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Caftan Fabulousness {Pattern Review}

Caftan Fabulousness Butterick 4406 Pattern Review ModernRetroWoman.com

Over the weekend, I decided to make some new pajamas out of some navy blue silk I had bought on closeout a year ago from an online fabric store.  After going through my pattern stash, I finally settled on Butterick 4406, View D, because I wanted something quick and easy to make.  By Sunday night, I had my new pajamas.  They aren’t flattering on my curvy figure but I love them.  I feel like Elizabeth Taylor lounging around in a caftan.


View D is basically several rectangles sewn together.  There is absolutely no shaping involved.  The tunic is very loose fitting and that is why I feel like I am wearing a caftan.

The bottoms, however, are not as comfortable as they should be.  Even though the amount of ease at the hips should have worked for my size, the ease for the thighs is less generous.  Also, the crotch seam is a bit wonky, for some reason, and needs to be “adjusted” along the backside a bit too frequently when I’m sitting.  It doesn’t seem to cause problems when I’m sleeping.  My recommendation is to go up a size or two for the bottoms to get a more comfortable fit.

Ideal for Beginners:

The hardest part about making these pajamas was shortening the tunic by about 8″ so that it would hit me mid-thigh instead of below the knee.  There are just a few seams.  I finished the seam allowances using pinking shears.

The Fabric:

When the fabric arrived, I didn’t care for it.  It was much stiffer than I prefer silk to be.  And I wasn’t expecting the slubs in the fabric.  But I only paid something like $5 per yard for it so what did I expect?  I threw it into the washer and then the dryer to see if I could change its hand and it worked.  The silk was quite soft and the wrong side took on an almost charmeuse-like look.  It isn’t the highest quality of silk I have worked with but it is a perfect weight for summer and for lounging around pretending that I’m one of the beautiful people.

The pajama bottoms are made with the right side of the silk face out.  The pajama top is made with the wrong side of the fabric facing out.  To tie the top and bottom together, I sewed the facing to the outside of the top with the right side showing so that it looks like a design feature (well, technically, I guess it is).

Embracing Its Caftan Feel:

I may make the tunic top again, without shortening it.  Since making it on Sunday, I love coming home at the end of the day, peeling off my work clothes, letting my hair down, and getting into my pajamas.  I’m thinking the tunic at its full length would be a good transitional garment for me.  The caftan version of yoga pants.  I wouldn’t quite be in my pajamas but I’d be comfortable as I unwind and prepare dinner.

What do you think?  Would you go all Elizabeth Taylor-like and embrace your caftan fabulousness?

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  1. Oh, lovely silk in the summer. They look very nice and comfy. I laughed at the having to cut off 8″ off the top. I’m only 5′ and have to cut nearly everything I wear down. Especially the sleeves. I must say $5 a yard is a great price.


  2. I am sorry, but you are not pretending to be a beautiful person, you ARE one! Great job on the pj’s, and a reminder to all of us how clothes make us feel is as important as anything else about them.

  3. I’m only a couple of inches taller than you so I’ve always managed to have yardage left over after shortening my patterns. And, I agree that $5py is a great price and that is why I took the risk and bought it online instead of fondling it first like I usually do with silk.

  4. I would love to see a whole video on the care of silk. I didn’t know it was washable. I’ve held off working with it because I thought it was so like a snowflake.

    You are a fearless woman, and I’m glad I found your Youtube channel. Thank you for it.

  5. Thank you for your kind words, Rebecca!
    And, thank you for the video idea. When my life isn’t in transition and in storage any longer, I’ll make that video!

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