A Charlie Caftan for low key evening wear.

Wow how the weather can change! Last weekend it was pretty much a heat wave! It inspired me to finally put away my winter woolies and dig out all my summer clothes. I do this seasonal wardrobe swap around twice a year as I don’t have enough wardrobe space to keep everything out all the time. Its a good time to have a bit of a turn out too. I shared a couple of finds on last weeks You Tube sew along that I felt inspired to remake after watching the The Sewing Bee up-cycle week. .

Anyway I came across all the clothes I made for My big birthday holiday to Greece last year. I floated around for a couple of days in these summer makes but I am back to my Lynn sweatshirts and slippers now!

This was the second Carlie Caftan I made for my Greek holiday. The first one I made was a wearable toile  planned as a swimwear cover up. This version I made with barmy evenings at the hotel beach bar in mind or dining out alfresco!

Digging it out bought back happy memories of a fabulous holiday. I did indeed float around in the evening wearing this and sipping cocktails while the kids stayed up late playing in the sand. I feel so lucky to have had this holiday, I’m not sure there will be any holidays this year.

I made this version in polyester Lena crepe from Lady McElroy Generally speaking I don’t think I wear florals much, when I do I prefer simple designs. These earthy colours and blocky design on a black base felt perfect for me. The fabric is very light and floaty and doesn’t crease much.

I decided I would probably wear this at home as a general everyday dress in the summer and it would work for my low key evening look in Greece.

Having made the Carlie Caftan wearable toile I was aware of the pitfalls. The main one being the geometric design that felt important to keep centred and aligned at the front belt. This fabric being floral meant I had no issue with that at all.

The only other problem I had with the first Carlie Caftan was the neckline. It was prone to distorting more easily than I expected. I think this is largely due to the neckline being a very deep ‘V’ which means this area is essentially on the bias. I hadn’t anticipated this on my first version. As I made the first in a crisp cotton lawn I would not have expected it to be particularly tricky. I took extra care on this version.

I love the ties at the back that pull the dress into shape. I used a loop tuner and sewed across the short ends for a neat finish.

I kept the overall length roughly the same as the first Carlie Caftan that I made. Just above ankle length. I think the dress looks well balanced at this length. I do love the look of full maxi dresses but always worry I am going to catch my foot in the hem and trip up.

I loved wearing this on my holiday last year, probably most out of all the things I made. It definitely feels slightly dressy but in a low key way. Unstated comfortable style is always my aim. I am always happy when a make ticks all the boxes.

Please follow and like us:

Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.