16 Jun 2012 • • by Heather Lou

Caftantastic // McCalls 6552 Sewing Pattern

McCalls 6552 Sewing Pattern // Closet Core Patterns

Getting older means that a seemingly harmless night of sangria with old friends becomes the worst decision you ever made when struggling valiantly to get through work the next day without face-planting on your keyboard. I’m also trying to quit smoking for the 11th time, and once again cracked like a hardboiled egg in the face of the combined force of chain smoking friends + outside patio. Which is to say, I smoked a lot last night. I hate myself at the moment – it seems manageable enough for me to abstain day to day but get a few cocktails in me and all I want to do is gulp poisonous air into my lungs. Has anyone had any experience with hypnotherapy? I feel like I need someone to get all up into my subconscious and rewire whatever Marlboro Man neuron starts firing whenever I imbibe the hooch.

Cuba was supposed to be where I broke up with smoking forever. Smokes are dirt cheap and it’s like a Mad Man episode down there in that you can smoke wherever and whenever you feel like it (the cars are not the only thing stuck in the past). Thankfully I managed to stop smoking long enough to take these photos. We had walked down the beach to a local restaurant for fresh lobster (in essence the only truly tasty thing we ate the entire time we were there). Caftan + barefoot + sunset + beach = rum commercial.

So this caftan. If I could, I would live in them. My vision of retirement involves a closet full of them. Something so elegant and easy and glamorous about a long, sheer dress that blows in the wind. Throw in a psychedelic print and We. Are. In. Business. This chiffon I found in NYC, and knew right away I wanted to whip something up for Cuba. I used this pattern with a few modifications.

I used French seams along the sides and bust, and practiced using my baby hem foot on the sleeves and hem. I’m getting better at it, but thankfully you all live too far away to see how jacked some parts of the hem are.  That aside, I found this material relatively easy to work with – not half as slippy as the last time I tried working with chiffon. I even bought some of that spray stabilizer but didn’t end up needing to use it (even though a very small bottle cost $18!!!) It is a border print so I tried to line up the horizontal bands under the bust and near the hem. The pattern called for a drawstring but I didn’t see the point. I added elastic instead. The V was very deep – fine if you are just using this as a bikini coverup but I raised the neckline in the event that I ever wear this in the city with a bra instead of a bathing suit.

This dress came together very quickly and I’m super happy with it, but it is a trial to walk in when it is very humid out, as the material clings to your legs like saran wrap. Much better for a warm, dry and breezy day. I quite like the sheerness of it – with hot pants and a bra under it’s naughty without being obscene (“Cheeky” if you’ll forgive the pun). I have a few more vintage caftan patterns I’d like to bust out before the end of summer so you may be seeing another one before the fall starts casting those long, somber shadows. Hope you have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thanks again to Mark Slutsky for playing fashion photographer again....

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