Make Your Own Terry Cloth Caftan Dress!

Make Your Own Terry Cloth Caftan Dress!

Today I am sharing how you can make a simple terry cloth caftan dress which you will certainly wear all summer long! Terry cloth is the same material that your household towels are made from. It is a moisture absorbent fabric that is both comfortable to wear and easy to sew.

Make Your Own Terry Cloth Caftan Dress | Chambray Blues |

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Vintage Terry Cloth Caftan Dress

Any older person will tell you that terry cloth used to be a wardrobe staple fabric. We had terry cloth jumpers, rompers, dresses, wraps, and lounging outfits. Terry cloth is 100%  cotton looped knit. It has a textured side and a smooth side, unlike bath towels which have loops on both sides. I recently came across 3 yards of this yellow terry cloth at a thrift store which I purchased for less than $1.00. What a bargain!

Draped Terry Cloth | Chambray Blues |

Any project idea starts with inspiration. I kept this piece of fabric on the dress form for a while until I decided what to make with it. I love the idea of a practical beachy coverup, one that also looks like a dress. Imagine a coverup that you can wear into the grocery store or throw on early in the morning before you get dressed for the day. It should be both comfortable and practical!

How to Make a Terry Cloth Caftan Dress | Chambray Blues |

The DIY caftan dress is a simple design with patch pockets for holding either a cell phone, credit card, or even tissues. The blue zig-zag trim adds a bit of decorative color and contributes to the vintage look. After this fun project, you will be sewing caftans for everyone you know!

DIY Vintage Caftan Dress | Chambray Blues |

DIY Vintage Caftan Dress | Chambray Blues |

Terry Cloth Dress Supplies Needed:

  • 3 yards tubular cotton terry cloth (It has a fold on both edges, no selvedges of the fabric.)
  • •4-5 yards blue zig-zag trim
  • yellow all-purpose thread for sewing and serging
  • 1/2 yard fusible knit interfacing
  • ballpoint knit sewing needles, size 12 or 14
  • 1/3 yard lightweight knit Pellon fusible interfacing
  • Chambray Blues Terry Cloth Caftan Dress PDF Sewing Pattern (Coming soon!)

Caftan Dress Sewing Directions:

1. Prewash terry cloth fabric. This is an essential step as it will shrink! Be sure to dry it on high during this step so that it will not shrink after you make your dress.

2. Assemble pattern pieces. Next, lay the front as well as back pieces on the fold. Cut out.

3. Cut out both the facing and pocket pieces.

4. Using fusible interfacing, fuse the interfacing to both the back neck and front neck facing pieces.

5. Sew shoulder seams together using either a serger or zig-zag stitch on your regular sewing machine. (1.0 stitch width should work well.) Press.

6. Mark the front neck cutting line with either washable marker or chalk. Sew shoulder seams of facings together. Press seam open.

7. Finish the outside neck edge of facing by turning under 1/4″ and then stitching along the edge using a single needle straight stitch.

8. With the right side of facing to the wrong side of the garment, pin neck facing in place while matching shoulder seams and center front markings. Stitch. Understitch neck edge as much as possible and then clip curves. Turn facing to the right side of the garment, pin in place and press.

9. Topstitch neck edge, around the edge of the facing on top of your first line of stitching.

10. Pin rick-rack trim around the neck then zig-zag in place using a wide zig-zag stitch.

11. Finish top edge of pockets, turn under 1 1/4″ hem on top edge. Top stitch on the right side. Add zig-zag trim along the stitching line and sew in place using zig-zag stitches.

12. Attach patch pockets to the front of the dress. Pin in place first to check placement, then sew along outside edge, turning under 1/4″ hem as you sew. Press.

13. Hem sleeve edges with 3/8″ rolled hem. Turn under 3/8″ seam allowance and sew. Next, turn again and sew over your first line of stitching. Pin rick-rack in place along the stitching line, sew as before.

14. Stitch side seams together with the right sides facing. Turn and press.

15. Press up hem, 1 1/4″ wide. Finish the raw edge with either serging or zig-zag stitch. Sew hem in place by hand with a catch stitch or use a blind hem stitch on your sewing machine.

More Inspiration

Still looking for more summertime sewing inspiration? Here are a few other projects you will also love!

Drape & Sew a Knit T-Shirt Dress

Patriotic Quilted Dresden Plate Pillow

Eyelet Tunic Dress with Ruffle Sleeves

How to Make a Reversible Pencil Skirt

The Tunic Bible: Embroidered Tunic Dress


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DIY Terry Cloth Caftan Dress | Chambray Blues |

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