Kaftan or Caftan is a single piece dress which can be worn as a shirt or kurti or a nightdress. The only difference is its length. Kaftan requires the entire width of cloth and larger the width, longer will be the length of the sleeves. Stitching is done only at the neck, sides and near the ankles. Caftans are usually stitched with cotton, satin, nylon or silk fabrics and usually have embroidery or a print design near the neck.

The basic construction and method of stitching a kaftan till the ankle is given below.

Material required:

Twice the kaftan length + 20 cm.

Measurements needed:

Take an inch tape and measure the following body measurements. For more details refer how to take body measurements.

Kaftan length (i.e. length of the dress from the shoulders to the ankle)
Waist length
Round neck
Front neck
Back neck


After taking and noting down the measurements, take the cloth and open fully. Fold in the reverse as shown below such that you get 4 layers.

Then mark the following measurements on the cloth. Make sure that the neck region is near the fold on top. 

0 to 1 - Kaftan length + 2” (extra for folding)
0 to 2 – Full cloth width
1 to 3 – Full cloth width
0 to 4 – ¼ chest
4 to 5 – ¼ chest + 1 ½ “
0 to 6 – waist length
6 to 7 – ¼ waist + 1 ½”
0 to 8 – 1/6 round neck + ½”
0 to 9 – 3” (back neck)
8 to 10 – 5 ½” (front neck)

After marking the measurements on the cloth, cut off the extra piece of cloth. This will be used for making the facing piece. Leave an extra allowance of 1/2" along the neck and cut the cloth according to the neck design you want. Make sure that you hold the topmost 2 layers for cutting the front neck and the other 2 layers for cutting the back neck. You will notice that after cutting there will be a neck shaped hole in the cloth. Open the cloth fully and place it over the extra cloth for cutting the facing piece. (Alternately you can use another cloth of contrasting colour to make the facing piece.)

Trace the pattern on the cloth as shown and cut on the line. Draw the same pattern at a distance of 21/2" or 3" and cut this as well. This piece will be the facing piece. Depending on whether you want it inside or outside, stitch it to the neck. Refer finishing the neck for more details. Instead of stitching facing pieces to the neck you can also do piping to finish the neck. After the neck is ready, fold the cloth in the reverse and stitch at the sides in the reverse following the 573 line and do reverse (back) stitches at the ends. Double fold and stitch the area near the ankle. Kaftan is now stitched and ready.


To make the kaftan look more appealing, a draw string can be inserted and tied at the waist. For this a thin waist piece is stitched in the reverse side of the kaftan.

Mark the measurements as given above and finish the neck. For the waist piece, cut a cloth of about 2 ½” width and length equal to half the length of the waist + 1".

For the draw string cut two pieces of cloth with the following measurements

Length = ¼ waist + 10” (you can adjust depending whether you want the string long or short)
Width = 1”

Fold 1/4" on all the sides and fold again such that you form a thin string. Stitch on top and make sure that the thread does not come out. 

Make a small button hole at the centre of the front part of the Kaftan and finish it with a buttonhole stitch. Take one draw string and stitch one end to one side of the kaftan. Similarly stitch another draw string on the other side. Pull out the other ends of both the strings through the button hole. Now take the waist piece and stitch along the waist in the reverse side of the kaftan with a ¼” fold inwards so that the threads do not come out. Make sure that the strings are at the centre. Once the piece is stitched, fold the cloth in the reverse and stitch along the 573 line and secure it with reverse stitches at the ends. Double fold the extra cloth near the ankles and stitch. 


  1. i always wanted to buy this but never knew its name.. thanks for sharing this post amina :)

  2. Perfectly made kaftan and so nicely explained dear.

    Today's recipe:

  3. I am not more into tailoring but you narrated clearly...Thanks.

  4. lovely detailed explanation, now i wish i knew sewing

    Cook like Priya

  5. Hi Amina...
    Im completely new to sewing. Actually i dont know a thing. Even the team seaming and facing i had to google :D I just wanto try sewing a kaftan so i checked the net and luckily found your page. I love your detailing. It's so detailed. thank you. It would be great if you would do videos. Anyways this is great. :)

    tc... God Bless!

    1. Thanks for the comment... I am glad you found the post useful.... will hopefully post videos soon... :)

  6. Hi, the tutorial is explained flawlessly :)
    could i know if the string drawn is around the waist of only in front? would elastic also help?

    1. thanks for the comment.. The string drawn is only in the front as it has been added only to make the Kaftan look more appealing... But you can always modify the construction such that the string is drawn around the waist... i am not very confident on the use of elastic though..

  7. Hi amina. I am a fashion designer too.but I always love to see and use others ideas and cutting methods. Your explanation is very simple and easy to understand. Can you please upload cutting method for a full length sleeve kaftan.Thank you

  8. Thank you. It's a very detailed and easy to follow set of instructions. It made it so easy and being a newbie to sewing i wass able to get a beautiful perfectly fitting Kaftan done in just about an hour.

    1. Thank you so much... I am glad it came out well :)

  9. Am really grateful for your kindness and detailed illustration I learnt a lot


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