Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Caftan - Looking Fabulous in a Tent


I've recently been surprised by how much interest there has been in a sewing pattern for a caftan which I found and listed in my Etsy shop. Back in the 1970s a few hippie types sported caftans. I even had one myself. I remember it clearly, although unfortunately I don't have any photos. Picture this... a primrose yellow cheesecloth floor length garment, with green and orange embroidered flowers around the neckline and down the front. I clearly remember wearing it on stage at a school talent contest when I was 14 or 15, when I played guitar and sang "Where Do the Children Play", from Cat Stevens "Tea For the Tillerman" album, very badly. Needless to say, I did not win. However, I like to think I looked great. Maybe I'm fantasizing again.

1974 pattern

That was probably the same year that this pattern was published. This is much more stylish, though, and not so hippie flavoured as my gear.

This pattern looks to me like something which Maggie Tabberer would have worn. Maggie Tabberer is a famous Australian businesswoman who was a model and later a TV personality in the 60s and 70s. Her trademark look was, and still is, a caftan type garment with very short hair or a turban. She is always incredibly stylish, even today in her 70s.

Check her out:
Then, I found these wonderful crocheted versions. They must have been quite heavy to wear, and difficult to launder, but they look very whimsical and floaty.

I  love this cream one, it looks so graceful and dainty. I can't quite make out her shoes, but I suspect they might be platforms.

This pink one looks more serious to me, and reminds me of a Greek goddess, but maybe it's just the hairstyle (and the view).

These designs are from a Villawool book from the 70s. I've never seen anything else like them, and I have over 1,000 books.

I wonder who would be brave enough to wear one today?

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