Let’s get fearless and make the perfect maxi dress, the kaftan. This VERY easy dress can be made with any sheer, lace or very light and flowing material. No pattern needed! It’s pull over, no fussy closures to deal with.

I used almost 4 yards of 44″ fabric. Two 40″ pieces for the length of the skirt of the dress. The bodice is another simple rectangle cut on the cross grain. Your length of the bodice will be the width of your fabric. Also, since it’s a simple rectangle with a hole cut out of the center for a neckline there are no shoulder seams to stitch together. Another bonus! Tip, the longer you cut this piece the longer your sleeves will be.

Steps to make your simple kaftan.

Cut your neckline. I do this by folding fabric in fourths and cutting less than what I think I need. Some parts of the circle are on the bias and will grow larger, so less is better. You can also use an existing shirt neckline that you love by tracing around it and adding a half inch seam allowance. Now is also a great chance to save time so go ahead and finish the necklines raw edge with a serger or zig zag stitch, press it in and topstitch that neckline down.


Gather your front and back of the dress skirts separately to your waist measurement with enough ease to get over your bust.

For example – my bust is 34,” and I would like 3″ of ease plus a seam allowance of 1″. Then, since we have two skirt pieces I would divide that total number in half.

(34+3+1= 38 Divided by 2= 19) This is a pull over dress with no closures.

Attach the two gathered edges to the bodice by finding the center of the skirt pieces and the bodice piece by folding them each in half and either mark, pin or press a marking point there.

Carefully pin or baste stitch your side seams and try it on. If it fits over your bust, sew your side seams.

Sew your dress and sleeve hemlines and DONE!

Now I just need a big lace hat and some big accessories!

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!




Tracy McElfresh
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