Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Design: Open Caftan

Today turned out nothing like I expected. A few friends stopped by out of the blue. One of them bought a ruana from me last year and wanted another one... sort of.

He loved the colors and feeling of the ruana-weight Arctic Fox cloth, but wanted his without the open front, something he could slip over his head and have it stay put. It would be half ruana and half poncho, a wide caftan with open sides.

This design is especially challenging because of how much strain a slashed neckline would put on the cloth. At the V in the front and back, the cloth is already cut and would want to tear. I needed to come up with a design that would heavily reinforce those two spots while giving a little extra strength to the sides of the neckline to hold up the weight of this heavy garment. I turned, of course, to my old towel mockup.

As I work on these new patterns, I take the extra time to write down instructions so I can replicate what I did. This helps to make sure that any successes are repeatable.

And this one looks like a success! By treating the side seams like a feature and putting them on the outside, the inside of the garment is smooth and comfortable on the shoulders. The point reinforcement ends up with between 4 and 12 layers of cloth in different places, made strong by stitching together. This ensures that the neckline will stay stable and last for years.

I badly needed this sale so I dropped everything to create the finished garment today, too. I'll post pics of the final result tomorrow. (If you're curious to see it, I'll be listing it on Etsy earlier. I just don't have time to create another blog post until tomorrow.)

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