I know lots of people have negative feelings towards Walmart. I know a few who refuse to step foot in the store or even stop in the parking lot. They have their own good reasons but for lots of America, Walmart has provided a less expensive purchase venue or in my case a venue to purchase a cheap, perhaps-disposable item for short-term use. I was working for the Govt after Katrina and sent to Louisiana for computer support. At night I stayed in a fairly nice hotel. I had two complaints
- Other guests did not understand that ‘commercial grade’ laundry equipment was not the same as ‘handles 5 loads at once’. They were always marking the hotel laundry machines as broke when the truth was they needed fewer clothes in any given load.
- My room was freezing cold. I’m sure the staff had at one time been berated because a guest insisted he didn’t leave the heat up and was forced to endure a stifling hot room until it cooled because of staff incompetency. Myself, I like the warmth. I set the temperature at 65. The staff turned it down to 50. They absolutely were not going to be beat up over a hot room. Consequently, I froze. It took a while to warm up the room that was hovering near meat-preservation levels.
I did ask the management to let Housekeeping know that I was a bit cold-blooded and would appreciate it if they wouldn’t turn the A/C so low. That worked for a day or too and then I was back to freezing and hunting for extra quilts to cuddle in during the month of August.
The best solution presented it during one of my quick trips to Wally World picking up a few incidentals i.e. toothpaste stuff like that. I rounded the corner and saw this caftan.
I knew immediately I wanted it. At a price of $9.99 I couldn’t afford to leave it there. It was a 100% polyester satin. Soft and smooth on the face. Not quite so smooth on the interior. But I didn’t care. I was so happy to be able to get off work; go to the hotel; take a shower and slip this on. It worked well during my stay and was in good condition so I took it home instead of throwing it away.
Over the years, I’ve found this Caftan to be superior for travel. It packs down into a little space. Serves as a bathrobe, extra layer in the hotel and a decent cover up between spa and room. (What fat, elderly lady wants to wander through the lobby in a near naked condition?) I’ve had it for what, about 10 years? But it hasn’t looked really good the last 3-4. It was a cheap fabric and snaged easily. But it is the most useful and comfortable caftan I’ve ever owned. Partly that’s the travel friendly status, but also the proportions are just right for me. It’s not so long that I trip walking up or down stairs; but covers me completely. Not so wide that I find it in the chips and dip, but again if I’m cold I can pull my arms inside and be completely warmed. The neckline is not too low but both wide and deep enough to easily slip on and off. I examined the construction carefully and made my own.
My fabric is again a polyester satin but it has been permanently crinkled. The crinkles are almost a half-inch deep. I considered several fabrics and decided upon poly again because of the fade factor. Hot tubs are always chlorine baths. I lose more swimsuits to fading and rot than actual wear. Since the first poly caftan survived so well, I decided to repeat the fabric. I had 3 yards to start with and about 4″ left over. Two pieces 41″ wide and 50″ long are cut. The shoulder is sloped 1.5″ from the neck. Armscyes 9″ deep neckline about 7″. Necklines can be changed to suit yourself. The original was a self fabric strip along the V-neck with a big back neckline facing. I’ve used a cotton/poly knit band 2-3/4 wide which finishes at 1″ (I used 3/8″ SA). The two pieces are serged along the long shoulder seam then the neckline is finished. The long outer edge is finished next. I used a 3-thread rolled hem with plain old serger thread.
Fold the garment wrong sides together at the shoulder and pin carefully so that the hems are even. Then measure 9″ down from the shoulder and 4″ in from the rolled hem. Start at the armscye and straight-stitch to about 4″ before the hem which would be over your feet. This forms the Flange shown above, the armscye and the hem vents. The original was back stitched at the beginning and end of that seam. Me, I prefer to play with my decorative stitches and used the triangle from Menu 9:
I mirrored the triangle at the bottom so that they seemed to point at each other kind of like this
Well I like it.
I created a paper pattern because I know I’ll want to make others in the future. Total time is about 3 hours and I have a pattern for future use!
I love this garment so much, I have to add one more jpg