Caftan (or Kaftan)

Comforting a cancer patient is hard during the time of Shelter-in-Place and Social-Distancing orders. Especially when the patient is a cousin with whom one grew up with – who is almost a sister.  What could I do for her besides make infrequent calls? Infrequent, because chemotherapy effects can make one weak and disinclined to talk too much.

I took to my sewing machine and made this caftan for my cousin using a pre-embroidered fabric piece. Caftans are the chicest, un-fussiest garments in fashion; and the most comfortable. So I fired up the ol’ Bernina (my electronic girl is always ready to run).


I followed instructions to make the caftan pictured on the cover of Sew News magazine’s  June/July 2019 issue. I adored how it turned out and  hope she likes it!  This calls for a stash dive to make one for myself.


My cousin is weathering the illness bravely and displays her normal cheerful demeanor when we do have our phone chats. I’m hoping and praying that she is granted strength to fly through this ordeal and come out stronger at the other end.

The caftan was made exactly according to magazine instructions, except the neckline, where I had to change things. The cover caftan has a V shape but the embroidery on my piece was instrumental in my modified neckline plans. See the little center front square dip in the embroidery design? The photo composite below shows how I opened it up and finished it somewhat neatly in three steps.


1. With right sides of fabric and silk facing  ( a scrap which has been edge finished on 3 sides) together, sew along the embroidery edge using a zipper foot as shown by yellow dotted line.  2. Cut along the center of the opening , stopping about 1/2″ before the end. Then clip diagonally to each side up to but not through the corners of the rectangle. All indicated by the digitally added yellow line.  3. Turn facing to wrong side, press well; hand sew around facing to the neckline.   You can see that I finished the rest of the neckline with a bias facing.

Stay healthy, my friends. See you next week.




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