DIY Beach Caftan

We're done with France posts. I feel like I could end that sentence with the word "finally" or "sadly" - I'm torn and I can't choose. It's kind of like, whoa dude, you managed to write 20+ posts about a weeklong trip, overkill. But at the same time, I'm sad it's over! I loved reliving the trip when I was writing the posts (I wrote them all over the course of a week or so and spread them out over the past two months because it's my blog and I do what I want) and I loved reliving the trip as I re-read the posts that I wrote. It's been a fun journey and I can't wait to do it again and again with every holiday I experience.

Anyway, now that we're done with France, we can move on to the other current happenings in my life. A few months ago, I went to JoAnn Fabrics to get some vinyl fabric for my DIY clutch. My sister was with me and we were both in crafty moods so we spent a little while walking around, digging through stacks upon stacks of fabrics to see if there was anything we wanted to grab for some other DIY projects. While I was browsing, I spotted the most glorious pink and gold fabric that I thought would be great for making a beach coverup. The bolt was practically empty but that leftover piece was the perfect size for my craft.

Inspired by a beautiful Marena y Sol caftan that I have, I decided to make a simple, functional, and chic caftan with my fabric. I was all set to make this prior to summertime but then I got sent to North Dakota so I had to put my DIY on hold for months. Well, a few weekends ago, I finally got around to making this durn thang, so here it is!
You'll need:
1.5 yards of fabric - my fabric was a mesh-type that doesn't require hemming and the bolt itself was 54" so my fabric was a perfect square piece
needle & thread (or sewing machine)
straight edge
measuring tape
Okay, so here's what you're trying to accomplish. You want to create a slit in the middle, which is where your head will go. Then, you'll fold it in half (with the slit parallel to the fold) and then sew two vertical lines that start from the open edge and go up about two-thirds of the way towards the folded edge. Your torso will go in between the two sewn lines, your head will poke up through the hole, and your arms will just jut out into the open sides.

The easiest way to cut your fabric is to fold it half before cutting just to make sure your hole is symmetrical. I like to fold it in half a second time and then cut along the fold to make sure my line is straight. I measured the distance from just inside my shoulders to figure out how big my hole should be. I made the cut, stopping just shy of where I had measured and then tried the fabric on (like a poncho) to make sure I was happy with the size of the opening.
While you've got this faux poncho on, you should measure how tight you want the torso portion to be and mark where you want to sew using a few pins.
Next, just grab your needle and thread (or a sewing machine, if you're savvy like that) and sew your two straight lines.
All that's left to do is to try on your creation! If you want a v-neck, you can certainly do that, but I like the boatneck style. Plus, I didn't want it to look uber homemade; I wanted it to look like I might've bought this at an actual store. It would've been too risky to rely on my cutting skills to make a symmetrical neckline, you know? Boatneck is cute though! I like sort of having it slip off of one shoulder. Maybe that's the 80s child in me. Also, because I'm petite (I'm somewhere in between 5'-2" and 5'-3") this fits me like a mini dress (which I like so much that I'm considering chucking this on over a tank dress and wearing it out on a normal day). For those of you who are taller, you might consider using a longer piece of fabric or going slightly shorter and fashioning this into a tunic or a top. I think a cropped version would be sublime, now that I think about it.
And here's me pretending to be a model. I'm sorry, haha. I don't know what I'm doing with my hand in that second shot and I need to do a thigh workout and maybe learn to smile, but at least the caftan looks good, right? At least you can get an idea of how it "hangs."

If you were wondering, both my bandeau and bikini bottoms are from Victoria's Secret (though they're super old) and my sunglasses are House of Harlow. My wedges are from Forever 21. My chubbiness is from eating too much.

Despite my lackluster modeling skills, I think it looks quite pretty and I've decided that I'm definitely taking this with me to Miami in a few weeks. Don't worry; I'll take you guys along (figuratively) with plenty of photos and updates when I return.


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