Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rip-off Fred Bare caftan

When Eden posted a link to a FB caftan due to be released this month, at the price of $65 (!!!!!!) I knew I had to make one. I’ve never made a top like this before, but knew that they’re dead-easy, and based on easy rectangular shapes, because they were developed in the days before fancy sewing, scissors, sharp needles etc. Different cultures had slightly different versions, such as kimonos and dashiki. Plus they’re modest and sunsmart, which is increasingly hard to buy as my girls get older.

V1-total cost 50c, op-shop fabric. Time was about 3 hours, from beginning pattern drafting to finish. There’s two pieces-the top is cut in one piece, with a neckline facing.DSCF5818DSCF5815 

It fitted well and looked pretty good on, but still homemade-ish. So a week or so later I pulled the pattern out and redid it, but curved the sleeve openings and bottom, and instead of folding up the hem (virtually impossible on curves) I cut some strips of fabric, folded them in half and overlocked them to the edges so they show. I don’t know what this technique is called. Much, much better!

V2-$7.00 with new quilters cotton, about 1.5 hours, with redrafting pattern and making up.DSCF5855

Detail of edging on the hem.DSCF5857

Neckline-no buttons, no zips, just a simple V-neck. And yes I know I should have used black thread in the overlocker, but i’m lazy. When I get one with automatic threading then i’ll use something other than white.DSCF5858

Eat ya heart out Fred Bare! I’ll sell it to you for $55 Eden, bargain. :P

But realistically, this is a very easy item to draft and make. There’s very little cutting, very little actual sewing, virtually everything is rectangles based on measurements and nothing requires more than a basic level of skill. Plus it’s very forgiving-you could sew very badly and not really notice!

Anyway, now i’ve finally attempted a top it’s got me interested in making more. If only I could get up the mojo to make some proper shirts for the boys, i’d be set.


  1. If only I had girls! Can you make one in a grown-up size?

  2. I could Vic, but we have boobs, and it might take me a wee bit longer to work out how to shape them!

  3. Ah yes, boobs are always a problem!


I love your feedback! Feel free to add to, question or (constructively) criticise what you've read here. It all adds to our knowledge.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...