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Sew a Summertime Cover-up in 7 Steps

Alter a basic T-shirt pattern to make a breezy summertime cover-up.
A deep-slit is added and highlighted with decorative stitches and a tie closure. Follow the steps below to alter the pattern and then create the caftan (cover-up).

Make a fashion statement on the beach by following 7 steps to sew a summertime cover-up —or caftan—that is light and flowy.

It’s easy to design and create fun cover-ups you’ll love to wear based on a basic T-shirt pattern. We added length and width to this Simplicity 2190 View C shirt and turned it into a beautiful, ankle-length caftan.

different styles of outfits

Blue shirt
We are using style C from the pattern. You will learn how to alter it below.

Alter the pattern

1. Lengthen the T-shirt into a caftan. Measure from your upper shoulder point to the desired caftan length. Extend the pattern to the new length, plus hem allowance. This design is 53 inches long.
Lengthen the T-shirt into a caftan.

2. Add width to the body. On the pattern front, draw an angled line from the underarm to the hem. Angle the line to be a few inches away from the side seam at the hem. Draw a second line extending horizontally from the underarm a few inches and then down vertically to the hem. Cut along the lines and spread the pattern pieces apart. Determine the total extra width you wish to add to the garment. Each slash represents 1/8 of the added width. (The garment front and back each have four slashes.) For the design shown, we added 24 inches to the garment circumference at the hem (3 inches in each slash).

Add width to the body.

3. Make a new back pattern.
Apply the length and width alteration to the back pattern piece.

4. Mark the neckline slit at the center front. Do not cut. The example slit is 7 inches long.

5. Draft neckline facings. Follow the back neckline to draft a facing that is by 1 1/2 inches wide. For the front facing, draft a facing pattern that is 1 1/2 inches wide from the neck and neckline slit edges. Don’t forget to extend the…

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Previous: Design a Chic, Flowing Skirt with Fabric Strips Next: Create Luxe Fabric-covered Hangers


  1. user-1131771 | | #1

    Thank you. Very useful and easy to follow

  2. User avater
    SageCombs | | #2

    wow very nice...

  3. User avater
    RubyGarcia | | #3

    Awesome and easy Useful

  4. User avater
    nathanwood | | #4

    wow really nice summer design..

  5. User avater
    Natasha1 | | #5

    wow very nicee.

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