I didn’t set out to become a fan girl of Closet Case Patterns, but that’s what seems to have happened!
After making Closet Case’s Charlie Caftan twice (here and here) and loving it, I decided I had to give Heather’s other patterns a try. I chose the Kalle, although at first glance, it didn’t seem to be the pattern for me. The pattern envelope drawing wasn’t that appealing to me to be honest.
Then there was the description of the shirt/dress as loose fitting… always bad news for a smallish person like me. But then, I saw a Kalle shirt on a sales person at one of my local fabric stores that was so, so cute, I had to have it.
I do admire Heather’s design. The pattern is a great contemporary update of the traditional shirtdress. There’s so much to like about this pattern. The sleeves are cut as part of the bodice, which makes construction a breeze. You can make choices to modify the pattern to fit your mood; a hidden placket versus a regular placket? A band collar or standard collar? It’s all up to you.
As luck would have it though, my concerns about the style were realistic. The fit is very loose and boxy, which meant that even the smallest size was a bit much for me. Here’s my first version. I thought I’d figured out how to make it work, when my husband said, ‘hey, great fabric, BUT isn’t that dress WAY TOO BIG?” (Gutsy guy, don’t you think?)
After snarling a bit, and explaining to him that ‘this is the way it’s supposed to look’, I took a snap shot of myself. Darn, if he wasn’t right!! It looked big, but not in that, ‘oh, i just picked up my boyfriend’s shirt from off the floor’ way. So, I went back to the drawing board, adjusted the side seams, and smiled about the whole thing.
My fabric is Cotton and Steel from last season (Fabric Depot), and the cotton is really nice…not too stiff or heavy, but it isn’t as flowy as rayon or silk would be. I mention this because I believe my fabric choice contributed to the boxy look I experienced before my modifications. I think the Kalle would be great in a soft linen, or maybe a rayon or silk.
Besides taking in the side seams, I also modified the length of my Kalle. I didn’t think I would love the look of what seemed to be a exaggerated high-low hem. So I added 3 inches to the front. It is still pretty short on me, and I am 5’4″. Not sure what it would have looked like if I hadn’t lengthened it, LOL!
With those modifications, this dress is now in the category of ‘love’. It will likely move quickly into my shirt dress hall of fame. It’s fun to wear, and fun to sew….there’s something so satisfying about sewing a shirt – the placket, the collar, even the button holes are so gratifying. It’s almost as good as the smell of a new book when you first open it, don’t you think?
Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!