Is a kaftan a cocktail dress?

I think the photo answers that question!

I used Cris Wood Sews Envelope Dress zero waste pattern and a floral rayon I purchased on holiday in Glasgow in 2014 to make this ‘cocktail kaftan’.

Why was fabric purchased as a souvenir? Is that really a question for a sewist? I’ll answer it anyway. It wasn’t because it was Scottish in style, fabrication or colours – the only thing Scottish about it was that it availabe in a fabric store in Scotland. It was for the normal reasons I buy fabric – I liked it.

And then it sat in my stash for a long time – because I had to find the right pattern for this lovely fabric…

..and that turned out to be Cris Wood Sews Envelope Dress.

I didn’t intend to make a kaftan. I was planning more of a knee length Envelope dress.

The way the Envelope Dress is cut out means that the length of the dress is the width of the fabric. My fabric was 140 cm wide. I know that a knee-length dress is not 140 cm from shoulder to hem but I still wanted to cut it out this way, even with the likely need to trim it to knee length. Why? Because putting the ‘stripes’/’panels’ running vertically could be more interesting that having them horizontal.

Well, that was right – I like how they look in the vertical orientation.

It was also very clear as soon as I tried it on that it needed to stay this length and be a kaftan, not a knee length dress. So I added side slits rather than hemming it shorter.

Occupational hazard of posing with a fancy drink for blog photos

The Envelope Dress is a very easy ‘pattern’ to construct and the instructions are great.

If you haven’t made one yet, I highly recommend it – it’s a unique and fun way of constructing a garment.

Cheers!

11 thoughts on “Is a kaftan a cocktail dress?

    1. šŸ˜Š yes, Iā€™m glad I waited almost 8 years to move this fabric from my stash to my wardrobe. It would also have been perfect for your Ursa dress. Which is what Iā€™m wearing right now.

  1. Gorgeous!! I love that the style doesn’t have large, flappy sleeves like the traditional one I have. I also love the picture on the pattern website (your link) of the pink kaftan with a tie around the waist – very feminine. Regards, Sandra

  2. Such a lovely dress. Great style for resort wear / beach cover up or just swanning around at home which seems more likely these days!! šŸ˜ŠšŸ˜ŠšŸ˜Š

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