Charlie Kaftan review

I have had the Charlie Kaftan pattern since it was released nearly two years ago but just hadn’t got around to making it. I knew I wanted to make the maxi version with the waist ties as I need definition for my petite frame and can find that maxis can swamp me.

When this gorgeous Flame Tropic cotton viscose came into the shop, I couldn’t wait to make something out of it. It is a really bold colour but there is something about a punchy red/orange that always appeals to me!

This pattern is fabric hungry and does take the 3 metres that the pattern calls for, but with clever cutting, you should have some spare fabric to make something like a cami top from.

As always, the Closet Case Patterns instructions are spot on, and if you need some extra help with the centre panel, there is a useful tutorial on their blog.

I chose to handstitch the back of the centre panel for a bit more control, plus it is nice to sit and do some sewing in front of the tv too! I did find, I needed to press under more than the given 5/8 inch on one of the long edges though so that my stitches remained invisible from the right side.

I followed Karen Ball’s advice about adding a strip of interfacing to the front neckline, to stop it stretching out and that worked brilliantly.

Once the centre panel is done, it really is plain sailing for the rest of the dress. I didn’t make any adjustments – it is very loosely fitted and can be adjusted using the waist ties.

I am only 5’2″ and I didn’t need to take anything off of the length. I like that it comes to the ankle, rather than skimming the floor. That and the side slits mean that you can walk up stairs normally, instead of the princess walk I usually have to do with maxis! (by that I mean having to pick up the front of the skirt with two hands to stop it trailing on the ground!)

I wore my new kaftan out and about today as it was such a glorious day. We went for a wander around our local shops and I decided to treat myself to one of Able Mabel’s headbands that she had made from the same fabric!

I think this dress will be a big wardrobe staple for me this summer – it is really making me crave a holiday though too!

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