Tips For Sewing The Charlie Caftan Bodice Panel

I thought I’d share my tips for sewing the bodice panel into view B of the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns. These steps are covered in pages 13-15 of the PDF instructions.

As the instructions tell you, accuracy is needed. So, how did I go?

bodice band chalk

On the reverse of the interfaced panel piece, I chalked the sewing lines between the circle marks at each corner. Instructions don’t suggest this, but I wanted to give myself a fighting chance of accurate sewing.

The first step is to sew the bodice panel to the gathered front centre front bodice. There’s a lot going on here – gathers, attaching two sections, and a row of sewing that needs to accurately end at places indicated by large circles. (You do need to end your row of sewing accurately at these circles.)

Because of all this, it felt best to hand baste first.

For basting, I used Corticelli silk thread. (Silk thread slips out easily when you want to remove the row of basting stitches.)

charlie caftan basting bodice panel

Then, I followed the detailed pattern instructions for machine sewing in the panel. Trust the instructions and follow them. The panel reverse looks like this when you’re done.

sewn in panel charlie caftan

I trimmed some excess bulk from my raw seams. Not too much – you want enough seam allowance left to attach your rear bodice band to.

trimming bodice band charlie caftan

I followed the rest of the instructions and pinned my rear bodice band down.

charlie caftan pinning bodice band

And took 30 minutes to hand stitch the rear bodice band in place.

Finished bodice band, photographed from right side of make.

One other tip. Keep an eye on the centre seam in the front bodice. It runs right down your chest and any odd pattern matching will be pretty obvious. Same goes for the bodice panel – just bear in mind pattern placement as you cut pieces out.

I hope this helps!

This entry was posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Tips For Sewing The Charlie Caftan Bodice Panel

  1. Ann says:

    I’m waiting for my paper pattern to arrive, is the bodice band on the front of the dress and the back and is photo three the inside of the dress or the right side, many thanks

  2. Katie M says:

    I ordered a digital copy of the Charlie Pattern yesterday. It comes with an A0 size download. I took the file to a local copy shop and they printed the A0 sheets with their plan printer for only $2 per page. No waiting for a posted pattern, and much cheaper than postage to Singapore. Plus, it means I can cut out the pattern without having to trace it. If I need another size, I can always print it again.

  3. Anne Frances says:

    Very helpful. I am sure you are right about the need for accuracy and careful pattern matching. And tacking by hand is always your friend!When your supply of silk thread runs out you might think about Empress Mills spun silk thread. it is very useful for tacking especially if you want to tack something down before pressing – for example to ensure a tailored edge is just slightly rolled under. The stitch marks of the tacking really don’t show.

  4. Michelle says:

    Thanks! I just made this dress yesterday and was completely flummoxed by the pattern directions for this panel. Spent a good hour trying to figure it out before giving up and going my own way (which can be summed up by “covered hole front and back with rectangular bits”). Your photographs make it much more clear to me.

    I folded and pressed my rectangle corners and pinned the interfaced one to the front, wrong side to right side matching circle marks, and stitched it down. For the back I hand basted and then machine stitched, following the same line of stitches from the front. It looks totally fine and was really easy. That said, I used a busy print so you can’t really see the panel anyway.

  5. Very nicely done! I see you do not use thermofusible interfacing… I wonder why…
    Using silk thread to baste is pure luxury, girl! I use old bad thread… but i can imagine the pleasure of silk… is it very expensive? because I baste everything allways before sewing and I use a lot!

  6. The one you fuse to the fabric with your iron. I always use it because you don’t have to sew it, you simply cut the piece without seam allowances and fuse it with the hot iron. You can buy it anywhere, in MaCulloch&Wallis have very good ones, but nowadays they are all good, and they usually are machine washable, which is important for those things you wear and wash often. In the past, the bad quality ones got bubles in the fabric after washing them… but not anymore. They have white and black, usually, and also woven and jersey (for leather, or jersey fabric). In fact, I have never used the non-thermofusible one, haha!

  7. Andrea says:

    Looks like it turned out well in the end … will have to try this out for myself!

  8. Pingback: Caftan What? – -Huevos Fritos-

Leave a Reply