Polka-Dot Kalle Shirtdress

Polka-Dot Kalle Shirtdress

I love a good shirtdress. In fact, shirts and shirtdresses are what I’ve sewn the most in the past year or so. I have an assortment of shirtdress patterns in my library, but I still couldn’t pass up trying Closet Case Pattern’s Kalle shirt/shirtdress. Especially after seeing the version made up by True Bias! It looked so effortless and comfortable. Luckily, I’d have this polka-dotted shirting fabric in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to shine.

 

 

I adore this dress. I wanted to wear it so badly, that I used the snaps in my stash rather than waiting to run to the shop for a set of buttons! It’s comfortable, breezy, and I still feel well put together when I wear it. It has versatility to be worn in the fall with tights, a belt, and sweater, or in the summer with sandals! Not to mention the other versions, the tunic to wear over leggings or the crop top for just about everything! And the neckline variations of the band collar, popover placket, or hidden placket. Speaking of which… there might be a band collar popover placket cropped shirt coming up soon.

I sewed up a size 10 with no changes to the fit of the pattern. The shape and fit of the sleeve/sleeve band is great. I know that some bloggers found the thigh curve to be too high, but I like it as drafted because it feels like it allows for leg movement.

Between my husband’s and my taste in clothing, I’ve become admittedly pretty good at a collar and button placket! The directions were written out well, and the sew-along was great with further clarification. I was pleasantly surprised when this pattern was still able to teach me something. One of the things that slows me down when sewing a collar is ensuring that the top stitching catches the under collar. I’d ensure this with hand sewing the seams together, which disrupts my sewing flow and slows me down. The Kalle directions recommend using iron-on hem tape or fabric glue to hold it in place, then top stitching. This worked like a charm! It was fast and clean, everything was held in place like I wanted it. I’ll definitely be using this technique again.

I have a popover placket shirt Kalle cut out and half sewn on my sewing table currently. I couldn’t even wait a month before starting another one! So expect to see that shortly.

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Birb Button Up – Vogue 8772

Birb Button Up – Vogue 8772

 

Don’t worry, my commitment to building my basics in my closet will soon shift away from button up blouses. But look at how nice they’ve been turning out! The more I sew them, the more I learn to enjoy each and every piece. The familiar motions were perfect for getting me through the home stretch of MLS school. Easy to conquer (unlike a lot of my exams), and satisfying at the end.

I’m yet again testing out another pattern for the fit of the bodice, this time it’s Vogue 8772. The pattern has a nice array of options, including a tie neck collar and different sleeve lengths. Due to fabric constraints, I went with a sleeveless collared version altered to have the shorter length of the normal blouse. This is a wearable muslin for me, made up of a discounted cotton fabric from Fabric.com.

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Overall, I’m happy with the out of envelope fit. I needed to add about a half inch to each side around the hips, but that’s an easy fix that I did by grading the width below the waist! Due to the stiffness of the fabric, I noticed some bunching in the sway of my back and may make an adjustment for that in the future if I choose to make this up again.

I finished the armholes and curved hem with bias tape made from the fabric scraps. I love this technique for the curved hem, as there’s no fiddling with easing the curves and it leaves such a clean finish. It’s smooth and effective!

Another detail that I like about this pattern are the little darts on the top of the shoulder blades. They lend a little shape and construction interest to the back of the garment since there’s no yoke.

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I find this pattern will be good for lightweight, draping fabrics and for when I want a flowing blouse. I won’t be again making it up in a more traditional, stiffer shirting cotton as the darts and lack of yoke better lend themselves to lightweight fabrics. This would be a great pattern to make up a rayon blouse with a long, flowing neck tie! Maybe that’s in the future for me now?