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Watercolor Chiffon Caftan

Addendum 6/2/20.  I have to say that writing a blog post about sewing during this time of intense social upheaval feels very strange.  The photos of myself smiling for this post belie the fact that my heart is breaking for the black community and the injustice that they have had to endure.  I stand with the protesters and support change in our justice system and equality for all in our society.

With Compassion,


Today is my youngest daughter's 27th birthday.  Ahh, how time flies!  Unfortunately, we can't spend it with her because she lives in California, as does our middle daughter.  It was my plan to visit both of them this summer, but it looks like those plans are on hold until a vaccine is developed.  But, in my Illinois imagination, I have made this ocean blue watercolor like caftan, as what I envision a California mom would wear by the poolside to celebrate her adult daughter's birthday.

The pattern I used was Butterick 6559, a lovely collection of tops, tunics and caftans of various lengths and embellishments.  I made View D- the long one on the model. My fabric is a polyester chiffon from Fabric Mart, which is one of those fabrics that you really want to avoid, but like candy, it just keeps calling your name because of it's extreme beauty and grace.   Just look how this fabric moves:

But, I have learned that the secret to using chiffon is to choose the simplest design possible, and let the fabric do the talking.  Less is more.  So, for this design, I just serged the edges, and used the selvedge for the hem.  No fiddling around with narrow hemming a shape shifting foe.  Make the fabric your friend!

Butterick 6559

The only place where I had to really beat it into submission was this front yoke.  The pattern surprisingly didn't call for any interfacing on this part, but I interfaced both the yoke and the yoke facing.   It calls for one yard of 1/4 inch wide ribbon or drawstring for the neck ties.  The only thing that I had in this color range was a braided trim in turquoise, so that's what I used.  I doubt that I will ever wear it tied, but it gives a little more interest at the neckline.

There aren't really side seams in the design, as you can see from the line drawing.  Just stitching lines that connect the front to the back.  I extend the stitching line to the knee so that I can wear this as a dress.  I am also wearing a short slip underneath.

Butterick 6559

I am in love with this caftan, and I hope that someday, I will be able to take it to California and have a margarita by the poolside with my daughters there!  In the meantime, I am still going to wear it as often as possible by the garden.

Fabric choice aside, this is an easy pattern to sew, and it is still in print!  I definitely will be making some of the other views as well.  




  1. Gorgeous fabric, gorgeous caftan! I love how you worked the color patterns into a beautiful project.

  2. I am usually not a caftan fan, but oh my goodness yours is so chic! I love the fabric you used, and the way you used it to your advantage is so smart!!

  3. These flowers are immensely beautiful. I would love to grow them in my garden.

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