Rosé in the Evenings Caftan

One of the things I love as much as I love sewing is good wine. And I’ve been going crazy on rosé the past two summers. It has a flavor profile similar to many reds, but has the lightness, acidity, and crispness of a white. It’s perfect for a hot summer evening. Not that there are too many of those in Connecticut. So it just seemed appropriate that I turn some rosé-hued ombré yardage, which I dip-dyed by hand, into something perfect for a summer evening. Even if I just spend it inside my non-balcony-or-patio-having apartment.


What’s easier and lighter and more perfect for summer than a caftan? Nothing, that’s what. And I’ve established my love of caftans previously. So I made what I’m calling my Rosé in the Evenings caftan.


The fabric is a rayon challis from Dharma Trading and of course the fuchsia dye also came from Dharma. Dip-dyeing is pretty easy, actually. In fact, it’s almost disappointing how quickly it can be accomplished. All that build-up for what amounts to a 5-minute process. Depending on your choice of color and fabric. But for rayon challis, it was fast. I dipped the fabric so that both selvage edges would get the most color and the center would take on only the palest of pink tinges.


I dyed the yardage last summer and started making a self-drafted caftan right away. But other projects beckoned and I set this one aside until earlier this summer. Because no one needs a caftan in winter. Not in Connecticut anyway. Using a couple tutorials found on Pinterest, I folded the fabric in half on its crossgrain, cut the neckline (a bit too deep), and marked the side seams. Getting those side seams properly marked isn’t quite as simple as it might seem. There’s quite a bit of fabric to wrangle and it takes a lot of pinning along the fabric’s width to make sure nothing shifts out of alignment while marking, and then you have to pin that seamline like nobody’s business to make sure it doesn’t shift while sewing. I got as far as half finishing the neck binding last summer, but finished it this summer.


I left the fuzzy selvages in place, because it gives the effect of fringe and means no finishing. There’s a simple machine-rolled hem at the bottom edges.


It’s a tad shorter than I’d prefer, and that neckline is way too low for public decency. That’s okay. I don’t ever intend to wear this thing in public. It’s strictly an at-home piece in which to lounge while sipping rosé.

Certainly not the most complicated of projects, but sometimes simplicity is what you want. This blog has been a bit neglected for a few months, not because I haven’t been working on stuff, but because sometimes it’s hard to force myself to turn on the laptop at home after a full day of staring at and editing words at work. But I’m starting to pull together a more professional-looking work wardrobe, and I’ll be blogging about those projects in the coming months.

The first one will be a series of bow blouses! Ugh, buttons and buttonholes; not my favorite things to sew. But not everything can be a pullover. Plus, working with gorgeous fabrics makes the thought of buttons recede into the background.

Oh yeah, and that Chanel-style jacket I once blogged about? Yeah, that’s been postponed for a long time, but I have to get back on it. It wasn’t really on my up-and-coming to-do list when my boss announced the Chanel Jacket Club at work, but I figured, why not, I want to make one (someday), why not now? Well, no one managed to get beyond a muslin, and most in the group didn’t even get that far. We’ve decided to go with a different pattern, which is nice, because we know the pattern’s designer and she’s going to come to our office to help fit our muslins. On video. That’ll be nice. And now that I have my custom dress form, I think fitting will be a lot easier on my own, too. It’s still not something I really think I want to do NOW, when I have so many more everyday, easier-to-mix-and-match projects I want to do. But whatevs. I can roll. And I do want to make my Chanel-style jacket. I’ve got all the materials. I just need to get on it, so that should happen within the next month.

Fingers crossed!