Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shearwater Kaftan

Last week I blogged my Coastal Breeze dress from Make It Perfect. The second pattern that designer Toni Coward sent me is the Shearwater Kaftan. Believe it or not, I pinned this pattern more than a year ago, and didn't realize I'd been talking to its designer until I dug deeper into her shop! Ever since I saw the photo of it online, I've been in love with the easy-breeziness of this top.

Most of the blouses I wear are knit fabrics, but I've been making an effort to sew more woven fabrics lately. This one is perfect for me because it's loose and very wearable. It's designed with long sleeves that roll up and fasten with tabs.

There is a park in town that has a free splash pad for kids, and I plan on taking AB there a lot this summer. I think this kaftan will be absolutely perfect to throw on over a swimsuit or a tank top, and if it gets a little cooler I just have to roll down the sleeves. Very versatile, very fun, yet still stylish.

You'll forgive the wrinkles in my version if I tell you it's linen, right? 

As a matter of fact, it's a linen/bamboo blend, from The Fabric Fairy. When I ordered this fabric, I was hoping it was more of a bottomweight and thought I might make a skirt. But when it arrived I saw that it was very sheer and I was stumped on what to do with it. A few days later I heard from Toni, revisited the Kaftan, and it was a perfect pattern-fabric love story.

I made a muslin and from that decided to add two darts to the back bodice.  I probably could have done without if the fabric had more drape, but this linen is a bit stiff, which would have caused gaping in the back without the darts. The Internet tells me I can wash the fabric in hot water and it will soften over time, so I'll probably keep doing that. The darts restrict my movement a teeny bit (or maybe it was my trouble with easing in the sleeves) but in a softer fabric (voile, double gauze) I don't think you'd have these kinds of troubles.

The neckline is finished with bias binding (I actually had enough fabric to make my own bias tape!) and the front slit is finished with a small facing. The pattern does come with two length options for the slit.

I used French seams for the sides, the armscythe, and the sleeves. Because the shirt is meant to have the sleeves rolled, you want to carefully choose an attractive seam finish for the sleeves.

Button on the exterior sleeve for the sleeve tab.

Rolled up and fastened with the sleeve tab.

And how about an adorable photo outtake?

He's the sweetest <3

And if you think this pattern is cute, wait until you see the girls' version! Released last week, it's available in an instant download PDF in two size ranges (0-5 and 6-10). Adorable!

Thanks again to Toni for sending me both the Shearwater Kaftan and Coastal Breeze Dress patterns. It was great partnering up and chatting with her! You can read her review of my book, 110 Creations: A Sewist's Notebook, coming up soon on her blog.


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with linen, it have a wonderful feel but the wrinkles. They are definitely my nemesis. Love your top, wrinkles and all. So casual! Great job!

    1. I often buy a linen blend (because it's cheaper!) and blends sometimes don't wrinkle as much. Who has time to iron?!

  2. I really like that top. Thanks for reviewing it, I am off to look at the shop.
    We are GSD people, though dogless right now. Photos like yours make me long for another.

    1. Wow cool! This is our first GSD but I'm sure he won't be our last. He's absolutely amazing with AB, and also terrifies solicitors. Win-win!


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