Sewalong: Closet Core Kalle Shirt Dress Part 1
I love browsing ready to wear (RTW) fashions to get inspiration for my next sewing project! While I consider myself a fan of eye-catching, swishy-drapey fabrics I do often end up reaching for more practical clothing when getting dressed in the morning because, let’s face it, my days are mostly spent lugging groceries, carting kids around, hanging out at the playground and cleaning stuff up. Enter this denim shirtdress from Monki. Simple, but still cool. Casual and comfortable, but also a bit special thanks to those white buttons, which give it a little ‘pop’. Perfect.
Luckily I already had some lightweight denim chambray in my stash which pretty much fit the bill. Admittedly it is a bit lighter in both colour and weight than the RTW version but I thought it was close enough.
I considered using a couple of other shirt dress patterns in my collection, such as the Fibremood Indira or the I Am Patterns Irma, but ultimately decided to finally get round to making that Closet Core Kalle, which I bought a couple of years ago but sadly neglected in favour new and exciting pattern releases. Sorry Kalle. Now I feel bad about taking so long to get round to this pattern because it is such a solid staple and I’m certain I’m going to get a ton of wear out of this one.
The high-lo hem is this pattern’s trademark and diverges from the inspo dress but I was happy to give it a go for something different! The sleeves on the Kalle, whilst also ‘grown on’ just like the RTW dress, are more neat and fitted and don’t have that same ‘drop shoulder’ feeling. I would be keen to try to hack/draft another shirtdress where the sleeves more closely resemble the Monki dress because I really like that cool, laid-back vibe.
This was a really enjoyable make! In the coming segments I’ll be sharing my process in case you’ve also had Kalle on your radar for a while now and need a little nudge, or perhaps you are just a visual person who prefers skimming step by step photos to get the gist of things instead of having to read the instructions or decipher illustrations (both of which are very good in this pattern, I must say. (Although one criticism I had read somewhere concerned stay stitching the neckline PRIOR to working that burrito to prevent stretching out, which is a fair point I guess, but we’ll get into the details later).
It’s worth mentioning at this point that there are several options included in this pattern, which makes it a real workhorse and somewhat of a bargain. There are three length options: Cropped Shirt, Tunic Shirt and Shirt Dress. There are also three closure options: Hidden Placket, Popover Placket (Where the buttons only go halfway down the dress, therefore not compatible with the cropped shirt option) and Standard Placket. There are two collar options: Band Collar (which is a standing up collar, just like a Mandarin collar only it has a button on it) and Standard Collar. It also has two pleat options: Box Pleat and Inverted Pleat. It sounds rudimentary but you’ll need to decide which combination you’ve settled on before getting started so you can be clear on which specific instructions you’ll be following along with.
I decided on the following: Shirtdress length with a standard collar and standard placket (to allow those white buttons to do their ‘thang’) with the inverted pleat, for a more slimming effect as I had heard some mention the box pleat adding more volume to the overall silhouette.
Now that I have made the dress I definitely want to try out the cropped shirt version with a hidden placket. Or maybe two shirts: one with a standard collar and one with a band collar. This pattern definitely has TNT potential!
So why don’t you have a browse through your stash and a think about which Kalle combo you’ll be sewing, then join me in the next instalment: Sewalong: Kalle Shirt Dress by Closet Core Patterns Part 2. See you there! Leanne xx
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