My Blue Kalle Shirtdress : : With Yoke Alteration : : Closet Case Patterns

Kalle Shirtdress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blogger, A Colourful Canvas

Well hiya everyone.

Last week’s speedy-ish post went okay. I did notice a couple of typos…one being that I wrote #2108MakeNine in my title…not sure where I’ll be in 90 years, but pretty sure it won’t be here. Although. If I hang around long enough to sew my stash…

Speaking of titles, I made my very first Kalle Shirtdress a year ago and the post title was Easy, Breezy, Summery. And today’s Kalle? Also easy, breezy and summery. I love this silhouette right now…so much so that I’ve sewn the pattern twice in a matter of days. This dress is technically the second sew of the two, but I haven’t found the right buttons for the first. {translation…the buttons I just bought are not working} 

Kalle Shirtdress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blogger, A Colourful Canvas

When I blogged my shirt version last autumn, I mentioned a minor fit issue. Both my dress and shirt have a tendency to shift backwards at the shoulder seam. Not a huge deal, but I do catch myself adjusting the lie of the garment. Not quite annoying, but…

Priscilla of Minimalist Granny commented that I may need to do a forward shoulder adjustment. I had never heard of this tweak. After a little trip down the rabbit hole I decided to try both an FSA and a high round back adjustment…let’s call that an HRBA. And…they worked. The fit on my most recent Kalle’s are so much better. Thanks so very much for the tip Priscilla.

Sigh….I can’t say I’m thrilled that I have to do a pattern alteration for a rounded back and forward sloping shoulders. I can say that I am paying better attention to my posture and I’m doing exercises specific to spinal alignment {silver linings}.

Kalle Shirtdress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blogger, A Colourful Canvas

Above top left – a close-up of the popover button placket, which of course you can’t really see.  I will say this about that. It turned out beautifully…after a near disaster. Reminder; this is the second of two back-to-back Kalle dresses…the first one turning out aaaawe-some. So. Away I went, awash with confidence, merrily sewing along.  I sewed. And cut. The placket perfectly. OH. WHOOPS. I followed the wrong sewing lines and subsequently, the WRONG cutting line. After a tiny meltdown, I determined that the cutting line on the dress was in the right place…whew…so I could breathe again. But the problem remained: I had to redo the placket and I didn’t have enough fabric to cut another. One never does, amirite? Always leftover fabric when you don’t need it. Never when you do. Determined to save my dress, I ended up doing minor surgery on the already attached placket, adding a strip of facing to the top of the placket, trimming off the bottom….impossible to explain. Let’s leave it at…it was a nightmare with a very happy ending.

Top right – Inverted pleat which, personal preference, I like better than the box pleat on my first version here

Bottom left – since making my Highlands Wrap Dress I want to use Allie’s hemline instructions on everything.

Bottom right – the forward shoulder adjustment, FSA, and high round back adjustment, HRBA, on the yoke. I opened up the yoke horizontally 3/4″, cutting to, but not through the armhole edge. In order to keep the center back seam true, I had to add in a small dart at the neckline. I added 1/2″ to the the shoulder seam at the armhole, tapering to nothing at the neckline. I removed this exact amount from the front bodice. EDIT: I should have made clear that when cutting the horizontal line from CB to the armhole edge, I stopped the cut 5/8″ from the edge, then I made a short cut back from the armhole edge ending just shy of my previous cut. The pattern remains attached at the seam allowance point. 

Kalle Shirtdress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blogger, A Colourful Canvas

I may have accidentally walked into the quilting department of my local Fabricland. I’m not sure how…it’s a separate room at the far end of the store. This blue gem practically jumped out at me. It’s a Fabricland exclusive; it’s cheery; and it was super easy to work with. I’m happy I ventured off path and it found me.

Kalle Shirtdress, Closet Case Patterns, Vancouver Sewing Blogger, A Colourful Canvas

This month there are a couple of community events that I plan to participate in. It’s Style Hero Month with the Sewcialists which I’m very much looking forward to. And over on Instagram it’s #Braugust2018. I have a swimsuit in the works and it’s also about time that I shared some of my bra making process with you here on the blog.

All righty. Thanks so much for reading. I hope to see you soon.


Kalle Shirtdress : : Closet Case Patterns also seen here and here


  • Reply Sew Sarah Smith August 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Every time I read one of your posts, I’m left smiling…I love the way you write Sue…wish we could meet for coffee one day..,. And, oh I think I could probably do with that forward shoulder / rounded back adjustment in my arsenal too…. looking fab lovely! Xx

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Hey Sarah! YES! A coffee date is something I would look forward to too! LOL…you and me…are bodices are going to be nearly unreadable with all the alterations we do xo

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion August 3, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I love it. And I find this length so much better on you than the first dress. You always amaze me with your adjustments. This time your adjustment for the backwards shifting of the shoulder seam. A genius at work. You are a truly skilled seamstress. And the shoes go perfectly with this dress. This outfit is easy to wear and great to look at. Well done.

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Hi Greetje! Thanks for the lovely compliments! I have to squeeze in last year’s Kalle Dress into an upcoming post. Yes. Yes I did shorten it, LOL. You were right. Absolutely. Every time I wore the dress, I loved it…but after seeing myself in some casual photos, I felt completely frumpy. Then, of course, I felt frump every time I wore it. After making my maxi Highlands Wrap Dress and loving the hemline instructions, I decided to ‘fix’ the length on my first Kalle.

      It’s like I’m your little bird and you’re teaching me to fly, 🙂

  • Reply Lorraine August 3, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Thank you so much for the awesome description of you alterations. This is definitely a fitting challenge area for me too. You have encouraged me to make this work for me, too!

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:19 am

      You’re welcome Lorraine. If you opt to try this alteration on a future make and have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Reply Aleta August 3, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I ask thinking that these same adjustments are what I need. Thanks for describing them and for the pics…the very idea seemed very daunting before. And now we can all do it!!

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Happy to help Aleta! It’s true…sometimes fit alterations seem daunting, but when we get to it, it isn’t so bad at all.

  • Reply Sherry - Petite Over 40 August 3, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Such a happy, summery blue dress, Sue! My skill level has yet to grasp all the alterations you made, but I can appreciate the value of Pricilla’s tip and what you did to make the dress fit better. From where I stand, it looks like the perfect dress for hot summer days. That blue is lovely on you.


    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Squeee! I gotta tell ya Sherry. This dress is in high rotation. It just makes me so happy. And bonus…it doesn’t seem to be wrinkling very much at all, which surprises me given it’s basic cotton.

  • Reply The Sewing CPA August 3, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Very lovely print and the dress looks great on you.

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply Jean August 4, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Love love this dress on you. I am a blue fan so the fabric made me smile. And not all quilting fabrics are made equal!! A great deal of them make beautiful clothing especially for summer.

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Jean. If you are a blue fan, you’re in the right place, LOL. I adore blue and a lot of my stash fabrics are in the blue tones! 🙂

      I absolutely love the colour explosion that I see when I’m in quilting stores/departments. Some sewists pooh-pooh them but I really like them! And, as you say, especially for summer!

  • Reply Sabine August 5, 2018 at 1:02 am

    A beautiful dress, Sue! The shape is perfect for summer. I love this pattern!
    Sabine xxx

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Sabine. I like the shape for summer too. I like that it is fitted at the shoulders, but breezy at the waist.

  • Reply Shelley@ForestCityFashionista August 5, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    A perfect summer dress! I wish you lived closer to me so I could ask you a million sewing questions 😉

    • Reply Sue August 7, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Thanks Shelley! OH…I wish that too! Because. I love talking about sewing. 😉

  • Reply Joanne April 17, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Hi. I did a search on adjusting the Kalle shirt because the one I made rides back too (quite a bit actually). I was wondering, since it’s been a while since you wrote this blog post and after having worn the garments a while since then, did the adjustments fix the problem or do you find yourself still pulling at the front of the Kalle when you wear it?

    • Reply Sue April 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      GAH…so sorry for the late reply. For some weird reason, I’m not getting notified of new comments on my blog and must check that out!

      So…YES…I’m very happy with the adjustments I’ve made to my Kalle! I feel they fixed the problem for me!

  • Reply Summer's Last Hurrah : : Striped Kalle Shirtdress : : Juniper Cardigan January 31, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    […] I think nailing the fit is the reason{my high round back, forward sloping shoulders post is here}.  I’m not complaining, but pattern fitting can be hard. And. When I finally got it […]

  • Reply Cielo Dress : : Rome Collection : : Closet Case Patterns August 3, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    […] I did a high round back adjustment and a forward sloping shoulder adjustment (you can see the post *here*) and those tweaks were big improvements. I opted to make the exact same adjustments on my Cielo […]

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