DIY Kaftan – Try Our Amazing Free DIY Tutorial!

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.


Need to learn the basics of a sewing machine first?

Check out our FREE Learn To Sew class now!


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: 

Sizing:

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

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.

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern
Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

Fabric:

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.)

Notions:

 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.

Seam Allowance:

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

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

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

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

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

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

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

Stitch-Sisters-DIY-Kaftan-Free-Kaftan-Pattern

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

Happy Sewing

Rachel & Nikki x

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44 thoughts on “DIY Kaftan – Try Our Amazing Free DIY Tutorial!”

  1. Thanks so much for this, I have a batik that I bought in Thailand last year that I may just use for this. Look forward to see what you come up with next. Also nice that you have such a wide variety of sizes.

  2. Thank you for the free pattern, can’t wait to give it a go, already imagining myself wearing it on a summers evening, in the garden, with a g and t in my hand. Just been on Doughty’s website, how am I supposed to choose just one batik, so many gorgeous colours?

    1. We know – its so hard ! They have SO many lovely fabrics. Think we may join you in the garden, wearing kaftans, with a G&T !!

  3. I love this kaftan! Already raiding my stash to see what will work best to make one. Planning on seeing if I can adjust it to make a just-below-the-knee length version. Thanks for sharing it, and also for the great range of sizes. The blog is a great idea!

      1. I made it today! It’s great, though I made it a wee bit toooo short so might cut some more off the length and wear it as a top. It was great to check fit though, which was pretty perfect (I’m a 16-18 and used the 18). I’ll post a pic soon & tag you guys (I discovered the fabric’s all dusty from some recent building work so it needs a wash). The pattern is fabulous and the instructions are great though – I will definitely make another one!

  4. Congrats on your new blog, I’m so excited for you two (and all of us that will enjoy)!
    Thanks for the pattern and all the details to go with.
    Checking my resource center for fabric.

  5. Thanks for such an easy pattern! I’ve been longing to make a simple Caftan/Kaftan but I’ve put it off simply because I was too lazy to figure out the maths of the pieces. Now I have no excuse. I think I’ll whip one up for my upcoming birthday, so I can swan about with a glass of bubbly and toast myself. Cheers!

  6. You are both my heroes! I subscribe to your YouTube channel and enjoy all your episodes. Now a blog. Brilliant! You go directly to the top of my blog list. Thank you, both, for being inspirational and practical

  7. Thankbyou so much for the pattern, I love it x I have made a mistake on the neck its puckered. Can you perhaps explain where i have gone wrong. Im a learner and would appreciate your help x ty

  8. Looks fab! This would be a good “duvet ” project ??! Think it would be helpful to have metric measurements available too. Love your videos really looking forward to this blog xx

  9. Hi Rachel and Nikki,
    Thank you for this pattern, I tried it last weekend and it was so easy to follow. I made a top rather than a kaftan but loved Rachel’s tie suggestion of wrapping around from the front, all the way around to tie at front sides. Tucked into high waisted trousers it looks so stylish yet was such an easy make. Already planning more, may have to do a bit of fabric shopping 😉 x

  10. Hi Stitch Sisters thank you so much for your free tutorial kaftan no patrern so easy and you guys are a bundle of Joy and great advise on sewing patterns and fabrics ??

  11. Thanks so much for the pattern. It looks great. Do you think African wax would work? I’m worried that it might not have enough drape.

  12. Hi thank you so much for this. I am going to give this a go. It’s straight lines reckon even me a baby sew lady can do it. Will share my design.
    Thank you so much

  13. Before I give the Vogue 9253 a go I’m going to try your Kaftan/Kimono. Just been to Abakhan and bought some Jacquard Spandex in mint green for £1.05 a metre. Yes £1.05

    Not much stretch in it and a lovely pattern.

    Looked at instructions. Question: should I attach the ties as suggested or make one big large tie and leave loose to wrap around?

    1. Hello, sorry to have missed your comment. It might be a bit late now but a separate tie is a great idea, then you can wear it loose if you choose without the ties hanging around. Happy sewing!

      1. Thank you Nikki I’ll try that. Still not made it, just looking at the fabric. I’m nervous. Hopefully complete by end of month, fingers crossed we get a summer for me to enjoy wearing it

  14. Made this yesterday for my 4’9” friend. Had to really shorten it(to 36”). She loved it. Will be making more. So cute! I would make it long for me as I’m 5’11”. Thanks so much! Love your blog and blog.

  15. Oh wonderful! I have been wanting a kaftan to wear after I have had a shower and laze about before going to bed! I am so pleased you have put the measurements in inches. I can’t get used to those metric thingies. I suppose there will be those who have only ever worked in metric but I don’t want our imperial measurements to be overshadowed, or pushed out, by metric. I will be off to my nearest fabric shop to see if I can find a suitable fabric.

    1. I agree, those metric thingies are a pain. Everywhere I go sizes are all in metric and I have to do a quick calculation to find out what they are talking about!

  16. Rachel and Nikki, your idea of a no pattern kaftan is brilliant! You even have my size!!! I can’t wait to make it when I have found suitable fabric. The only query is, what happens with my huge tummy caused by five huge babies? Will the kaftan hide this if I tie it loosely?

  17. Just saw this today posted on one of my FB sewing sites. I am in Canada and this will be so perfect for quarantine…. at least ill look cute! Tyvm

  18. Hi I am delighted to come across this wonderful free no-pattern kaftan, thank you.Really looking forward to making it .Is the bust measurement you give the body measurement or finished garment? I am bigger on top but slim on hips so can be different dress sizes for bust/waist/hips.

  19. raniraidesigns

    Love the pattern! Thank you. Made one today although took a bit longer than 2 hours as the fabric kept fraying (despite the pinking shears) and I made my own neck facing. I would post a photo but can’t work out how to do it… 🙄 Rani x

  20. Hi ladies

    I couldn’t see any mention of the grain of the fabric. Am I right in assuming the sleeves are cut with the grain going from shoulder to hem? Also the sash/ties, with the grain going from long side to long side?

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