Completed: Cropped Linen Kalle Shirt

11 Jun

I finished this shirt about 2 months ago but am just now getting around to posting it! I have worn it TONS since finishing, and it’s definitely one of my 2018 Summer Staples.

Linen Kalle Shirt

This is the Kalle Shirt from Closet Case Patterns. I made the dress version in linen last year, and I wore it a LOT, so I was interested to try the shirt for this summer. It’s a basic little collared/buttoned shirt that has plenty of options (exposed or hidden placket, collar or no collar, cropped or long), and I like the nice loose fit paired with the banded kimono sleeves. I always felt so pulled together when wearing the dress, and I figured the shirt would make me feel similarly.

Linen Kalle Shirt

I did make a few changes to the pattern due to fabric amounts & personal preferences. Having sewn a few Closet Case Patterns in my time, I find the cropped version of the tops to be VERY cropped. I measured the length of this top and realized it was going to be too short for me to comfortably wear, so I added an extra 2″ of length, which makes the finished top reach right at the waistband of my pants (the shorts I’m wearing in these photos are just thrifted jeans that I cut off, FYI, but they hit close to the same spot that my Ginger jeans do). I added length to both the front and the back, however, I thought the back looked ridiculously long once it was finished so I chopped that added length back off. The back is still longer than the front, only not as dramatic now.

The other changes I made were due to fabric shortages, as I was working with a very small piece of fabric for this shirt. I had an offcut piece of medium weight white linen that measured out at less than 1.5 yards (I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was definitely less than the suggested 2 yards that the pattern calls for), which I was bound and determined to use. It was just *barely* enough to eek out the main pieces of the shirt, and I did not have enough fabric to cut the facings or the pocket. I made an executive decision to finish the hem with a bias facing (made of an entirely different fabric – cotton lawn to be exact) and leave off the pocket.

I can’t say for certain, but I believe the fabric came from an Elizabeth Suzann sample sale last year (hence the weird size). It’s a nice medium weight linen that feels wonderful and also does not wrinkle as much as the lighter weight linens – it’s actually very similar to the Vivaldi Linen from The Confident Stitch (I think the Vivaldi is slightly softer, but that also may be because I’ve washed it more), if you are looking for a good sub ๐Ÿ™‚ (and go back a couple posts to my OAL Announcement for a discount code that’s still good as of this writing :)). This shirt has done really well with traveling especially – the worst wrinkling I get is at the collar, which I usually end up fixing with my flat iron ๐Ÿ˜› As you can see, it does rumple a bit but I actually like that.

Linen Kalle Shirt

Linen Kalle Shirt

Linen Kalle Shirt

Sewing up the shirt was easy – I’ve made dozens of these sorts of patterns, so I feel like I can almost do it in my sleep at this point. The seams are flat-felled and there’s lots of satisfying topstitching (albeit white). I realized about halfway through that the shirt really, really needed that pocket – I think it just looks barren without it. But, y’all, I am not exaggerating when I say that I had fumes of fabric leftover after cutting. You’d think I’d be able to squeeze out a pocket – it’s a tiny piece, after all – but I was playing some serious Fabric Tetris as it was and the leftover pieces were miniscule. After thinking on it for a minute, I realized I did have a couple of pieces that were about half the size of a pocket… so, again, I made an executive decision and decided to sew them together to make a full sized piece that I could then cut the pocket out of. To make this look a bit more intentional, I flat-felled the connecting seam. I can’t even tell you how pleased I am with this save; the shirt looks great with the pocket and that flat-felled seam look intentional as fuck amirite.

Hemming was a whole other beast that I had to work my mind through before I came to a solution. I usually just hem my curved woven hems with a bias facing – it creates a beautiful finish with minimal effort – but the way the side seams are curved on this top doesn’t work terribly well with bias, it really needs a facing. Especially when you are connecting that to a flat-felled seam (which would otherwise be hidden under the facing). I ended up hemming the front and back separately, then clipping the side seam and bartacking it down over where the curved side meets. One thing I didn’t consider is that the seam allowance for the hem (due to the facing) is 5/8″, and you sew a bias facing on at 1/4″… so my side seams have extra seam allowance and thus overlap differently than the pattern intended. It’s not a bad thing, but it is different! Something to keep in mind if you decide to omit the facing and use bias instead.

Linen Kalle Shirt

Linen Kalle Shirt

It looks cool buttoned up all the way, but let’s be real – I won’t wear it like this, like, ever haha

Linen Kalle Shirt

Linen Kalle Shirt

The aforementioned side seam with overlapping curves and a bartack!

Linen Kalle Shirt

My cool little pocket ๐Ÿ˜€

Linen Kalle Shirt

I think that’s all for this little shirt! I’m surprised at how much I love wearing it – it’s been in regular rotation since I’ve finished, as it’s light and airy in the heat but still looks very pulled together – and I get loads of compliments on it. I’d love to make another in a different color or even a patterned fabric, once I find something suitable. Making collared shirts is so much fun!


26 Responses to “Completed: Cropped Linen Kalle Shirt”

  1. Michelle June 11, 2018 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve had my eye on this pattern for the past month, and your version inspires me to finally go for it. I love how you were able to creatively use the amount of fabric you had, and the pocket is perfect. As always, you do beautiful work! After years of failures with Big 4 patterns, I’ve been trying Indie patterns and am learning how to do alterations. I have a few garments now that I wear proudly–such a great feeling to make something I love. Thank you so much for the sewing inspiration and for everything you’ve taught me through your blog.

    • LLADYBIRD June 11, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      Thank you so much! This comment makes me so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. heather June 11, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    looks fab! thanks again for all your insights! have a sweet summer! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. dobbs1222 June 11, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    Ooooooo guuurrrl, I am lovin this Kalle! I’ve been living in my own linen Kalle dress since I finished it and am eager to make a (lengthened) cropped version but wasn’t sure about fabric… I think more linen is the answer! (Also, thanks for the notes about fabric requirements – I’m always trying to squeeze patterns out of less yardage and definitely would’ve gotten into trouble here!) I’m wondering if you sized down at all for this one? This pattern has so much ease but yours doesn’t look quite as big as others I’ve seen. I sized my shirtdress down a good bit for a slimmer silhouette but it’s a little too snug in the shoulders. BTW the arm tattoo is looking great!

    • LLADYBIRD June 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

      I’m in between sizes with Closet Case Patterns; so I cut the smaller of the sizes (my measurements are a 1/2″ bigger than one size and a 1/2″ smaller than the bigger size). So, yes, I sort of sized down in a sense I guess? The shirt definitely still has a lot of ease, but it hangs really nicely in this fabric. And thank you!

  4. April Berlanga June 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    love the shirt, but let’s take a second to appreciate how great your hair looks in these photos!

    • LLADYBIRD June 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

      Haha thank you! I was having a good hair day:)

  5. Anita June 11, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

    Impressive, and I admire your tenacity!!

  6. Faye Lewis June 11, 2018 at 6:42 pm #

    So cute and looks really good on you.

  7. liz-o-matic June 11, 2018 at 8:55 pm #

    This turned out great! I can see why you’re getting so much use out of it… and I love how you were able to turn the frustrations of your pocket into an *actual* design feature! As opposed to the things we fuck up and just *call* a design feature ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD June 12, 2018 at 9:14 am #

      Ha! I’m definitely proud of myself for thinking that solution up on the fly! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Katherine Crisp June 12, 2018 at 1:34 am #

    Love the pocket it looks like a higher end product with a designer touch. Who new frugality could lead to quality! Shirt looks fabulous on you. Thanks for more sewing inspiration.

  9. Lisa Poblenz (patternandbranch) June 13, 2018 at 5:38 am #

    I love this! It looks great. Nice save with the fabric and the hemmingโ€”it looks 100% intentional.

  10. Sarah W June 13, 2018 at 6:09 am #

    Great tweaks that make it unique, love it when thereโ€™s no fabric leftovers too!

    • LLADYBIRD June 13, 2018 at 9:07 am #

      Me too! I feel like I’m leveled up to expert when that happens ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. JillyL June 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

    Do you still have the issue that you had with the dress of the entire garment raising up when you raise your arm? I’m think that I’d love to make one of these but I hate when the clothes ride up

    • LLADYBIRD June 16, 2018 at 9:03 am #

      It still pulls up. This is because the arm hole is very deep. The only way to prevent this is to make the arm hole smaller, which will change the way the shirt looks. So you’d either want to lengthen the shirt a lot more, or use a different pattern altogether.

  12. fionaparker17 June 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

    Ah Lauren this has made me see this pattern in a totally different light! Love your changes and fabric choice and especially like the little pocket detail. Great idea

  13. Dakota April 17, 2019 at 9:12 pm #

    Clearly late to the ballgame here, but I bought a beautiful white/pink grid linen from mood, early this spring and it’s been calling out for a pattern like this. I knew it was hanging around somewhere, and I’m so glad someone super talented covered it first!


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