Completed: The Kalle Shirtdress

18 Sep

I’ve still got a few more summer projects that I haven’t shared yet, so bear with me here! Although, to be fair – we should be well within the throes of summer heat for at least the next month here (yes, it did warm up again!).

Chambray Kalle Dress

I made this dress a couple of months ago, so what you are seeing a dress that has been worn, washed, and loved quite a bit before taking photos! As a result, it’s probably not as crisp and perfect as it would have looked fresh off the sewing machine – but on the flip, it’s definitely something that I’ve had time to move around in and really get to know fit-wise in ways that might not have been so apparent immediately after finishing it. Plus, you can really see how this fabric looks after several trips through the laundry. For ages, I was firmly in the camp of photos before I wore anything I made, but I’ve really softened up on that lately. This makes more of a delay in posting (since nothing is stopping me from putting that shit on RIGHT AWAY), but I think it can also create more of an honest post, in the sense of seeing how something feels after it’s been worn around a bit.

Also, about these photos – sorry about the dark door background? I did take my tripod outside, but I had one neighbor chopping tree limbs in one yard creepin on me, and another literally sitting on her front porch just straight-up staring at me and it made me way too anxious hahaha. I may need to get something to hang over that door when I take photos (this is the door that leads to the back half of my house – where the bedrooms are – from my living room), but at least the light is pretty!

Chambray Kalle Dress

ANYWAY, back to the dress!!!

This is the Kalle Shirtdress, from Closet Case Patterns. I made view C in a size 2, with no alterations. This one is straight out of the envelope! I was so excited when this pattern came out and my finished dress did not disappoint – I wear it as much as I think I can feasibly get away with! The good thing about dressing kind of bland (simple shapes, solid colors, etc) means that people are less likely to realize you’re repeating an outfit. Or maybe they do and they are too polite to say anything, I dunno and I also kind of don’t care.

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

I made my dress up in a beautiful, lightweight linen from Mood Fabrics (which apparently is sold out now, sorry!). This fabric is great – it’s light and airy, and almost translucent. It is perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want anything touching your body. The deep indigo color means that it will also transition nicely into fall – it still looks a bit autumnal, but I won’t be sweating to death in it. Plus, it layers really nicely for those chilly mornings and evenings – it looks great with a cardigan and boots.

I washed my linen three times before cutting it, as I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to shrink at all post-sewing. I believe this also helps keep the linen from wrinkling so much – Carolyn, was it you who told me this? – and I think that may be accurate since this fabric doesn’t really wrinkle much at all now! I’ve worn this dress on all my travels since finishing and it looks great going from suitcase to hanger. I have found that I do need to lightly press the sleeve bands after washing, because they get slightly bunched (probably because the bands aren’t interfaced), but the rest of the dress is fine without any ironing. In these photos, that’s exactly what I did not do. Un-ironed linen dress, y’all!

I finished the insides of my dress with French seams, and topstitched with navy thread. For interfacing, I used this super lightweight fusible interfacing, and then only sparingly – on the button band, upper collar, and outer collar stand – to keep the fabric supported but still soft. The hem is finished with a bias facing, which is an easy way to work with that exaggerated curve. The navy shirt buttons are from Textile Fabrics – and in the true spirit of Textile Fabrics, they are fancy and imported from Italy and cost over $1 each. Ugh. Who knew it was so hard to find navy shirt buttons? Anyway, they look good!

Chambray Kalle Dress

One thing you should know about this dress – it’s not a short dress, but the upper curve of the hem is quite high. And the arm holes are quite low, which means that the dress moves upwards if you need to raise your arms. See how high the dress goes when I reach the sky? Ok, granted – I rarely need to raise my arms *that* high, but it is something to keep in mind! For comparison’s sake, I wear my shorts very very short and only the bottom rose of my leg tattoo sticks out of the hem. If the dress hiked up any higher, you would literally see my underwear. FYI!

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

See how sheer the fabric is? It’s not noticeable when I’m wearing the dress, and also, I wear nude undergarments (nothing patterned).

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

Chambray Kalle Dress

I think that’s about all I have to say about this dress! I really love this pattern and I am excited to try the other versions in different fabrics. I also realize that this is like, my fourth chambray/denim shirtdress – but you know what? I don’t care. At least I’ve figured out what I like, I guess πŸ˜›

Chambray Kalle Dress

** Note: The linen fabric used for this dress was provided to me by Mood Fabrics, in exchange for my participation with the Mood Sewing Network. As always, all opinions are my own!


36 Responses to “Completed: The Kalle Shirtdress”

  1. Addie Marie September 18, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    What a gorgeous fabric for this silhouette! Looks great on you. Well made!

  2. Kelly September 18, 2017 at 11:35 am #

    I need to make that Aldrer chambray shirtdress I’ve been planning for years, so keep the inspiration coming! I love the cut of this dress, and the color of that linen is so rich!

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm #

      Thank you! The color is my favorite part, it’s so perfect!

  3. bethnegrey September 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Love the pics that show how beautifully diaphanous (there’s your big-bucks word for the day πŸ™‚ — welcome!) this fabric is. We’re not even into fall, although it’s rainy today, and I’m thinking ahead to next summer. Specifically, some triple-washed linen (thanks for the tip!) that just might approach this stuff. Might Mood get any back in? As in, should I start haunting their site in hopes? Pretty, pretty dress ❀

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

      NGL, I had to look that word up to figure out what it meant haha but now I know! Thank you haha! I don’t know if Mood will get any more of this specific fabric – most of their stuff is one-offs from the designer, so it’s very hit or miss if they are able to restock certain things – but they always have really nice linen available!

  4. KS_Sews September 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    Well that’s just a tad naked with the arms raised…as I like to say! LOL! It’s super cute and the fabric looks great.

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      I KNOW! I really didn’t want to post that picture but it’s hard to convey just how short the dress is when your arms are raised. It is SHORT and that’s definitely something to be aware of haha!

  5. Anna September 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

    It looks amazing! The perfect staple.

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      Thank you! I agree πŸ˜€

  6. Hailey September 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    This turned out so beautifully! Thank you for sharing. This definitely makes me take a second look at this pattern, which I didn’t initially see fitting into my wardrobe. Please never stop sharing all of your incredible makes! βœ‚οΈ βœ‚οΈ βœ‚οΈ

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

      Thank you! I’ll do my best πŸ™‚

  7. Inclement September 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    The fabric looks quite rich for being so sheer – would you describe it that way? Does it bleed in the wash at all?

    • Inclement September 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

      Maybe more what I meant by that is ‘the way the fabric takes the color looks quite rich’ etc. (When words fail…)

    • LLADYBIRD September 18, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

      It is! It’s very dimensional, almost more like a chambray linen than just a flat weave (if that makes sense?). I haven’t noticed any bleeding, but I don’t mix lights and darks in the wash, either. I can tell you that I didn’t bleed on my hands while I was working with it, which can happen with indigo denims.

  8. elaine ballinger September 18, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    Ahh I got that same fabric and wanted to make a kalle with it but I was worried it would be too sheer so I made an archer instead. It looks amazing as the dress!!

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      Thank you! It is definitely sheer, but less noticeable if you wear underwear that matches your skin tone πŸ˜‰

  9. Chris Griffin September 18, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    LOVE IT!!!
    First, I shall be copying you and making a linen Kalle (in dark green). Great idea!
    Second, I teach and I learned (before class) that I needed tights in my Kalle or to shorten that side jump. On the flip side, makes for a great date night dress πŸ˜‰
    Come to think of it, that huge curve helps with air flow, which in the humid air, that’s sooooo nice πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Do it! Everyone needs a good linen Kalle πŸ™‚

      You are right about it making a good date night dress! I wondered if it wasn’t the most flattering thing to wear (but also didn’t care because it’s so fucking hot here lately), but I always get so many compliments on it. I think the side jump helps with that, ha! πŸ™‚

  10. ellegeemakes September 18, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    This is one of my favorite patterns and your make reminds me of why I love it so! I had to lengthen mine a bit because of the length was ridiculous on me! Also the high low hem was a bit too extreme….it’s such a fun make though and I love your linen choice. Great color on you!

    • Catherine from Canada September 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

      5’11” here with definitely middle-aged knees.
      I lengthened mine too so the front just barely covers my knees (probably about 7 inches) and reduced the difference between the front and back so it’s noticeable but not pronounced.

      I was pleasantly surprised when I put it on; it looks like a shapeless bag on the hanger but looks fantastic when worn, and there’s just enough “sleeve” to make it office appropriate!

      • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:35 am #

        Yeah, I agree – it looks awful on the hanger, but really good when it’s worn on a body! And I love the length of the sleeves too πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Thank you so much!

  11. SaraJane September 18, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

    This dress is super cute on you. I appreciate the honest and thorough review.

  12. PsychicSewerKathleen September 19, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    I love your dress – that fabric is gorgeous! I made up this pattern but sadly it didn’t turn out. I should have made it up just AS IS like so many others did. I fiddled so much with a forward shoulder adjustment and FBA that in end it looked just crazy πŸ™‚ And of course I made all those changes on the pattern itself so the whole works got chucked out (I know LAZY GIRL) Now I’ve seen so many including yours it makes me regretful that I was so hasty. I’m just about to embark on her Ebony and I’ve learned my lesson! No adjustments until I’ve made one and see what if anything it needs.

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:36 am #

      Hah! Oh man I feel your pain – I’ve made that mistake before (one $18 pattern later and NEVER AGAIN lol – always trace first!). You’ll just have to buy another one so you can make your dream Kalle! I swear it’s worth it!!!

  13. Tomasa September 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

    I love your dress. I meant to make a chambray dress this summer but never got around to it. I hope to make it for next summer.

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:36 am #

      There is always next year! πŸ™‚

  14. Sheron September 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

    Love the way you look in the dress. What shoes are you wearing? They look like Keds, but which model? Thanks for answering an off-topic question.

    • LLADYBIRD September 28, 2017 at 11:38 am #

      They’re actually Vans, not Keds πŸ™‚ The style is the Authentic. Hope that helps!!

  15. apparelbuyinghouse November 2, 2017 at 11:59 pm #

    You’re totally right about robe being boring. I made one for myself last summer and I almost died of boredom.but you probably know how to manage this problem if you do self-encased or flat felled seams. I always stumble on this when making pants: in the front crotch area, you flat fell the seam until the zip opening, which opens towards both sides.

  16. apparelbuyinghouse November 3, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    I have a couple of jeans patterns ncluding Ginger of course I much prefer linen to denim in a pant..Love the pants and the top. I love linen but it drives me crazy as I iron everything and it always looks crumpled. Your pants look amazing if they’ve never been ironed that linen is great.


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