{tutorial} 15 Minute Fall Kaftan

I'm back!! I'm back!! I have SO much to fill you in on over the last few months of my life, but I'll have to take a rain check today. My brand spankin' new kindergartner just got sent home from school with a bout of strep, and I've got precious few minutes to blog while she rests up before we're off to the doctor!

If this post takes as long as the sewing did, than we're in good shape! (And I expect to see at least one finished product before we leave the doctors office! Tag me on instagram!)

This is the 15 minute Fall Kaftan tutorial - inspired by an impulse scarf purchase at the Target dollar spot (or as we should start calling it, the "many-dollars-spot"). 

Now, I don't know about you, but I never get scarf-wearing right. I could practice these tutorials all day long and still look foolish...

...So before this tartan scarf landed in my cart I swore to myself I'd refashion it into something I'd ACTUALLY know how to wear. I'm glad I did, because I have a whole collection of scarves I'll be refashioning now that I know how much I love the result!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Scarf (Mine is a 52in X 52in square)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Tank top or t-shirt (to use as a template)
  • (Optional) Bias Tape

Lay your scarf open across the floor. Grab your tank top, and lay it down matching the hem/center with the scarf's bottom/center. Mark the shoulder seam height, and fold the excess scarf over that line.

Lay your shirt on top of the folded scarf, and pin a straight line from the hem, to just below the armscye. Sew along this line, back stitching at either end. 

Now we have to cut an opening down the front! 

And add a gentle curve for the garment to lay comfortably around the back of the neck...

Then the longest, most complicated part of this whole project: bind the raw edges.

  • Coverstitch Method (2 minutes, maybe): I folded them under 3/8 inch while I fed it through my coverstitch.
  • Serger Method (5 minutes, maybe): Serge the raw edge, then fold the finished edge under twice. Topstitch in place.
  • Bias Tape (10-15 minutes, depending on how much you press/pin): Enclose the raw edge with single or double fold bias tape. You can buy it pre-made in a coordinating color, or make your own using this awesome tutorial
I've styled my tartan kaftan with a Cali Faye Basics Tank, the Havana Pendant Necklace, skinnies and open toed booties from Joyfolie. 

I've styled my tartan kaftan with a Cali Faye Basics Tank, the Havana Pendant Necklace, skinnies and open toed booties from Joyfolie. 

I've styled my tartan kaftan with a Cali Faye Basics Tank, the Havana Pendant Necklace, skinnies and open toed booties from Joyfolie. 

I've styled my tartan kaftan with a Cali Faye Basics Tank, the Havana Pendant Necklace, skinnies and open toed booties from Joyfolie. 

That's IT. Scarves already have finished edges, so there's no need to hem! Of course - you can make this in knit fabric and also avoid hemming, or grab any drapey woven and just hem the edges before you start your project. The extra step means extra time, but it's still a super simple sew for a project with lots of practical applications for Fall! I know I'll be wearing mine on the sidelines of soccer games, on the porch while I have my morning coffee, and even inside during those awful transition months when my husband insists on running the AC while the rest of us freeze. (Tis the season for battles over the thermostat!)

Don't have time to sew it now?? Please pin it for later!


BONUS! Try these mods to give your Kaftan more interest and structure: