Charlie Caftan #2

This new Charlie might be my favorite!


When I made this version of the Charlie Caftan, I thought to myself, Hey, I might as well get rid of the rest of my clothes because is the only piece of clothing I will ever wear.


This dress is so well designed (Heather of Closet Case Patterns), I just want a million of them! The Charlie is comfortable and easy to wear, but this yummy fabric pushes it to another dimention. This silky rayon (Fabric Depot) has the movement this long caftan needs to make it feel breezy, yet enough body to hold the shape of the deep v-neck. (If the fabric looks familiar to you, that’s because I used it for this dress a few months ago, yet I still had enough left for this long Charlie, LOL!)

I’ve made the Charlie before here, so I knew it was a fun, three-hour sew. But I also knew there were a few adjustments I needed to make to the pattern.

1. I applied the front inset to the bodice instead of inserting it.

2. I raised the front panel by an inch and a half because it sat too close to my waist.

3. I took out some of the gathers in the front bodice by reducing the width of the front panel by 1 1/2 inches (and it’s still plenty full.)


4. I made my ties  45” long, so that I can tie them at the front instead of the back. (This is just a bit of fussiness on my part. Back ties bother me when I sit down in a hard backed chair.)

There were a few minor irritations as I made this pattern. I felt the inset instructions could be improved, but there is a how-to tutorial from Heather, so maybe the issue is more about me :).   Also, the pattern steps aren’t numbered, so it’s easy to lose your place, a minor flaw that likely bothered me because I was in such a hurry to see this long version of the Charlie!


There are some great Charlies out there in the sewing community, and here are a few of my favorites: here, here and here.

My conclusion? You can never have too many Charlies in your life. I’m in love with this pattern and will likely make another. However, I think it’s time to sew with our upcoming cooler temperatures in mind. I’ve been trying to figure out how to modify the Charlie to make it compatible with Fall. I could lengthen the sleeves I suppose, but I’m not sure that would look right with the caftan style. I suppose I could just leave them ‘as is’ and plan on wearing a tee or something underneath for extra warmth. Hmmm… Thoughts? Can you style a caftan for fall?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!

23 thoughts on “Charlie Caftan #2

  1. Since it’s a cut on sleeve, could you use a rayon knit with Lycra for good stretch/recovery but also have great drape and movement and simply do cut on sleeves that narrow into a 3/4 or even long sleeve? I’ve a tee with this type of sleeve and it narrows fairly quickly and doesn’t have lots of excess fabric around the arm and is super comfortable.

    1. Oh! I have a tee with sleeves that are wide at the shoulder, narrowing to the wrist and they are super comfortable and the drape is nice. Great concept! I could imagine it in a rayon as you suggest.

    2. [a href=”–womens-sewing-patterns-shirt-patterns.jpg/”]Picture of cut on long sleeve[/a]

      Hoping this provides a clickable link to a picture of an example of what I tried ineptly to explain.

  2. You could make it tunic lengh and where it with tights and with or without a tight fitting long sleeve tee underneath. Maybe a polo neck.

  3. Oh, this dress is lovely and looks so good on you! It’s a perfect pairing of fabric and pattern.

  4. Ok, this version is even more stylish than the first one. The narrower width skirt suits you well and I like the front ties.
    I’m with you–I think when I started sewing my own clothes that was one of the declarations I made. I will not make a dress with back ties! Is this a Joel Dewberry print? I dearly love his style, I wish he would make stuff in my colors!!!

    1. Thanks! It is a Joel dewberry! You have a good eye! I always love it when those lovely prints show up in a rayon. Yes, he tends to use a lot of brights…rather than the lovely soft colors that look so great on you. Ha! So nice to find someone who avoids back ties:)

      1. Agreed. His collections are the best! Thanks! I thought there were so many great makes by all during TMS this year. MY list of indie pattern must haves now is so long!

  5. I love this Charlie I think the best of all I’ve seen! It does suit this drapey bright print perfectly (and suit you too I must say!). It’s amazing how many times we have to make up a pattern before it becomes JUST RIGHT for us isn’t it? I’ve been working on the Pia Dress by Tessuti which I LOVE by the way but this will be my third now and I think I’ve finally got it right for me.

    1. Thanks so much! It is funny how it takes a few times to get something just right! I’ve been eyeing the Pia too. I hope you’ll share your version so I can take a peak!

    2. Isn’t that the truth, the multiple makes and fittings! Love this dress, pattern and fabric! So nice when it all comes together!

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