Also I forgot to add this to the show notes: my wife’s recipe for turning a duvet cover into a hot-weather garment.
Single duvet cover to kaftan: a very basic pattern.
The idea is to make something for wear in very hot weather, with minimum fuss and effort in very hot weather. Kaftans are better than swimming trunks because of evaporation, or something: ask any desert-dweller.
Decide how wide you want the kaftan: I went for 95cm for Roger, who is Large Lad. Someone less of a size might need smaller than that.
Decide how long: six inches or so from the ground is a good hem length. Measure your victim from nape of neck to floor and plan accordingly.
Mark up and cut out a double rectangle to the size you have decided, with 3cm hem allowance; use the sealed end of the duvet cover for the head end, thus saving a seam.
Hem all the edges, ie two long hems up and down each of the sides, two shorter ones across each bottom: I did simple turn-over-twice hemming on the machine.
In the short side which already has a seam in it, cut a hole for the head smaller than you think you will need; I used a dinner-plate to draw a part-circle in the centre of the head-end seam, and I made the head-hole too large, so it is worth a bit of trial and error at this point: you can always take off a bit more, but you can’t put any back.
Check it on your subject until he or she can easily get it over his or her head.
Hem the neck all round using 25mm wide bias binding and the zigzag stitch on the machine.
Finally, put the two sides together and from the right side, sew down about 6-8cm in from the hem a straight seam up the sides of the garment, fastening front and back together, starting about 38cm from the top-seam and ending about the same distance from the hem. For a woman, the armhole might need to be shorter in the interests of decency.
If you don’t have an old duvet cover to hand, any light cotton material that is not actually see-through will do; you may have to add a couple of inches to the length of front and back and start by making a seam across the shoulder (as it were), in which case you could if you wanted do the top properly with a pair of shoulder seams and a neckline nicked from the pattern for any dress or shirt; but you don’t need to do that last bit. It works without, as a simple rectangle.
NB. You can fancy this up with different bindings for the hems, and shaping the shoulders and hemlines, and such, but that is the basic pattern. How much tacking and pressing the seams you do is between thee, thy conscience and thy God. I mostly used pins. Pressing in hot weather is not fun.
NB2. Bias binding ought to be easy enough, but if you have never used it: fold it over the raw edge you want to hem with the same amount of bias binding on each side of the cloth edge, pin it in place, sew it in place (tacking if you must). The reason for using it is that it will go round corners and not ruckle up.