Summers in Ottawa are hot and humid (this summer especially so) and the last couple of years I’ve really gravitated toward long, work-appropriate dresses. However, I have found my wardrobe lacking in that area so a long swishy dress was in order and the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns was a perfect fit.
The fabric is a navy floral polyester crepe from Blackbird Fabrics and while it was a bit slippery to work with, it is lovely to wear. It’s also so dark that it reads as black – in fact, I used black thread and I need to look really closely to even notice that it’s not a perfect match.
I made view C with the higher arms (seen in views A & B) to reduce workplace bra exposure. I also made the inset panel using the instructions and this helpful sewalong from Closet Case Patterns, and thank goodness I used a patterned fabric because the corners are far from perfect but nobody will ever notice!
I finished this dress almost two months ago, have worn it regularly, and have received a surprising number of compliments from friends and strangers. It’s so light, swishy, and cool, and the pockets are wonderfully deep. It washes easily (delicate cycle), air dries quickly, and never needs an iron. In other words, it’s a perfect hot weather dress.
- Raised neckline 1/2″
- Higher arm variation
- Graded from 8 to 14 between waist and hip
What I might do differently next time:
- Raise the inset panel/shorten the bodice about 1.5″
- Add 2″ to the total length as it hits above my ankle (I’m 5’9″ and the pattern is made for someone 5’6″, so that makes sense)
- I could do with a little more fabric in the back so may grade out to a 16 instead of 14 on the back piece