Vacation plan, part 1: Making to take

Vacation plan, part 1: Making to take

There are only 8 days between me and my spring vacation and I can only think about two things: things I want to make to take; and things I want to take to make. You know what I mean! Today let’s focus on the first part: making to take. We’re road tripping to my sister’s house in Florida (our favorite home away from home!) and rumor has it that, weather permitting, we may be sneaking in a little weekend jaunt to the Bahamas on their boat. I bought this length of retro/hipster/ethnic tropical print fabric from Ikea a few weeks ago, and now all I want to do is make some sort of Mrs. Roper-worthy ankle-length caftan out of it for this and future Florida trips. The sort of thing you throw on upon arrival and don’t take off until you head home. You know, wear it barefoot on the boat, with Saltwaters on the dock, and trade up to nicer sandals for dinner in some beach hut restaurant. I’m slightly torn over whether to keep it ultra basic — wide and boatnecked — like this Craftsy tutorial, or to model it more on my beloved Harper Tunics from Elizabeth Suzann (which I scored at her sample sale), with some shoulder slope and an actual neckhole. Or maybe a nice deep V-neck? If you have a favorite caftan pattern, let me know!

Photos: Hat from J.Crew; Saltwater Sandals from Zappos

55 thoughts on “Vacation plan, part 1: Making to take

  1. Definitely shoulder slope. Wide is nice in principle but made for the body (whether tight or loose) is what makes you look fabulous. Especially in a fabric that isn’t particularly minded to drape.

    • That’s my feeling, as well. I think that tiny bit more structure would be useful with this fabric, and I can make the Craftsy-style one with some bright blue linen I have on hand.

  2. c’mon Karen… go for the “craftsy” caftan. Traditional, classic! You can totally pull this off. Especially in that fabric! Love that.

  3. That looks like a great book – simple, easy to dress up or down. Seems to go with your building a basic wardrobe. It makes me want to go back to making my own clothes. All of the styles would look great on you – patterns look easy to alter – adapt, v neck, boat neck, crew. Off to buy the book.

  4. I also thought about the Lotta Everyday Style caftan. I’ve made my muslin for the top and it has a flattering fit. Check out the cover on amazon to see a picture of the caftan.

  5. I vote for anything with a higher arm hole. Having worn caftans in the 1970’s, I can tell you that they are awkward to wear. The large open sleeves expose underwear or worse. This means keeping your elbows close to your waist most of the time.

  6. An unconstructed top can look a lot like a scrub, which the Harper Tunic brought to mind. Especially in a print. Go Caftan.

  7. Beautiful fabric!
    For future trips to Florida during the summer, one thing you may want consider is whether the fabric let’s your skin breathe & is also lightweight. As you may know, it get’s disgustingly hot during the summers here in Florida (I’m in Pensacola)… have a great time!

  8. I vote for a v-neck, as it is slightly cooler…and can show off an awesome chunky necklace when you go out to dinner.

  9. My only question would be: is this beautiful Ikea fabric drapey enough to make Christine Hayne’s caftan in Craftsy? If you want it to flow around you, the fabric has to be very soft. Have a great trip, lucky girl!

  10. Love that fabric! It’ll make a fab caftan. I vote for a wide-ish v-neck to keep things cool and to show off your chunky Mrs. Roper necklaces and dangly red ball earrings. Cigarette holder optional. ;)

  11. Lotta’s Everyday Style caftan popped into my mind first as well (flipped through the book this weekend and had a hard time putting it down!), but I see many others have suggested that… What about Sonya’s Dress No. 3? You could switch out the neckline, add a pocket like the Harper, etc.

  12. I just purchased a McCall’s pattern, #5893, to make a long summer dress for myself. It’s sleeveless with a scoop neckline. It’s touted as a “1 hour dress” so it’s gotta be an easy one to get done quickly!

  13. My vote is also for Sonya’s Dress No. 3. It’s got the v-neck detail, roomy sleeves and a split hem detail that is a nice touch. Love the fabric, btw!

  14. Your fabric seems less drapey than what the basic caftan calls for? I would go for some shaping up top. Deep V is sexy and feminine.

  15. Harper’s or one with more shaping than the traditional one. And when you need a winter one – knitted of course – ask about the decades old one from Good Housekeeping that I have made for all my family ladies. It’s a walking about blanket.

  16. Hmmm. As a self-styled Mrs Roper expert, I will weigh on this with you in person. You can’t just half-ass a Mrs Roper look.

  17. I made one over the (Aussie) summer using the Lou Box Top pattern for the shoulder line, I modified for longer arm holes and a v neck – and I love it! Though I do warn once you have a gorgeous caftan you won’t want to wear anything else!

      • Oh man, I’m sometimes not the greatest at seeing the basic outlines. You’re right, it’s the same, just a higher back neckline and no drawstring waist.

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