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.

Advertisements

Soma Swimsuit

Soma Swimsuit

Last summer, I struggled to find a supportive swimsuit that didn’t have multiple inches of bust padding. I wasted so much time in dressing rooms, looking at myself falling out of shrunken breast cups. Around this time, I came across Lladybird’s beautiful make of the Soma Swimsuit and was inspired to muster up the time and confidence to try my own version.

Version 1: Floral fabric from Etsy vendor BigFabricDeals

I was definitely intimidated by using swimsuit fabric, but it is truly no worse than sewing with knits. It’s a bit slippery and stretchy and requires the use of a zig zag stitch, but it is relatively stable compared to some rayons. My recommendation would be to cut out the pieces using a rotary cutter and make sewing indications with shallow notches.

Version 2: Stormy fabric from The Fabric Fairy

For both of the versions, I extended the top of the high waisted bikini by approximately 2 inches so that it fell on my natural waist. Since this pattern is a New Zealand pattern, seam allowances are in centimeters. In the floral swimsuit, I used 1/2 in seam allowances but found that they were too big. I was much happier with the 3/8 seam allowances in the storm swimsuit. Additionally, I changed elastic from a 1/2 in swimsuit elastic to a 1/4 in swimsuit elastic. This made it fit better, and the elastic roll over looks much nicer with thinner elastic.

DSC05059

In my first version, I fully followed the instructions and left the front bodice seams exposed around the triangle, finishing with a normal serged edge. After wearing it, I found that it bothered me that those seams were the only ones not enclosed. Why should they be out and about?! In my stormy swimsuit, I followed Lladybird’s recommendation to burrito the triangle like a yoke and enclose them. To do this, I attached the right side of the triangle together with right sides of the lining and patterned fabric together. To attach the left side of the triangle to the other bust cup, you have to roll/fold the bust cups within the middle of the triangle and move them out of the way of the seam line. Then, pin the right sides together again carefully stitch, ensuring not to catch the bust cups in the seam. The top of the triangle was a little fiddly and I had to unpick a few stitches and redo a small section, but I’m really happy with the end result and found it to be entirely worth it.

These swimsuits came together much more quickly than I had expected. Even though the bodice has many parts, they are relatively straight forward and the assembly order simplifies the process immensely. I truly enjoyed making these! And it feels so great to have a swimsuit that holds me up and makes me feel fully confident. I can see myself making more swimsuits in the future as the need arises.

DSC05060

Bonus photo of Rosie helping me take pictures, always such a helper.