Hey there! Thanks for checking out my first post. Today I’m sharing my Michael Miller maxi Fen Dress. The pattern is by Fancy Tiger crafts and is one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend it as a beginner pattern as well as one that is very adaptable. I’ve made five versions of this and they all look so different. With kimono sleeves and no closures it is super quick and satisfying to make.
The inspiration for this dress came from a few different places. First, I have always loved western things, but since watching (and becoming obsessed) with Longmire my discovery and use of Southwestern prints has increased drastically and made me want to incorporate them into my wardrobe even more.
The second inspiration was the Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns. I adore Closet Case Patterns as the size 6 fits me perfectly with no alterations and Heather’s style has a lot of similar elements to mine. I purchased this pattern as soon as it was released and was so excited to try it. Yet after practicing the center panel a few times and not mastering it I decided to use a pattern I was more familiar with for my precious Michael Miller fabric (which I purchased from Marshall Dry Goods.)
I realized by using the V neckline option, lengthening and adding side slits to the skirt, and adding waist ties I had a very similar dress to the Charlie Caftan. For reference, I am 5’2″ and lengthened my skirt to 32″ when cutting it out. I didn’t add to the physical pattern but instead folded it at the lengthen and shorten line to straighten the hem and then measured and traced using my chalk pen. I used the neck band piece to cut out two rectangles of fabric and then made the ties from those pieces, pinning them into the side seams where the bodice and skirt meet before sewing up the side seams. I just tied the ends off in a knot but you can tuck the edges in and make a small hem if you desire, but I’ve washed this a few times since making it and have had no issues with fraying even though my fabric is just cotton.
I absolutely am in love with how this dress turned out and already have plans for two more like it. Never be afraid to find inspiration from seemingly strange places! I am actually inspired by TV shows and music videos all the time. If you have any patterns similar to this one or advice on the Charlie Caftan, please share!
Hat: Forever 21