DIY Caftan – Review of the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns

This summer is turning out to be the summer of the caftan for me. Last week I shared a caftan hack of Lou Box Dress 1 pattern. And today, I have a fantastic, tropical Charlie Caftan to share. This year I’ve only sewn one garment with a zipper so I’m definitely into a the comfort zone with my me-mades. And, I’ll be spending a week long vacation in Hawaii this month so I’m planning to spend a lot of time in caftans. My skin is super sensitive to the sun so I always cover up as much as possible and this year, the caftan will be my go-to for chic coverage. 

In anticipation of my Hawaii trip, I put the Charlie Caftan pattern by Closet Case Patterns on my Make Nine list. This caftan design features a V-neck and an inset panel at the under bust. I chose to make View C with the tie waist and gathers below the inset panel. The caftan was fairly easy to make, the hardest part being the inset panel. I took it very slowly, consulted this sewalong post along the way and it all went smoothly. I didn’t really like the instructions for sewing and finishing the in-seam pockets. Next time, I’ll just do it my usual way. Otherwise it went really smoothly. 

I love the style lines of this design, the V-neck and drop shoulders are so beautiful. And the in-seam pockets are so handy. It's the ultimate in style and comfort. I also love the look of View A with darts instead of gathers below the inset panel and plan on making it at some point too.

DIY Caftan – Review of the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns | Sew DIY

I made a straight size 12 and added 4 inches to the length. I'm 5'11" and wanted it to be ankle grazing. I had just enough fabric to add 4". My bust is about 38.5 inches and the finished bust for the size 12 is 44” so I knew I’d have enough ease. I also made a size 12 when I made the Kalle Shirtdress recently so I was pretty confident it would work. I’m really happy with the fit and wouldn’t change anything. 

A few months ago, I found this amazing tropical butterfly print at The Fabric Store in Los Angeles and instantly knew that it was destined to be a caftan. The fabric is a linen and as usual was very easy to work with. I had about 3.5 yards and used every inch of fabric that I could to make this caftan as long as possible. Sadly, The Fabric Store closed it’s LA store a few weeks ago but they do still have an online US retail shop. 

I can’t wait to wear this in Hawaii. There’s something about being there that makes it feels totally normal to wear the loudest, most colorful prints. I’m really looking forward to days spent lounging, reading and shielded from the sun in this gorgeous caftan. Because if one has to cover up, one might as well do it with the most beautiful and fun fabric ever.