Probably closer to 4.5 years.
After moving here to Florida, I needed lighter weight clothes – more of them at least! Pattern Vault had a link to the free pattern for the Matthew Williamson Kaftan, I loved the styling so started. And stopped, and started, and stopped. Part of it was fabric choice, part of it was the instructions.
I had this really cool double silk georgette in my stash that was perfect for it. I can’t remember where I bought it. I am almost certain it was Gorgeous Fabrics – it would have been one of my first on-line purchases. But it could well have been Emma One Sock. Doesn’t matter now, as it was purchased in 2010. In the beginning, I was a little afraid of this fabric – silk? georgette? But it turned out to be an easy fabric, for the silk family.
Word of warning! If you choose this pattern, it’s pdf, which I can’t stand. But to make matters worse, each tile is its own pdf! I think I spent the first summer just doing that (kidding).
I found the directions from The Guardian to be less than helpful. The writer suggests French Seams throughout, and has a general order of completion, but I think that’s pretty intuitive if you’ve sewn many things before. However, the yoke is self-lined (on the pdf and you can see it in the photos of the mockup) but no mention of attaching it. I looked at some other patterns with self-lined yokes, and determined what I was going to do (which evolved).
Trouble is, I can’t remember what I did! Looking at it, I did use French Seams in most places, but not all. Here’s what I think I did:
- Made the triangles (with the hypotenuse in French seams) for the insets and set them aside.
- Gathered as instructed for the front (under the inset) and in the back. I did this by hand, but not well.
- Attached the yoke to the back, using a 3/8 inch seam (at this point, I wanted it a bit larger – and there is no size on the pattern).
- Attached the yoke to the front in a 3/8 inch seam.
- Attached my triangles, but again, I did them differently as pictured, doing only a slight overlap in front. I also did not use a french seam here, but serged the raw edges.
- Attached the yoke facing to the top at the neckline, stitching only from where the insets join the yoke, around the back to the other side. Understitched by hand.
- Carefully pressed under the yoke back, front, and side edge seam allowances, then slip-stitched in place.
- I then attached the sleeves, using a French seam (not so great an idea, I got puckers). Because I changed the seams in steps 4/5, I had extra fabric, so I created an inverted box pleat at the shoulder.
- Sewed the arm and side seams in one, again French seam.
- Narrow machine hemmed the sleeves and shirt.
At this point I was done. Last summer. But it didn’t really look finished to me. Something was missing.
I looked at the original picture from the Guardian and decided that I liked the black trim (which may have been panels). So I ordered some silk satin 3/8 inch ribbon from Britex, last summer. Last week, I finally attached it by hand, using a running stitch.
I like it, despite the flaws. I wore it last Saturday to the pool party we had. Lots of pictures: