Monday, 10 June 2013

Information About The Kaftan Dress

By Lucas Doyle

The kaftan dress, which is also spelt caftan sometimes, has been around for a long time. It has evolved throughout the years from being a type of robe or tunic to becoming a fashion statement. In the past, it has been used to signify the importance of the person wearing it with regards to the amount of embellishment that decorated it.

Originating in Morocco and most often linked to Islamic cultures, the caftan has now crossed borders to the Western world, where it is a popular fashionable item of clothing. It became very popular when the hippies were around in the 1960s and 1970s, drawing from ethnic details for inspiration.

A simple kaftan dress can be worn around the home, either for comfort or when entertaining guests. However, a beaded version in luxurious fabrics is a perfectly suitable option for a night out when paired with evening shoes and a clutch purse. These days, women are the primary wearers of this type of clothing.

A caftan can easily be made at home, even by an amateur sewer. A piece of fabric is folded lengthwise to the desired end result. Then, after measuring along the fold to find the center point, the hole for the neck to fit through will be cut. Finding the center is important to ensure equal arm length on the caftan.

The key is to accurately measure the size of the neck hole for the wearer to be able to fit their head through it when putting it on. The neckline can be a V-neck or rounded, or whatever shape is desired for creativity. Cut the shape of the neck hole and neck line into the folded fabric, starting at the center point and making both sides even.

You can finish the raw edges of the caftan using a binding or by facing them. If you have experience sewing then you will understand what is meant by creating a facing to neaten the edges of the neckline. If you are a beginner, you can easily hand stitch a trim for decoration along the edges of the piece to finish it. Alternatively, bind the edges with strips of fabric cut on the bias.

To finish the side of you caftan, decide whether you want it to be a very casual piece or not. For a simple throw over piece for the beach, you could opt to leave the sides open. Otherwise, you could put a small tacking stitch by the waist at the sides to hold them together. To finish the piece more properly, stitch right down the sides to the hem of the caftan, making sure to leave enough room at the top for the armholes.

The kaftan dress, though simple in shape and construction, is often embellished with sequins, beads or a trim detail. This is usually around the neckline or hemline of the piece. Simultaneously, a caftan can be worn as a top, a short dress or a long gown depending on the length of the fabric when folded.

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