Charlie Caftan – the long and short of it…



I can tell it’s going to be a Charlie Caftan summer around here!

After doing my muslin and working out a few kinks, I was really looking forward to making this in more views and fabrics. A refresher on the pattern:

line art

And my changes to the drafting of the sleeve (more detail on my first post, here):

Drafting - sleeve

I love the maxi version!


My fabric is a Moda Fabrics quilting cotton (gifted, thank you :-). Quilting cotton is not among the recommended fabrics, but it works beautifully with the pattern.

There’s plenty of drape in the hand of the fabric, even with the additional gathering using the back ties.


My next version is View B – the mini dress – with the ties added:

ties 2

This fabric, also a gift, is a Hawaiian print cotton from Trans-Pacific Textiles. The stripe actually runs vertically on the yardage, but I cut out the dress across the grain. I think the front gathers would mess with the balance of a vertical stripe.

Interesting fabric! the color is very saturated, much more than I usually experience on a cotton print. I wondered if all that color would run in the laundry, but it washed up beautifully. This is the inside, with a view of the front panel interfacing and some of the finish details:

inside panel

I really like the colors and print – the vibrant blues are so pretty.

ties 1

Just a few sewing notes:

  • My ties are about 40″ long. I didn’t keep the pattern for the ties or use the instructions for making them. I cut mine at 2″ wide, double folded to the middle, and topstitched. I don’t like trying to turn a long skinny tie with a pin or tool!
  • No side vents on the maxi, just because they usually bug me 🙂 It has plenty of width at the bottom for comfortable walking and so on.
  • I raised the front panel by 1/2″ on the short version, because it was right at my waist and somehow threw off the balance of the dress. I’m going to raise it another 1/4″ on my next one. Just on View B – I like where it falls on the maxi.

Back to the maxi – I’m crazy about it…


These were so much fun to sew that I’m sorry they’re done. Guess I’ll have to make some more.

Ciao! coco


14 thoughts on “Charlie Caftan – the long and short of it…

  1. I love caftans, but I am without one at present when I really need one in the hot Southern summer. I was really interested in this pattern until I saw all the reviews about the difficulty with the front panel. I think caftans should be the easiest thing to sew (right after pillowcases!) so I was really put off by that. I may attempt this now that I have your instructions, or I may just use another pattern. The long one is quite lovely, and proportions on you are perfect. I’ll think about it! Thanks for all your explanations as usual.

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  2. YAAASH! I knew, I just knew you would rock the maxi Charlie Coco! Fabulous!

    I really love how the horizontal stripes played out on the shortie too! I may try something similar.

    They are kind of addictive, aren’t they? A big reward for not too much effort.

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