Linen is the perfect summer fabric: it’s comfortable, breathable and with some texture to make even the simplest garment a little bit special. A good example of an easy summer wear that is comfy and feminine is our V-neck kaftan dress. It has a beautiful straight-bodied style that flatters any body type, two side slits and a deep V-neck collar.
Cut from our luxury Premier Finish striped linen, this dress is smooth and agreeable to the senses and will keep you cool during the hot summer months. Stripes run parallel to the selvage and colors include pale blue and white.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to make this casually chic kaftan dress and you would be surprised how easy it is!
2.5 yards of IL042 904 FS Premier Finish 100% linen
Matching sewing thread
Scissors, pins, chalk, ruler, measuring tape, sewing machine
The great thing about this dress is that it doesn’t even need a real pattern. What you do is cut rectangles of fabric lengthwise. If you have a continuous 2.5-yard piece of fabric, you cut 2 rectangles 13,5 inches (34,5 cm) wide and 83 inches (211 cm) long all seam allowances included. If you only have 1.5 or 2 yards of fabric, you cut 4 rectangles 13,5 inches (34,5 cm) wide and 42 inches (106,5 cm) long all seam allowances included and then you assemble them at the shoulders to create two long rectangles.
Note: Prewash your fabric and tumble dry it until it is still slightly moist, dry in room temperature. Iron the fabric so it is easier to work with.
If you cut 4 rectangles, you’ll need to start by assembling them at the shoulders. If you already have 2 continuous rectangles 83 inches (211 cm) long, skip steps 1-3 and start directly at step 4.
1. Pin two pairs of rectangles at the shoulders right sides together and sew at 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.
2. Serge or zigzag the raw edges together leaving both ends 1 inch stitch free to avoid creating extra bulk when rolled. Press the serged/zigzagged edge flat folding it towards the back of the dress and press the unstitched ends open.
3. Fold the inner raw edge of each rectangle (the one that will later form your V-neck) 3/8” (1 cm) to the wrong side and press.
4. Fold another 1.5” (3,5 cm) and press to mark a line which will later be your guide for finishing the neckline. Unfold this second fold for now.
5. Now match the shoulder seams and pin these folded edges right sides together along that line that you’ve just pressed.
6. Now would be a good time to try the dress on and decide how deep you want your front and back V-necklines to be. Take a few pins around the shoulder seams out and put your dress on. Make a mark or place contrasting color pins at the spots where you want the neckline to end.
We went for a rather deep V-neck and placed a black pin 10,5” from the shoulder seam at the front and 10” at the back. The space between these two pins is your neck opening. The rest needs to be stitched together. Start from the neck opening marks and stitch all the way to the bottom hems. Remember to backstitch when you come to the V-point.
7. Press the seam open and the 1.5” (3,5 cm) seam allowances flat.
This is what your neckline looks like from the right side at this point:
8. Now we need to pin the 1.5” (3,5 cm) seam allowances to the dress and enclose the raw edges under.
9. Edgestitch both sides of the dress and press. By creating these large folds to the left and to the right of the center seam, you’ll get a nicely looking collar that runs through the entire dress and gives it an original detail. You can even use a darker thread to make it more visible.
This is what your finished neckline looks like from the right side:
10. Pin the side seams together.
11. To create the armholes openings, measure 6.5” (16.5 cm) from the shoulder seam and make a mark with a piece of chalk.
12. To form side seam slits, measure 11” (28 cm) from the bottom hem and make a mark. If you want a deeper slit, increase this measurement.
13. Please note that the side slits require a larger seam allowance. So when you stitch in between these two marks, use a 1” (2,5 cm) seam allowance. Remember to backstitch at both ends.
14. Finish the armholes with a rolled hem – fold the raw edges twice and pin. Make sure that the second fold is a continuation of the side stitch line.
15. Edgestitch the armholes.
16. Trim the edges parallel to the stitched line to a standard 3/8” (1 cm) seam allowance.
17. Serge or zigzag them together to prevent fabric from fraying.
18. Sew the side seam slits following our detailed tutorial HERE.
19. Finally, finish the bottom hem by folding the raw edge twice (3/8” to 3/4″) and pin.
20. Stitch the hem and give it a good press.
One last press and you are all done! This versatile dress is perfect for lounge or beachwear. You can also dress it up by adding a simple belt!
Why not check out all the other colours we have and play around with all the possibilities you can find?