We do love a kaftan and we particularly love a DIY Kaftan! Its the perfect combination of effortless summer style and practicality – loose, breezy and yet somehow classy! And quite frankly, if it’s good enough for Elizabeth Taylor, it’s good enough for us!
After the release of the Charlie Kaftan from Closet Case and the TLC Caftan from Decades of Style we became obsessed with this easy-breezy style for summer. We love them both BUT we also love a super quick make!! Plus, it doesn’t get any quicker than something you can make yourself without a pattern, just cut the fabric and sew! So here it is, our DIY Kaftan, free kaftan pattern.
If you’d like to see our free kaftan pattern in more detail then check out our YouTube video. You can hear more about it and see lots of our usual “prancy” pictures! You can also check out the hashtag #stitchsisterskaftan on Instagram to see some of the diy kaftan already made by you guys and get inspired.
If you would love to sew something like this but don’t know where to start, we recommend you go check out our Learn To Sew class. It’s completely FREE and is a brilliant way to get started sewing, or even just refresh some rusty skills. Make sure to check it, and our other Online Sewing Classes out now.
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So, without further ado, let’s get into how you can make your own. It should take you no more than a couple of hours – even less if you’re a speedy sewist – so let’s make Kaftans!
Stitch Sisters DIY Kaftan
What You Will Need:
The chart below shows the pieces you will need to cut for each size for your DIY Kaftan. If you have a one-way print, check the layout below to help you figure out which way up to cut your pieces.
You will need 2.5-4m of fabric for your DIY Kaftan. We used some lovely Batik fabric from Doughty’s. We had no idea how much we would use so we bought 4m each and both had over a meter left. (Batik are very narrow at just 110cm wide, so if you have a wider fabric you can probably get away with even less.)
1m of bias binding is also required. We used 1″ wide, single fold cotton bias tape, but you could just as easily make your own from the same fabric.
5/8″ (1.5cm) unless stated otherwise.
How To Sew The Stitch Sisters DIY Kaftan
DIY Kaftan – Shaping The Pieces
1 – Shape the back neckline
Fold your back piece in half on the short edge so that it is the same length but half the width. At the top of the fold, mark the measurements for your size. For example, for the size 14 mark 2″ down the fold and 4″ out along the top edge. Now draw a curve to connect the two markings. Cut along this line to create your back neckline curve.
2 – Shaping the front neckline
Shape the front neckline of your DIY Kaftan in the same way except that you will have two pieces instead of one on the fold. This time you will be marking much lower down the front edge to create your V neckline. Connect your two markings with a straight diagonal line and then cut along the line. (You can make your neckline higher or lower to suit your style.)
Let’s Head To The Sewing Machine
3 – Sew the shoulder seams
Place your front pieces right sides together with your back piece, aligning the shoulders. You now need to stitch each shoulder in place and finish your seams. We used pinking shears for speed but you are welcome to finish with an overlocker or an overlocker stitch, whichever you prefer.
4 – Attach your bias binding
Open out one edge on your bias binding and lay it right sides together on the fabric, matching the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the neckline. Start at the base of the V on one side then up over the shoulder around the back neckline and then down the other side of the V. Stitch this in place. Trim your seam down and then press the binding to the underside of the neckline. Finish by topstitching the bias binding in place.
5 – Sew the centre front seam
Matching the bottom of the V and then all the way down to the hem, continue to sew your centre front seam.
Onto The Sleeves
6 – Attach the sleeves
Fold the sleeve piece in half on the long edge and make a small snip to indicate the centre of the sleeve. Align this notch with the shoulder seam on your kaftan, making sure they are right sides together and sew your sleeves to the kaftan body.
7 – Prepare your ties
Next, fold your ties in half on the short edge and stitch one short edge and the long edge with a 1/4″ (0.5cm) seam allowance. Use a loop turner or safety pin to turn your ties so that they are right side out. Optional: you can topstitch all around the outside edge of your ties if you wish.
8 – Baste your ties in place
Measure 14″ down from the shoulder seam on each side and position your ties on the outside edge of the front layer. The raw edge of your tie should be aligned with the raw edge of your side seam. Baste your ties in place. You may also want to pin them out of the way because they can get accidentally caught in your side seams.
We wanted the ties on our DIY Kaftan to sit at our high waist as this is a more flattering silhouette for us. You can of course position yours anywhere you like, choose a place that suits your shape & style. If you are unsure, we suggest basting the side seam first, then try your kaftan on before marking where you’d like your ties to sit. Then you can simply unpick a few stitches, insert your ties, and then sew the side seams again properly.
Vents & Side Seams Next
9 – Mark your vents
To mark your vents, measure 22″ up from the hem and make a snip or use a marker to show you where to stop sewing to create your vents. You can make your vents higher or lower to suit your style, just choose what is right for you.
10 – Sew your side seams
Matching the seams on your DIY Kaftan where you joined the sleeve to the body, sew the underarm and side seams in one go. Next, sew from the top of the sleeve, pivot at the underarms. You then continue down over your ties and stop at the markings you made. This is easiest done if you make sure your seams are pressed towards your sleeve.
Note – You may need to snip into your seam allowance to release the fabric at the underarm as this will prevent puckering when you turn it through to the right side. To do this, snip close to the stitches where you pivoted going up to but not through the stitch line.
Hemming Your DIY Kaftan
11 – Hem your vents
Press under your 5/8″ (1.5cm) seam allowance from where you stopped sewing to the hem. Next, press the raw edge into the fold to create a double turn narrow hem. Topstitch in place starting at the hem on one side. When you reach the top of the opening, stop, then pivot, and sew a few horizontal stitches before pivoting again and continuing down the other side.
12 – Hemming the front and back of your DIY Kaftan
So, to create your hem on the front and back, press under 1″ followed by a second 1″ and then topstitch in place.
13 – Hem your sleeves
Next we are going to hem your sleeves the same way as you did the front and back, with two 1″ turns topstitched in place.
That’s it, your DIY Kaftan is done!!
Now try your kaftan on to decide how you would like to wear it. Rachel prefers to wrap hers around the front, then around the back, and back to the front to tie in a knot. Nikki prefers to go around the front and then tie a bow in the back.
We really would love to see your DIY kaftans! So, if you follow the tutorial please share a picture in the comments below. Also, if you share on social media please tag us @thestitchsistersuk and use #stitchsisterskaftan
Rachel & Nikki x