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Kaftan-Style Beach Cover-Up

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I’ve been working on this Kaftan Style beach cover-up (is it caftan or kaftan?  I can’t figure it out.)  on and off for almost 3 weeks.  The pattern is simple, but this fabric is evil!  I could only stand to work on it about 20 minutes at a time.

The pattern I used was McCall’s 5855.  (The pattern says “Easy, 1 Hour,” but depending on your fabric choice, plan for more…)

What I really love about this pattern is that it is V-neck and so comfortable and flattering!  I will probably attempt it again in something that is easier to work with, maybe a knit for around the house.  One of my favorite dress-up tops is a silk DKNY blouse made with a similar pattern.  If I ever come across the right fabric, I will have to buy a few yards for another “fancy” blouse. (Seriously, this style is flattering on everyone.)

The fabric cutting was very difficult for a few reasons, but mainly because the pattern pieces were so big and I started with about 2.5 yards of 60 inch wide fabric.  I had to lay everything out on the floor, and the fabric was impossible to line up straight and kept slipping and sliding.  It was very frustrating. (Somehow, my sewing scissors never made it back to my craft room, I have been unable to find them for several days.)

For the pattern markings, my blue marker pen would not show up on the fabric, so I had to use straight pins, which kept falling out.  I finally opened a new package of safety pins and used those instead.

The neckline called for interfacing, which this fabric definitely needed, though I had a little trouble getting all my fabric pieces to match up because of the fabric slipping around while I cut, luckily this pattern is very forgiving and I do love the final result.

I did end up cutting around 5 inches off of each side, I didn’t care for the look of all that extra material.  It made the cover up seem “heavy.”

 I’m actually not quite through.  I still need to sew a quick seam where the red lines are.  My parents were here visiting and I wanted someone to take a picture of me in the cover up.  My self portraits are horrendous.  I really should invest in a nice full length mirror.

**Update…  I have worn this cover up several times now.  I LOVE IT!!!  So worth the effort.  I highly recommend this pattern!!!

***Another Update… 2015: This is still the best cover up ever.  Since this was originally posted, I have gained and lost 20+ pounds. The cover up was fabulous especially when I was at the heaviest.  This pattern is out of print, but, I will be creating a tutorial sometime during the summer of 2015.  Stay tuned!

Want more cover up ideas?  Check out these tutorials!

Yes, turquoise is my favorite color, lol!

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  1. Ruth Skinner says:

    Get busy and please make the beach cover up tutorial asap.

  2. I love this cover-up!! Any chance you will do a tutorial for it? Please and thank you!!

    1. It’s on my someday to-do list!

  3. tobemeis2bfree says:

    Thank you so much for replying in such a timely fashion! Yes, this helps me tremendously. I'll finish my top this evening. I'll post a picture.

    Thank you again.

  4. tobemeis2bfree says:

    Just doing this one so I'll know if and when you respond to the other….didn't see the notify me box until I had published the last one, but my email is connected.


  5. tobemeis2bfree says:

    I know it has been three years since this post, but I'm new to sewing and I'm working on this pattern. My question for you is this…. what is the best way for me to mark the area where the seams go? second question: Do the seams once sewn make the arm holes….or am I to make them separately?

    Your advice is greatly appreciated for these two things are the only things that have me stomped at this point.


    1. Ha ha, It has been a while since I made this, but it is still the best bathing suit cover up I've ever had. (I have gained/lost/regained 10+ lbs since I made this and it works at all my sizes…)

      To mark where to sew, I recommend pinning the fabric together so the fabric doesn't slide around and then using a special fabric marker that erases with water. That way you can mark on the fabric where ever, then just wipe off the marks w/ water. (This is the one I always use: http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Dual-Purpose-Marking-Blue/dp/B00A2H1A3W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1400598538&sr=8-3&keywords=disappearing+ink+fabric+marker)

      Once the side seams are sewn, it leaves an opening for your arms. I do remember struggling a lot with this fabric, just because it was so thin and gauzy and there was a lot of it…

      Hope this helps…

  6. Elizabeth says:

    They didn't have it anymore at my local Joanns 🙁

    1. hmm, maybe I'll have to do a tutorial for a cover up like this. I did end up making changes so it fit better!

      1. Gillian H says:

        They want $22 for the pattern on Easy since it is no longer in print. It would be perfect for my trip to Mexico in 2 weeks – Did you ever do a tutorial? I have sewn a lot so just need a few details

      2. I have not made the tutorial yet. Sorry! 🙁 I will say, I love this cover up and still wear it. Search around for a poncho or kaftan cover up tutorial. (they are out there) The reason this cover up came out so well was the fabric I used was just perfect. (flowy and thin) and the drawstring waist.

        Good luck!

  7. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom says:

    Yes, I used a real pattern for this cover up, McCall's 5855. Watch the sales at your local Joann's or Hancock fabrics. They put their patterns on sale for $.99 to $1.99 every few months. (It is a great pattern and certainly worth a couple of dollars.
    Good luck,

  8. Ashley Nicole says:

    How do i get the details of how to make this dress…where do i find the pattern..i looked all over this page…but didn't see a link to the pattern… did you want us to go buy the macall's pattern…cant afford that.. new to your site …

  9. Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims says:

    This is really really adorable! Such a cute print, would look awesome on the beach for sure 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday!

  10. Just Jaime says:

    Pretty! You've inspired me to make my own cover up! Thanks!

  11. Tonia @ TheGunnySack.com says:

    How cute!! The blue is sooo summery!!

  12. Great job! I've still yet to sew with a pattern… it's on my summer to-do list!

  13. Looks great! Worth all that effort with the slippy fabric!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  14. Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva says:

    It is lovely. Worth the effort with the fabric.

  15. Stephanie Hillberry says:

    The fabric might have been a pain, but it certainly flatters you! Well done, and kudos for persevering instead of giving up–

    Stephanie Hillberry

  16. Evil or not it looks great!