Friday, 23 March 2018

Kalle Shirt Dress

As part of my new years resolution to try out some Indie sewing patterns, this month I have chosen the Kalle Shirt dress by Closet Case from Minerva to share with you.

First up, I must confess, I made a huge cutting error right from the start. The pattern is very versatile and has a selection of choices on one sheet. I accidentally cut the front of the dress and wait for it... the back of the tunic - it was so short at the back I didn't know what to do especially as it has a shirt hem. It is a bit ironic as the dress has a hem with a long back and short front - mine was the other way around! Anyway more on that later...

The 100% cotton fabric was a joy to work with and is just right for a UK summer dress and for this pattern. It is a lightweight cotton canvas with plenty of  movement and drape. It would make a great skirt, shift dress or capri trousers too. I cut it with pinking shears and hardly used my overlocker because most of the seams are cleverly concealed on this pattern.

To construct the yoke you use the burrito method, apparently. It is mighty tricky to understand the instructions for this unless you label your cut pieces adequately...Which is what I did the second time! You birth the whole dress through the neck hole and have an encased double yoke.

I took my time with the collar: to ensure that they were absolutely even I measured and drew on a sewing line with a 5/8" seam allowance. I recommend doing this with any collar. Ta dah! perfectly symmetrical collars.

Really impressed myself there...

Again marking your pieces will enable you to have the under collar on the bottom and the upper collar on the top. The under collar is slightly smaller therefore it stays rolled underneath as shown.

Now back to that hem. I tried cutting them both to the tunic length but in truth it was too short for what I wanted before I had even turned it under. In the end I had to kind of make a bit of a feature of it and have a different hem. I had some left over from clever cutting out therefore I added a band to give it the length I wanted along with some top stitching. The grainline is going the other way but it looks like it is supposed to be like that.

I am satisfied with the end result, if a little miffed with my initial mistake.

As part of my 2018 craft resolutions - I used the buttonhole foot to make five button holes. It is so easy and on my machine, it is all automatic. 

Overall it is the dress I want for airplane travel for our holiday to France in May. A cardy and tights will see me through until then.

Thanks Minerva. Jo xxxx

Closet Case patterns
In my opinion...
I am tagging this one as one of my 2018 resolutions. Closet File patterns are American so I don't always feel too confident about sizing; measuring yourself is a must. The instruction booklet is photographed and clear for intermediates. I think it is a step too far for beginners. No tracing is required but the pattern has layered multiple styles on it which is how I made my error. The pattern is on tissue paper with seam allowances included. The packet is not over complicated or costly. They are expensive but give long lasting styles and in this case more than one garment on this one which I feel is worth the investment. The modelling imagery does not rely on overly slim models which I like too. 


  1. I really like this shirt dress Jo. The 'feature' of the opposite pattern section looks intentional too. Good thinking there!

  2. I think this looks great! Good save too - I absolutely love the hem.

  3. You have done a brilliant job and I love the design feature, makes it much more interesting. I have this pattern and you've made me want to give it a go.

  4. You're so resourceful. I wouldn't even know where to begin to make the adjustments that come so easily to you. I like the way you extended the hem, it looks very natural to me, almost like it's a two piece outfit, actually. I'd never heard of the burrito method before, how interesting. Thank you for sharing. You look great and you're doing such beautiful work!

  5. Love the fabric it’s lovely and really suits you and the style of dress. What a versatile dress would also make a great summer shirt too I thought.

  6. It looks lovely! What a coincidence, I will be on family vacation to France in May as well:)

  7. Brilliant, I don't think anyone would know you had a mishap with the cutting. I see it as more of a design feature myself. x

  8. This YouTube video demonstrates the burrito method really clearly. I still have to watch it every time! .

  9. You are looking brilliant in your new shirt dress Jo. Love your kntiing and crochet too. Have a great week.

  10. I love the look Jo, the material you've chosen reminds me of a favourite blouse I have. You've done a great job of rescuing your dress. I think I would've put it away totally miffed. Cathy x