Oh, what a nice lot of alliteration that title was! Yes, I sewed the Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan – although I sewed view A, which is hardly a caftan at all in my opinion.
Now, I’ll say from the outset that there are things about this dress that I like and there are things about this dress that I don’t like. I’ll start with the things I don’t like. Firstly, I sewed size 14, in line with my bust measurement. It’s too big. I think that a 12 or even a 10 would have been fine. Secondly, the linen that I used (from Tessuti) was more substantial and a heavier weight than this pattern deserved. Combined with choosing a too-large size this means that the dress stands way away from the body and I think that I look rather huge in it. However, the dress standing way away from the body also makes it incredibly cool and comfortable! I don’t think that every item in my wardrobe needs to be conventionally ‘flattering’ – I like to wear a bit of a variety of silhouette – and the print and colours are definitely very me.
I’ve had the lovely linen in stash for a little while, and was working with quite a limited quantity when cutting out this dress. Because of fabric limitations I wasn’t able to pattern match the way I would prefer – especially at the side seams. It’s not too bad – the centre front skirt seam lined up beautifully – but not too great either.
I really do like those front darts and the front inset piece. They’re a very nice detail! There have been lots of blog posts from a variety of people plus a sew along about getting the front inset sewn neatly – I think that I just followed the pattern instructions.
I included the side seam pockets – in a mid weight linen like this one it I don’t find that the skirt gets dragged down too much by objects in the pocket. They do come in handy for a phone and a hanky! The pattern description from the pattern website is as follows: Nothing says summer elegance quite as well as a dramatic caftan. Get Caftan Body ready with Charlie, a fresh take on this warm weather staple. All versions feature a deep V neckline, kimono sleeves, inset center panel and roomy pockets. View A is modern and architectural with striking pleats beneath the bust. For a softer, more romantic dress, Views B & C feature a gently gathered bodice with an optional waist tie for a figure skimming silhouette in two skirt lengths. You may also choose between a dramatically wide kimono sleeve, or one slightly higher cut for more coverage. SUGGESTED FABRIC Light to medium weight wovens such as linen, chambray, tencel, linen, silk, chiffon, rayon challis, crepe de chine, batiste and voile.
As I’ve already said, the linen that I used was right at the upper edge of the suitable fabric weight for this style. I chose to sew the slightly higher cut sleeve, as per the diagram for view B.
I am quite keen to sew view C at some stage – I just need to get the size/fabric combination correct. Overall I was quite happy with the instructions and drafting of this pattern – everything went together well – but I know that the finished dress is not ‘perfect’. However, I am likely to wear it quite a lot!