DIY Vintage Caftan Dress Using Simplicity 8505

I have the Rona blues guys and it has taken a lot in me to sew or do anything creative. It seems strange because being creative is an outlet for me, but that hasn’t been working as of late. I’m trying to find small projects to do around the house like creating a minimalist look for my husband while hiding all my nick-nacks away and trying to train my puppy to go to the bathroom outside and not on the potty pad. (Update, we were able to train him in one day. If you’re interested in how leave me a comment below.) That’s been fun, but I really do miss sewing. I started working on a caftan dress about 2 weeks ago and I stalled when I realized I was going to have to redo the hand-stitching. It’s one of the least favorite things of mine to do, but last weekend I said “Nah huh, honey we are finishing this dang thing so I can wear it around the house like a Nubian Goddess.” Haha.

Yes, I am extra. You didn’t know that by now? Well, I did it. I finished my caftan and I am so excited to be able to glide around the house in it. I was inspired by a few sewists on Instagram who were making Caftans for the summer to have cocktails and lounge around the house on Saturdays. Sounds like my kind of party. This usually isn’t my style of clothing, but I like to try new things because you never know if you like something until you try it on. Plus, to test a store-bought one would be ridiculous. Some of the prices for a nice designer one range all the way up to $2k. I’m good without that.

I paid $23 for my fabric, which is some silky type and nothing for the thread as it was some that I got from a flea market as a bundle. I paid $5 for the entire bundle which included over 15 spools of thread. Now that’s a deal! And an idea if you are looking to save on supplies and are currently boycott big fabric & craft stores like Joann, Michael, and Hobby Lobby due to lack of diversity. You never know what treasure you will find that someone else may think is junk. The entire project I only used 1 spool of thread including zig-zagging the edges to avoid fraying. And the fabric doesn’t look cheap. So that’s definitely a triple win in my book. This is why I write about my makes. I’m trying to save you all money here. Money that you could use for your dream trip whenever Rona decides to wither and die. I know I will be saving this for the resort trip that we will rebook once travel is allowed again.

In the meantime check out my sewing pattern review and tips on this vintage sewing pattern I picked up.

Pattern Description: 

Misses’ Vintage Caftan

Pattern Size Chosen: Large

View: B

Fabric Choice: Silky Type (I’m not sure of the actual fabric name as it wasn’t written on the pile and I never worked with it before. It almost feels like microsuede.)

Color: Red

Sewing Tools Needed That Aren’t Mentioned:

  • Thread cutting scissors,
  • Hand sewing needle,
  • Extra thread,
  • Needle to match the fabric (you can use a universal needle if you don’t want to buy separate needles all the time),
  • Hem tape (I used an iron-on version because I am boycotting Joann Fabric right now and using up my stash.
  • Thimble

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?  Yes, it did.

Are the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but this isn’t a beginner pattern maybe a beginner-intermediate pattern because they use terms like creating a thread loop, which I will record a video on how to create and add that to the blog for you all. Also, attaching the front gathered bodice to the front is a little tricky as well. What I find to make sure I got a perfect squared edge was to gather the front as instructed and then use pins instead of clips to align the sides. I didn’t pivot at the corners but sewed all the way down on both the right and left side and then across the middle. This way the wrong side of the fabric didn’t peak through.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I disliked the hand sewing only because I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis in my left wrist. I have to take breaks frequently, which messes with my sewjo. Hence it took me FOREVER to finish this and write a blog post. I did like how few pieces there were and how I didn’t have to do any major alterations for fit since it is loose-fitting.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Instead of sewing on the hem tap and slip stitching it to the bottom hem, I used iron-on hem tape and press the hem up. I also had to remove about 4 1/4 inches from the hem because it was not drafted for a petite woman. Something for me to work on for future pattern making right? I also didn’t have any ribbon for the waist tie so I measured my waist and then divided that measurement in half.

Would you sew it again? Yes, I’m thinking maybe in a bright color for summer like yellow or maybe one for fall like rust orange. We’ll see.

Tips to avoid it taking as long: Watch videos on how to do slip stitching and thread loops.

 

 

Until next time…

XOXOlips_print

 

4 thoughts on “DIY Vintage Caftan Dress Using Simplicity 8505

  1. Loved the tips you shared. Thread loops are tricky and I’m not a fan of hand stitching but will do it if I have to!!

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  2. love review and dress working on 3 as we speak. I put back on fold since you can get it over you head attaching bodice is tricky im going to try it your way. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, three! Good luck. I’m trying not to do more than two projects at a time these days. It can get overwhelming. Oh wow, on the fold. I would think it would be difficult to get in and out of. Feel free to message me if you have any trouble. Good luck!

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