Master the art of vacation style with our new sewing pattern – the Maxi Kaftan! This chic kaftan dress includes a built-up deep V-neckline and an inverted pleat in the front and back for added volume while maintaining an elongated, slim silhouette. Wear it with a detachable belt to define your waist or loose for a comfortable and breezy look.
3 yards of 1C64 WHITE SAND Softened Medium Weight Linen
Matching sewing thread, medium weight fusible interfacing
Pattern paper, scissors, pins, ruler, chalk, measuring tape, fabric marker, sewing machine
You can access the multi-sized printable PDF pattern by following this link HERE. The model is wearing US size 4/6.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
1. Before we start, prepare your bodice pattern pieces by serging/zigzagging the side/armhole raw edges. This will prevent the fabric from fraying in the future.
2. First off, form 2”-wide inverted pleats at the center front and the center back of your bodice pieces. With your fabric’s right side facing you, accordion pleat your fabric (1” to 1”) at the center so that the two pleats meet at the center. Pin the pleat in place to secure it but do not press with your iron as we want it to hang loosely.
For the front bodice, find the spot 3″ below your V-point at the neckline, and form an additional pleat there. This will help keep your pleats in place while sewing the facing.
To keep the pleats in place, run a small line of basting that you’ll rip off after you’ve attached the facing.
We have a great tutorial about inverted pleats where you can find more detailed instructions.
3. Pin the front and the back bodices right sides together at shoulder seams.
4. Sew the pinned edges at a 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance, trim to 1/4” (6 mm) and finish the raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch. Press the seams flat folding the serged/zigzagged edges towards the back of your kaftan.
5. Apply fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your facing pieces and pin them right sides at shoulder seams.
6. Stitch at a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance and press the seams open. Serge/zigzag the outer raw edge.
7. Place the right side of the facing on top of the right side of your garment matching up the shoulder seams and pin. Use plenty of pins to get the facing seated and make sure it’s centered.
8. Stitch the facing onto the neckline at a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance. To get to the V-point, you can cut the front fabric a little bit since it’ll be trimmed off later anyway.
When you come to the V, stop the machine with the needle still in the fabric, sew one or two stitches straight on and turn the fabric to sew the rest of the V.
9. Now that you’ve sewn the facing to the garment, you need to trim away the excess fabric at the front and release the tension by clipping the V as close to the stitch line as possible (be careful not to cut through). This will help us get our nice V-shape.
10. The next thing to do is to trim the seams to 1/4”, then clip to, but not through, the curve line at the back to release the tension.
11. Pull the facing to the wrong side of the garment, pin the fold making sure that the seam isn’t showing on the right side, and press it. Take a few seconds to really get in the corner of your V with your iron.
12. Topstitch the entire neckline. It will help to prevent the facing from popping back out and lay flat on the inside. From the right side of the garment, stitch a straight line all around the neckline as close as possible to the seam (starting at the center back or at the shoulder seams).
Remove the basting stitches made in step 2.
The hardest part is over, now let’s sew the rest of the dress.
13. Pin your side seams right sides together. Mark 20” from the bottom hem. This is your side seam slit.
14. Stitch the side seams together and stop at the mark indicating the beginning of the slit. Remember to backstitch.
15. Press the seams open, including the side splits’ seam allowances.
16. Stitch the edges of the side slits in place as close to the outer edge as possible.
17. Finish the sleeves and the bottom of your kaftan with a rolled hem. Fold the fabric twice to the wrong side (3/8” to 1/2”), press and pin.
Lastly, sew the detachable belt.
18. Press your belt fabric in half lengthwise (wrong side facing you) and sew the long raw edges together at a 1/4” (6 mm) seam allowance.
19. Turn the belt right side out through the hole and press again. Tuck in the short ends raw edges and topstitch around all the edges (1/4” (6 mm) from the edge) to close the openings and make sure that the belt doesn’t shift in the future.
Give your kaftan one last good press and you are all done!