DIY: Super Simple Winter Kaftan

plaid wraps if you really hate sewing (but seriously this is so easy!)

I have a bunch of new projects coming up for blog tours and networks and stuff, but today I wanted to share with you a very simple project that I think is absolutely perfect for fall! I made this cozy popover out of a couple yards of this plaid washable wool (available in a bunch of different colorways) and it was a great afternoon project. (Skip to below the break for instructions!)

Inspired by the plaid kimono/poncho/wrap things I've been seeing these past few falls as well as by the classic 70s kaftan, this item (which I'm really not sure what to call--kaftan? poncho? I don't know) is as warm and snuggly as wearing a blanket but a little more put together since it is belted for waist definition! The belt shows on the front side, and then snugs around your waist, leaving the back of the garment hanging loose. It's basically this, but in plaid wool. Amazing how fabric choice affects the style of a garment, huh? ;)

I took my cozy blanket kaftan over to Perkin's Orchard, which is apparently Durham's oldest and largest fruit & vegetable stand. I'd somehow never been here despite it being crazy close to my house. It's very unassuming from the street, so I was surprised to find that they had a little pumpkin patch as well as mums, muscadine grapes, local honey and homemade jam, and $5 bags of apples. Very autumnal! The man who runs it (7 days a week) took over the family business at the age of ten and has been running it for about 12 years so I'll let you do the math on that one. He said they do all-you-can-dip chocolate fondue AND this year they will be expanding into Christmas trees and poinsettias so you can guess where I'll be spending all my time this fall and winter... and you'll probably be seeing some stereotypically wintry pictures when those trees come in! #shoplocalyall!

Do you have a go-to item on those days you really just want to wear your down comforter all day? I have an ancient and very pilly cardigan that I wear on days that I am feeling chilly and "CBA" as the Brits say, but I think this will be my new upgraded version. If you want to make your own, click to below the break for instructions!


ps: by the end of next week it's supposed to be back up to 80 degrees again :( ugh

Materials needed:
About 2 yards fabric (mine is "washable wool" which is 50% wool and 50% poly for easy care)
Seam ripper
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread
A belt to wear with your poncho

1. Drape your tape measure over your shoulder to measure from your front to your back at the length you want your poncho to be (including fringe). Your poncho will be as wide as the wool fabric, and as long as this measurement.
2. Cut a head-sized hole in the center of your poncho.
3. Either fold under the neckline and topstitch down OR trace the hole onto another piece of fabric and trace several inches away all the way around the hole to make a facing (I did this second option).
4. Trim off the selvedges of your fabric, then zig-zag an inch away from all edges. Carefully remove the thread one by one on each edge to create a fringe. This will take a while, so turn on a tv show or a podcast to pass the time! Go allllmost up to the zig zag stitching.
Optional: You can wear your poncho as-is, but if you want to be able to belt your poncho, try it on and determine how high you want to the belt to be, and mark with pins. Remove the poncho (and even out the pins if necessary) and then make two buttonholes the width of the belt you plan in wearing with your poncho. I decided how far apart they should be by putting on my poncho and determining the most flattering amount of gathered fabric. Too close together and your belt will just peek through, too far apart and you'll have unnecessarily bulky gathering. You can either use the buttonhole option on your machine or do what I did, and make a little facing for your button hole, sew an oval the size of your belt width, and pop it through to the interior.

To wear, put the poncho over your head and the put the tail of the belt through one buttonhole, around your waist and through the other buttonhole to fasten. 

Let me know if anything is unclear and I'll clarify!

allie J.

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  1. This is just what I need to make!

  2. Super cute Allie! I think I need to make a few of these as well!



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