Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Man's Caftan

Shocking I know---I am sewing.

Shocking I know---I was actually thinking of writing a tutorial but for what subject?  Most sewers would already have knowledge of what I would write about.  Because of the stupid mistakes and problems I had with this caftan, (my fault--and this is what happens when one doesn't sew for awhile),  I will not be writing a full tutorial.
A replacement caftan for hubby was way overdue.  I won't even show what the old one looked like.  I made this from one I had made from the original one, purchased many years ago.  Sorry, DH, for the delay, but at least you have a new one now.

Hubby is average size, build, and weight so this pattern will work for most bodies.  If the person is large or small, adjust the width of the pieces (the hem bands will need to be wider by the same amount).  For short or the very tall, adjust length, as well as for the side band pieces.  The finished circumference, with 4 bands, is 50".

Generally, for 60" will need 1 garment length;
                 for 54" 1 garment length plus sleeve length;
                 for 45" 2 garment lengths plus additional for sleeves.

Bands: depend on length and width of main pieces.  I bought 2 yards of 40" wide for the bands and probably 1 3/4 was enough.
Neck bands:  measure from center front to center back and add two seam allowances.  Cut two.  Bands will be seamed at cf and cb.  Since cf is a V allow enough length for this.
Side bands:  I made 2" finished so doubled and added two 1/2" seam allowances so 5 times the length of shoulder to hem, plus two seam allowances.  Will need four of those. 
The neck band finished width is 1 3/4", the hem 2 3/4".
You can make them any width--just remember to double and add 2 seam allowances on all edges.  I also cut them longer than needed "just in case".
For a better fit you can shape the neck bands rather than cut them straight, but be certain to allow enough fabric.
One of my (stupid) mistakes is seen below:  I attached the wrong edge to the garment which is why the sleeve swings upward instead of downward.  Yes, I did correct it.

The sleeves could be cut as one piece, but I prefer to attach them to the main pieces, then sew shoulders and sleeve seams at the same time.

How I proceeded (excluding mistakes of course):  (You can vary the order according to your needs.

---stitch sleeves to main pieces
---stitch shoulder and sleeve seam
---apply neck band

Stitch one neck band piece from cf to cb.  Do same with the other.  Since I was using light-colored bands I decided to make the band facing in the darker color, to keep it cleaner a little longer.

---Stitch cfs together in one from neck band to hem.
---Stitch cbs together in one from neck band to hem.

---Fold bands in half and stitch to inside.  I stitched "in the ditch" from the right side, but you can also stitch together the seam allowances of the band and the garment instead.

---Stitch garment bands to body and sleeve hem.

Before turning side bands to inside they will be stitched to each other.  Line up the front band to back band and stitch down the center, beginning at the seam where the sleeve joins body, down as far as desired (I selected 12" above the hem as that was the way it was in the original purchased one).  You are forming the side seam which is approximately 19" long.  Do same for other side.



---Fold these bands and sew "facing' seam allowances as done for the neck band, trimming any excess in length if extra  "in case" amounts  were cut initially.

---Stitch the front and back hem bands to main pieces, which includes bottoms of side bands as before, folding under seam allowances at sides to make a nice finish.

---Sew on "Made With love for You" label. (optional)

Clear as mud?  This caftan is so much easier to make than to explain.  The wonderful thing about it:  no real fitting required.

This entry is dedicted todfr2010 to prove that I am sewing. :)

Testing with Pics

In my previous blog I tested the typing; I should have tested putting in pics!  I'm having a terrible time, especially getting them where I want them on the blog.  It says multiple pics can be put in but doesn't tell how to arrange them the way they are wanted.  One pic disappeared from the blog. 

Guess it will be awhile before my sewing blog entry will be up. :(