. I will definitely be adding more stylish caftans to my wardrobe.
Definition: “caftan. or kaf·tan. A full-length garment with elbow-length or long sleeves, worn chiefly in eastern Mediterranean countries. A westernized version of this garment consisting of a loose, usually brightly colored waist-length or ankle-length tunic.” (yourdictionary.com)
As you can see, I made some changes to the pattern.
(1) The most obvious alteration is to the length. I wanted it floor length so I added about 18″, but ended up cutting about 2″ off after trying it on.
(2) The other obvious change is the omission of the trim. Instead I added 4″ to the sides to lengthen the sleeve. Using a curved design ruler, I tapered it in at the bottom to prevent the side edges from dragging the ground. I began the tapering at the hem and curved up to my liking.
(3) I lowered the front neckline just a bit, omitted the facings and used a 5/8″ double hem to finish the raw edges on the sides and neckline. I left the bottom edges raw because I sewed up the sides before inserting the hem. In the future I would hem the bottom first, then sew the sides; or stitch the sides, leaving hem allowance free for hemming. ITY fabric doesn’t fray, so the raw hem isn’t an issue on this dress.
(4) I omitted the binding, shoulder zipper, loops and buttons because I didn’t think they were necessary.
This pattern is already easy to sew, but with all the omissions, I made it even easier with only 4 pattern pieces. I will add the facings next time though. I plan to use a beautiful crepe for my next version.
Create the Look
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Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!
(All photos courtesy of CEMO!)