Hello everyone!

This month I am back with the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns.

I really like Heather’s designs. They are simple, but there is always a little detail that makes her patterns stand out. What made me want Charlie was the diagonal waist darts, I think they are also called French darts. And a dress with pockets is a must have sometimes.

I decided making view A in size 6 based on the finished garment measurements, as I did not want the dress to be to baggy on me. The fabric I chose is this contemporary leaf Linen Look Canvas Fabric which is 100% cotton.

I made no changes to the pattern, just made a straight size 6 from the envelope. I pretty much followed the instructions making my dress. They are quite detailed and include diagrams to help those who are more visual when making things.

I used one of my water erasable pens to mark the pattern (darts, corners, notches, sewing lines on the neckline) just to make sure I sew more accurately (those corners need to be clipped quire close to the stitching line if you want near perfect corners) and then I have no markings on the fabric.

The only part that is a bit more difficult is adding the central panel in the front bodice. As I could not wrap my mind around it just by reading the instructions, I checked Heather Lou’s sew-along for this pattern (which you can find here), just to figure how to insert mine. It’s a little like inserting a welt.

I hand-stitched the central panel on the wrong side of the dress. However, Heather Lou shows a really good way on how to insert it by machine with little hand-stitching. I did get there in the end. It is not perfect, but no one will notice. I think my issue was that I did rush trough a little and did not take my time thought the steps of inserting the centre panel.

The other bit of the construction that requires one not to rush through is inserting the facing around the centre front. I made sure my stitching line was visible before I stitched the facing on (also, before I stay-stitched the V-neck along the stitching line), this time I used chalk as my water erasable pen would not show on the black interfacing.

All the seams that were not hidden into facings or hems, I finished them on the overlocker while constructing my Charlie. You know how I like pretty insides!

It didn’t take that long to make. I think it took me about 4 hours (I tend not to use too many pins, I always insert facings/collars before I sew in the side seams, most of the times I free style construction – how I end up with design elements when I make a mistake).

Actually, I am really pleased with how the dress fits me. I think sizing down (based on body measurements I should have made at least a size 8. The length is also perfect. Just above the knee.

Here is a close up of the centre front. I think next time I made the dress, I’ll consider making the inset centre panel in a contrasting fabric to show it off a bit more.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns

Fabric: Contemporary Canbas Collection Leaf Linen Look (100% cotton) 2m

Notions: Interfacing

Sewing time: approx 4h including tracing the pattern pieces

Modifications: none (chose size by finished garment measurements)

Fit: Good

Difficulty: medium, only because of the front centre inset panel

Watch out for: take your time when inserting the centre panel

Make Again?: sure. I do want to make a version with a contrasting centre panel.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Istagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.


Sewing Adventures in the Attick