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Made By A Fabricista: Summer Sewing is in Full Effect

Hi Guys! Today I’m coming to you with this easy, breeze caftan from Simplicity Patterns because summer sewing is in full effect! While looking through my pattern stash, I came across McCall’s 8413. This pattern is described as McCall’s Sewing Pattern Misses’ Caftan In Two Lengths.  This is an Easy to Sew caftan in two lengths has ruched front with drawstring that ties at the bottom, V-shaped neckline, dolman sleeves and narrow hem. View C caftan has contrast on the left side. OK, let’s get into it because I have a few things to share and say about this pattern.

When I first saw this pattern, I purchased it because I loved the ruching in the front. I think that ruching can hide just about any “imperfection” you might think you have. Now, I must mention that this is one of the few caftan patterns I’ve ever purchased because I’m petite and feel like I get lost in all that fabric.  Well, I didn’t even realize this was a caftan pattern until I read the pattern description while writing this blog post.  If you’re like me and feel like a caftan is not for you, then this pattern IS for YOU! Are you following me? Lol

This pattern is the simplest not so easy pattern there is.  What do I mean by that? McCall’s 8413 only has 3 pattern pieces.  The front, back and the draw string.  So, what can make this pattern so hard you ask?  All the hemming this pattern requires! Once you sew the shoulders and the sides, the pattern requires that you make the casing in the front for the string that makes the ruching. The pattern instructions state to press under 1/4” and then press using a 7/8” seam allowance all around, starting at the back of the dress to the front, down the center front to make the casing and down the hem of the dress.  That was a lot of pressing.

I have a few tips for you while sewing this dress. The pattern instructions do not tell you to do this, but if you own a serger, I would suggest you serge all of your pattern pieces before you being to construct the caftan.  

The pattern instructions state to sew the neck, front and hem of the dress using a 7/8” seam allowance.  What I usually do is, sew the seam allowance using a basting stitch and use that as a guide.  That way I don’t have to measure as a press the seam before sewing it.

Also, do not skip the step of sewing a basting stitch within the seam allowance.  You are going to need that to gather in the fullness of the fabric when sewing the curved part of the hem.

My last suggestion is to not be like me or you could choose to be like me.  As I mentioned above, “The pattern instructions state to press under 1/4” and then press using a 7/8” seam allowance all around, starting at the back of the dress to the front, down the center front to make the casing and down the hem of the dress.” Yon can choose to not be like me and just press the seam allowance at 7/8” and top stitch all the way around. That would save you some time during the pressing stage.  This is totally personal preference.

When looking for fabric for this project, I knew I wanted something with a tropical vibe and I came across this beautiful leaf print fabric. It is called Palm Leaf/Bright Red/White/Multi Polyester/Lycra Tropical Floral Over Lattice Print Satin Suiting - Kimberly Goldson - 54W.  Hopefully it is still available by the time this post goes live. It is considered a suiting fabric and is a medium weight fabric perfect for a dress, shirt or skirt. I love how bright the colors are and the shimmery satin finish.  This fabric also has a slight stretch because of the Lycra content. 

I think I have found my new favorite pattern.  Although the design is pretty simple, the fabric possibilities are endless.  You can make this pattern using a mesh fabric and use it as a beach cover up.  You can also use 2 different fabrics and color block it like on the pattern cover.  I thought the short version was going to be too short for me, but I think the next time I make this dress, I’ll make the shorter version.

Do you love my dress as much as I do? I don’t usually repeat patterns, but I know I’ll be making this pattern again soon.  Make sure you follow my Instagram page at so that we can keep up with each other in between blog posts!

Until next time,

JOHANNA @soveryjo  

Unfortunately Fabric Mart Fabrics sell out quickly!
You can find similar fabrics by shopping the following categories: SUITING.


  1. You made it look so adorable I had to buy the pattern!!

  2. I love your dress! Putting that pattern on the ‘to get’ list :-)

  3. I have been eyeing this pattern,but I'm an Apple shape body type and thought it would look like a "horror movie" therefore I passed. I need to take a second look. Thanks for the review!

  4. This looks stunning on you. Definitely not giving "caftan" in the usual sense. Thanks for the great construction tips!

  5. Thank you! Just pack you patience for all the hemming. lol

  6. Beautiful, fabulous! I need that pattern!


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