Summer kaftan

Summer kaftan


Let’s sail away

You can make this easy beach cover-up in a few hours, or turn it into a simple dress or top.

Size shown: medium

You’ll need

  • 2.2m crinkle viscose, rayon or cotton
  • matching thread
  • 1.2m torchon lace
  • 4.5m tassel trim (optional)

To make

  1. Prewash your fabric and trims to prevent any shrinkage.
  2. Cut out your fabric for the front, back, neckline.
  3. Fold the front in half and mark the centre point for the neckline. Lay flat. Make 2 more markings, each 12.5cm from the centre point. Pin front to back, wrong sides facing. Sew from neckline along shoulder seams, 1cm in from the edge. Press seams. Lay flat and mark the beginning and end points of the side seams, which lie 12cm in from each side (see diagram). Sew each side seam, starting and ending with
    a backstitch to secure the seams.
  4. Fold the neckline edging strip in half lengthways and press, then turn in a 1cm hem along both long edges and press again. At one end, fold in a 1cm hem and press. Pin to the neckline, starting at the V (as you will be covering with lace – just make sure it lays flat). Pin all around neck opening, enclosing the edge and tack in place. Trim off the excess when you come to the other side of the V, folding in the edges. Press flat and topstitch all around. Remove tacking thread.
  5. Fold in a 1cm hem on both sides, front and back. Press. Starting at one side of the front, machine sew the hem, and if using, sew down the tassel trim with tassels facing outward. Complete one side and repeat on the other side. Fold in a 1cm hem along the front and back, then fold over another 4cm. Machine sew
    both hems and trim any loose threads.
  6. For the lace around the neckline, pin a strip along one side, overshooting the point of the V. Pin along edge and leave a 1cm hem at the shoulder seam. Do the same for the other side. Pin the 2 lace edges together at the V. Remove the trim and sew together in a V. Press seam flat and trim off any excess. With the seam facing down, sew lace in place along the neckline, folding over 1cm at the shoulder seam and continuing along the border of the lace.


Changing the size

The position and length of the side seams can be adjusted for the fit you want. You’ll prefer this to have a loose fit, so try it on after you’ve sewn the shoulder seams and pin along the desired side seam line before sewing in place. Lengthen or shorten the front and back pieces as desired, or opt for a dropped hem.


Magazine issue date: January, 2018

Joni van der Merwe

About Joni van der Merwe

Your Family’s Digital editor. Avid retweeter. When I’m not scrolling Instagram you’ll find me in my garden. Keen on DIY and I don’t believe there’s anything that can’t be fixed with some chalk paint.