Easy, Breezy, Summery : : My Kalle Shirt Dress : : Closet Case Patterns

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

A windy day and my Kalle Shirt Dress by Closet Case Patterns comes out to play. It’s a simple enough make that morphed into a project. A very fun project. I really enjoyed playing with the stripe placement, the hem shape and the garment length.  And? Well me likey. Me likey a lot.  I know…the end result is not ‘WHOA WOT, how did you do that?’…but still..I think that the attention to detail makes for a modern and pretty dress.

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Okay, fabric details up first. It’s 100% cotton shirting…crisp and cool…150cm wide and with the stripes running vertically through the yardage. I actually bought this late last summer…stash buster….with the intention of making a shirt dress just like Heather’s {Closet Case Patterns} Self Drafted Linen Shirt Dress. It was highly coveted by many, and thankfully she took our collective hint and released The Kalle Shirt Dress earlier this spring.  PS…last time I checked, Fabricland still had some of this fabric available if you’re interested.

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

I made Kalle View B, the tunic, and I actually started out with a maxi dress….because I thought that would look really cool {and I had plenty of fabric to play with}. Although it wasn’t high-low, I did make a shirttail hemline and I finished it with bias tape as instructed. And….harumph…it didn’t look so good on me.  I liked it…it felt kinda hip…I wasn’t sure…I waffled…I hated it….I tried to pin it shorter…I wasn’t sure…I grumbled about unpicking miles of bias tape….it might be okay….argghh…have you been there?

In the end, I knew it had to be shorter. And I found a way to minimize reworking the hemline. I just hacked the bottom off, kept the slits neatly finished with the bias tape I had already sewn on, and then added 1 1/2″ facings to the bottom. Whew! It feels right for me now! I love it! I still think a maxi Kalle Dress would be awesome and I want to make one…but with a lighter, drapier fabric, and perhaps in a solid colour.

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

I used the white and blue pattern for the sleeve cuffs, collar and collar stand. I also used it for the front placket. I wanted the front placket to be a feature and so I made it 1/2″ wider than the pattern specs. It felt a bit lot risky re-drafting this very important pattern piece…I wasn’t really going to know if it worked until after sewing, and cutting, the front of the dress. I can tell you, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it worked out perfectly! 

Why….um yes…of course I added pockets. Although difficult to see, I top stitched them down, mostly to prevent pocket flap, but also as an added design feature.

And yep…I gave my handmade buttons another go. I enjoy crafting them…and…making my own keeps me out of the fabric store. LOL!

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

As I mentioned, this is a crisp fabric and the back was feeling a little voluminous as a result. It didn’t have a soft drape like most Kalle Shirt Dresses I’ve seen. I tried adding a self-fabric tie belt, but I didn’t love the resulting front silhouette. I mean, one of my main attractions to this pattern is the easy, breezy, summery mood it invokes. After some experimentation, I opted to add a narrow casing onto the back several inches below my natural waistline…it’s there, just above the red line. I was going to use elastic in the casing, but my self fabric tie belt worked as well or better. It’s stitched in at both ends of the casing. The result is an ever so slightly structured back…just enough to tame the pouf.

Kalle Shirt Dress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blog, Vancouver Sewing Blogger

Well…this is my final #sewtogetherforsummer blog post. I had fun making a quintet of shirt dresses.  And….after putting some time and space between myself and my Bus Stop Shirt Dress, I feel ready to try it on and consider some remedial action. I also have a couple of shirt dress patterns that I haven’t sewn….and…several nice shirt-dressy pieces of fabric in my stash. So…yep…I predict you’ll be subjected to a few more makes in this same genre. That being said, I really want/need pants and I have some new pants patterns I’m playing with. This will necessitate a visit to the fabric store…which secretly makes me really happy.

My life, as you may have gathered, has not been exciting lately….not a bad thing, but it means there’s not much news to share.  I did have the great pleasure of meeting up with my pals Melanie from Bag and a Beret,  and Suzanne from Suzanne Carillo for some of our usual fun antics. What made this gathering extra special is that I got to meet the adorable Sherry from Petite Over 40 as well! Sherry came up from Seattle via AmTrak and Mel and I are hopeful that she will make the trip again! And….she’s not just adorable; she put her mad cinematography skills to task and cranked out a massively impressive video of the occasion….drama and intrigue included. You can see it on her blog, here!

Thanks for reading. I’ll see you soon!

Kalle Shirt Dress : : Closet Case Patterns


  • Reply Colette June 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Lovely fabric, great for this shirt dress and yay for self covered buttons ;o)

    • Reply Sue June 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks Colette. You know, I neglected to say how I make my buttons. I use Sculpey/Fimo craft ‘clay’. With this make, the colours ended being a very close match!

  • Reply Gillian June 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I love it! Red, blue and white is such a classic combination, but I like how the shape is purely modern. And handmade buttons perfectly to match? Swoon!

    • Reply Sue June 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Wheee! Happy you like it Gillian! Heather is pretty brilliant with her pattern line…the silhouette is indeed purely modern. I LOVE it!

  • Reply Manju June 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Looks fab sue. Very easy to wear and love the colours.

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks Manju! You got it exactly right…it’s so easy to wear!

  • Reply coco June 19, 2017 at 3:52 am

    You nailed this! I’m a true believer in messing with a garment until it feels right, looks right… I really like the wider placket, it provides needed balance for the front. And the back pouf control is brilliant!

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks Coco! You are the master of garment tweaking! I’m always learning from your posts, thanks!

  • Reply Judith Dee June 19, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Hello Sue!

    This is such a cute dress! Thank you for visiting my blog 🙂

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Hey Judith! Thank you so much. {Your dress is so lovely!}

  • Reply Tasha June 19, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Woah! Love the fabric! It really makes the dress a head-turner!

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Yay! I’m happy you like the fabric! It was eye catching in the store…I couldn’t say no.

  • Reply Louisa June 19, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Nice stripe matching! Perfect buttons too. I think this length is much more practical than a maxi anyway. Maybe it’s just me but I always catch long skirts on something and get tangled while going up stairs! So elegant. Not.

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      LOLOL…You know what? That is totally me too. I see the others wearing maxi’s effortlessly, but I haven’t yet got the knack of it! Thanks for your sage thoughts!

  • Reply fran June 19, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I absolutely love it!!! No many short people can wear a dress with horizontal stripes but on you it looks just great. The detailing draws the eyes upward. Just perfect……

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      OH YAY! Thank you so much! I was hesitant about the horizontal stripe placement for that reason, but when I held the fabric up to me in the mirror, it seemed to work! Or course, you never really know until the garment is completely finished…I was very happy it turned out good!

  • Reply Priscilla June 19, 2017 at 10:17 am

    This is a fabulous dress! The material is eye-catching. The style looks great on you. Your improvised fix for the back of the dress looks nice, like it was meant to be there!

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks Priscilla! Like Coco says, a little playing around with bits here and there is part of the process….{although sometimes we just want an out of the box perfect make, LOLOLOL>}

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I think you did a fine job. Love all the details you manage to do so well. Like the buttons, the pockets, the finishing of the sleeves and collar, the front placket. What a good idea to make that placket wider. All so beautiful. And the clever gathering at the back. I have a shirt dress which poufs as you described at the back. And an expensive one haha. One suggestion/question (you won’t be pleased with me): how about making it a bit shorter? Ending at your knee?

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      NOOOOOOOO……LOLOLOLOL. I value your point of view ALWAYS Greetje, but I don’t think I can change the hem again. I did pin it to knee length and it looked good, but I felt I would have to redo the slits…make them a bit higher for balance. And the knee length hits in the lighter patterned fabric which I wasn’t as fond of. BUT…the make I’m currently working on will be shorter! 🙂

      Anyways, I am happy indeed that loved the details!

      • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 30, 2017 at 8:03 am

        Hahaha, I see your point.

  • Reply Suzanne June 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    This looks comfy and cute.

    I like that you went with stripes.

    No matter the pattern you always manage to turn it into a “Sue Original”.


    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks Suzanne! I like this print because it’s pattern and stripes at the same time….BONUS! 🙂

  • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Oh I do love your version of this great pattern. Your fabric choice is spot on.

    • Reply Sue June 19, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Aw…thanks ever so much Sue!

  • Reply Sherry - Petite Over 40 June 20, 2017 at 12:56 am

    I love this dress and all the fabulous tweaks you did to make it your very own. It is so festive and fun and happy. The contrasting collar and sleeves and Super Fabulous Handmade Buttons (so cool!!!) really add style to an already stylish pattern on the fabric. And POCKETS!!! I heard the angels singing when I saw your hands tucked inside pockets. You are so talented. You should know that you have inspired me to take sewing classes! I start in August.

    Thank you for the shout-out, by the way! ❤️❤️❤️


    • Reply Sue June 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Sherry! I can’t seem to make a dress without pockets, LOL.

      NOW! My turn…I think it’s totally, completely, perfectly awesome that you are taking sewing classes this summer! I’m so excited for you…well, and for me too because I’m secretly hoping you will become addicted to the craft and will know ALL the places to shop fabric and notions in Greater Seattle. 🙂

  • Reply Sew Sarah Smith June 20, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    This is a great dress…I love everything about it! Especially the stripes!

    • Reply Sue June 24, 2017 at 10:42 am

      I know! Stripes may be a little extra work when it comes to matching…but aren’t they awesome!!!

  • Reply Flo June 22, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    I am loving this fabric! That said, I can see why you didn’t like it as a maxi dress, it is a busy enough pattern that it was probably a bit overwhelming. I love what you did with it though. And I’m so excited to see your handmade buttons, such a cool idea. I think this is one of my favorites. It still doesn’t beat the pink coat though. 😉

    • Reply Sue June 24, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Yep…did. not. work. I have a total of one maxi dress…a rayon one I made a few years ago and wore in Hawaii. It worked there. But I don’t wear it at home. ?

      I think the pink coat will always be your favourites, LOL! Me to!!!

  • Reply Melanie June 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    HAhaha, Sue, this post sailed right past me but I saw it on IG. Well, what’s neat is I saw it in person before I stopped by so I know first-hand how awesome this dress turned out. The back casing really helps to slim the fit, and I especially like how you did it drop-waist style. The bold stripe with the detailed pattern fill makes this a real stand-out piece. And the location you used for the photos is stunning. Your first photo with the wind flip I could see in a magazine.

    • Reply Sue June 24, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Ah ha…cool that your first view was in person! Just like the good ‘ol days…

      The wind. We were not expecting it to be so windy that evening. The dress enjoyed it…my hair not so much, hahaha.

  • Reply Barbara June 24, 2017 at 11:50 am

    what a perfect job on the fabric stripes matching! It is sooooo perfectly done, incredible! I love how you played with the fabric indeed, it is so much in the details! And you made those buttons yourself!!!??? Is it with clay?? They look so perfect, and go just perfect with the fabric! It looks like the perfect summerdress, breezy and easy! You will love it! I saw many nice Kalle dresses, so I might have to consider making it once… but now at the moment my sewing list is already soooooo long that I shouldn’t add another project 😉

    • Reply Sue June 27, 2017 at 10:40 am

      The buttons are made with Sculpey ‘clay’. It would be fun to work with real clay one day, but I think they might be more fragile? Not sure about that!

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista June 25, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Since I don’t sew, much of the information related to the construction of the dress was lost on me, but I think the end result is wonderful. The colourful stripes and easy shape make it an absolutely perfect summer dress.

    • Reply Sue June 27, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thank you Shelley! You may not sew, but you have a keen eye for style…your comment means a lot to me!

  • Reply Sharon June 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Gorgeous dress and love the stripe matching and those buttons are perfect and you made them!

    • Reply Sue July 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Sharon. I do my best with stripe matching. This fabric was a little easier to work with…it wasn’t too slippy under the presser foot!

  • Reply Michelle July 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I love the red, white and blue print and I’ve got this pattern on my to-buy list.

    • Reply Sue July 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      There’s zero doubt that you will make this pattern amazing and one of a kind!!!

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