Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

For those do-it-yourselfers...

Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu May 08, 2014 5:14 pm

I finished my caftan, which I think of as a "poncho" style. Very comfortable as lounge wear, very airy but with a silky feel. Sewed it by hand-note, my sewing skill is just adequate to sew buttons back onto a shirt, I simply went in a (more or less) straight line with my primitive stitching.

These caftans are simple enough that even I can make one.

Simple enough to bypass the chicken or egg dilemma.

What supplies are needed? Besides the fabric: scissors, thread, needles, pins. Tape measure. Print out of the instructions.


These poncho style caftans have a lot of potential as lounge wear-a comfy addition to one's soft clothes.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby crfriend » Thu May 08, 2014 9:37 pm

Grok wrote:I finished my caftan, which I think of as a "poncho" style. Very comfortable as lounge wear, very airy but with a silky feel. Sewed it by hand-note, my sewing skill is just adequate to sew buttons back onto a shirt, I simply went in a (more or less) straight line with my primitive stitching.

Congratulations, Grok. One must always start somewhere, and an early success will go a long way towards encouraging one to learn more!
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu May 08, 2014 10:11 pm

Thank you crfriend. :) Now I can recommend a (poncho style) caftan as a beginner's project to somebody else.

BTW, this is the only garment I have where the fabric feels silky, an advantage of a DIY project. Airy and silky in particular is an interesting combination.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:14 pm

I am following up on the topic of poncho style caftans. In another thread I mentioned one that I had ordered. The garment is made of cotton, and oddly enough feels uncomfortable in shoulders/arms....it is stiff in an area where it feels awkward. The one I made is too soft to feel stiff. So what works is a very soft fabric. Which implies something worn at home, as lounge wear.

I regard this type of garment as a sort of early opportunity. Easily assembled as a DIY project, with meager sewing skills. Even a crudely made garment is very comfortable. And dress codes are not relevant, as this design is likely to be worn at home.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu May 12, 2016 3:32 pm

Follow up to previous comments.

The most basic sewing skill is to sew a button back onto a shirt by hand. I believe that there are tutorials online. Sewing by hand is slow, but allows you to experiment without investing in a sewing machine.

Stores that specialize in sewing supplies.... The fabrics sold are diverse in color. If you are willing to make your own garment, you can actually have bright colors. And as I posted, a garment with a silky texture.

The fabric is sold in rectangular sections, from rolls (bolts) of fabric.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby rick401r » Thu May 12, 2016 8:39 pm

I have been thinking lately about making a great kilt Also known as the “breacan an fheilidh” or “feile mor”.) I know that traditionally a great kilt is merely a length of fabric, hand pleated then belted in place. My thoughts are to sew the pleats and maybe a couple of belt loops just because I'm too lazy to prepare the kilt by hand.
With the great kilt you have, of course, the kilt but also something akin to a robe/cloak. You can also create a pouch to carry any items you need. (cash, ID, cellphone, etc.)
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Couya » Fri May 13, 2016 9:48 am

rick401r wrote:I have been thinking lately about making a great kilt


I would not bother.
Some years ago, I bought a length of beautiful tartan cloth and tried to wear it as a faile mor (having folded the pleats on the floor, lain down and belted it all in place; then tried to find the best way to drape and fix all the surplus cloth). It was much admired, but invariably by the end of the evening it had slipped and moved and just looked a mess. My wife sewed the pleats in for me so that I could put it on easily like a modern kilt with a belt, and we cut away some of the surplus material so that there was less cloth and less weight to fix to the shoulder. It stayed in place, but I found that the garment did not protect me from the cold outdoors, and became too hot when any exercise was involved.
In the end, I unsewed the pleats and had it made up into a normal modern kilt, with enough cloth over for a jacket for my wife and a long scarf for me.
I can see no advantages to the feile mor, whatever they wore in Hollywood films.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Big and Bashful » Fri May 13, 2016 9:58 pm

I suppose you could have the material divided, part for a pleated garment like a modern kilt, the rest as a sort of tartan throw/sash/cloth thing to throw over the shoulder to look like the other half of a great kilt. but why?
I must admit, I have had a hankering for a great kilt for years, but I know how heavy and expensive my 12 yard kilt is, skirts of most styles make more sense than the wrapping of a large pleated tartan woollen blanket around one's torso!
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:18 am

It occurred to me that I should copy the instructions for what I call a poncho style caftan:

How To Sew A Simple Caftan

1. Measure from the nape of your neck down to the desired length-purchase twice this amount of 45" wide fabric.

2. Cut the fabric into two equal lengths.

3. Reduce the width of both pieces to 35".

4. From the excess cut-away material, cut two rectangles, each measuring 6" wide x 12" long. Fold each in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together, press to crease the folded edge. Set these aside to be used on the neckline.

5. Choose one length of fabric to be the front of the caftan. Spread it on the floor or tabletop, right side up, mark and cut the front neck as follows:

* Place a pin in the center top edge of the fabric.

* Measure down 8" and mark with a pin.

* Along the top edge, place pins 6" to either side of the center pin.

* Place pins 2" to either side of the bottom pin.

* Cut out the neck opening.

6. Take the two folded rectangles and pin them to the neck opening, aligning raw edges. (There will be some excess at the top and bottom). Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance.

7. Turn the rectangles toward the center and overlap the bottom edges.

8. Gather or pleat the excess fabric along the bottom of the neck opening and pin it to the overlapped edge of the neckline. Stitch.

9. Trim away excess fabric from the rectangles along the top and bottom of the neckline.

10. Too complete the caftan:

* Place the front of the caftan together with the back, right sides together. Stitch along the top.

* Stitch the sides, leaving a 10" opening on either side for the arms.

* You may choose to cut a large curve bottom or leave it straight.

* Hem the bottom.

* Hem the armhole openings.

* Hem the back neck opening.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:44 am

Actually, I made a useful garment while skipping the sewing of the neck pieces, and skipping the hemming. Basically making (one) pipe or tube, with holes for head and arms. Very crude, but comfortable.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:48 am

I have been looking at caftans online and-though I'm not absolutely sure-it looks like what I have been calling a "poncho style caftan" is actually a scarf caftan.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby Grok » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:08 pm

Why these sorts of garments? Virtues of the house dress may apply....

http://www.racked.com/2016/9/1/12519724/house-dress
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Re: hand sewing

Postby Grok » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:56 pm

There are online tutorials for this sort of thing, but I will summarize what I do.



Needed: 1. Thread. 2. Needle. 3. Scissors. 4. Objects/material being sewn.


Optional-tweezers for manipulating thread. Occasionally I have used a pin to help direct/manipulate the thread.



Step 1. Figure out the length of thread you want. Double it, then cut this doubled length.

Step 2. Thread the needle.

Step 3. Take the two ends of the thread and tie them into a knot. Repeat several times, to make a big clot of thread.

Step 4. Start the sewing on the inside surface of the cloth and/or garment. You will poke that needle through, pulling until the knotted end hits the inner surface.

Step 5. If sewing a button back on, you will go back and forth through the different holes, anchoring the button. If you are sewing cloth together, you go back and forth in a straight line.

Step 6. When you near completion, you will knot the thread several times on the inner surface of the cloth.
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Re: Patterns: Robes, Cloaks....

Postby beachlion » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:17 pm

I had trouble getting the thread through the eye of the needle. I still wonder how do they get a camel through it.
So I bought a machine to thread the needle. But wait, there is more. As a bonus, the machine also gets the needle through the fabric at no extra cost. Amazing. :wink:
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