the not so caftantastic birthday dress

If you sew and you are on Instagram, then you surely know that the latest "it" pattern was the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns. If you don't, well, everyone was sewing it up and posting fabulous pictures and that is why I chose it. I mean, how fun and breezy does that look?

Despite never loving bohemian styles on myself, I jumped on the bandwagon because it was hot out and other people were looking so elegant and I wanted to join the Caftan Cult. I decided my birthday was a good excuse to ignore my sewing queue and just do something fun. (I stand by that decision.) Pintuck & Purl had the most beautiful Nani Iro double gauze and I splurged on it, because birthday!

Mr. Murray the Cat loves Nani Iro as much as I do.

Mr. Murray the Cat loves Nani Iro as much as I do.

A fabric this special demands a muslin, although I skipped adding the waist ties because that seemed like an unnecessary pain. But that was the real mistake. Untied, it was loose and baggy - it is a caftan after all - but I thought it would be more flattering once I tied it. I thought wrong.

A piece of clothing has not made me look this dowdy in a very long time.

charlie from the front

My waist looks wider, my hips look wider. You can't really tell from the pictures, but the neckline gapes out away from my body. This is not a sewing mistake. I stay-stitched everything, there was no stretching. It just kind of hangs out there since there is no bust fitting. (Maybe it would be better in a drapey rayon?)

It IS a caftan. I'm not really sure what I expected - something flattering? More fitted? Mostly, I just wanted to feel cute, and this does not make me feel cute. I got several compliments on it when I first wore it out, but I think that is the fabric making it look better than it is. Because the pictures below tell me that I am not imagining things.

My pose in the first picture hides several of the issues. And everything looks better from a distance. Here is how the fit generally looks. And you can't even see the copious shoulder wrinkles.

Feeling guilty for subjecting this beautiful fabric to such a fate.

Feeling guilty for subjecting this beautiful fabric to such a fate.

charlie caftan back

It's like a potato sack with a string around it. I'm not sure where I went wrong, or why so many people are having such better outcomes. Maybe because they were expecting a beach cover up and got a beach coverup, but I was hoping for an elegant dress? Clearly, this was not the pattern for me.

I adore Closet Case Patterns, and I'll continue to buy most of the things that Heather Lou puts out, but I need to stick with the styles that are more me (like the Kalle shirt dress which I LOVE and need to blog about) and veer away from the ones that are not.

I really like the parts of this picture that don't involve the dress.

I really like the parts of this picture that don't involve the dress.

This dress has enough fabric that I should be able to cut a tank top out of it. It's going to be back on the chopping block a.k.a. sewing table soon. I love this Nani Iro way much to let it go unworn.

In conclusion, I have to remind myself once again to stay within the parameters of the styles I know that I will wear and love and "to thine own self be true."

hamlet didn't say that clueless

But let's be realistic, I will still experiment and veer away from that occasionally because what is life without a few risks?