So I have to be honest, I have only worn my first Kalle Shirt once. I think it just wasn’t totally my style – the collar choice wasn’t great and the fabric I used (a tencel twill) made the shirt drag down I felt. It was also just way too long. But even before I made that one, I was mesmerized by Jessamy’s blue oxford version – so I bought the same fabric. Approximately a million year’s later – here is my version!
The Kalle Shirt from Closet Case Patterns is a take on a traditional men’s shirt turned shirt dress. It features beautiful feminine details including my favorite – the high low hem. It comes with a variety of different options including multiple button options (popover, hidden placket or full placket) and three lengths – cropped, tunic or dress.
Closet Case Patterns also recently released an expansion pack to make the Kalle long sleeved. Something about that spoke to me – I had to make one [even though my first one hasn’t been my favorite]!
Before I start gushing about the finished product, I need to talk all about this fabric. Um…it’s amazing. I bought this blue oxford shirting from Stitch in the spring and I am kicking myself for not buying it in all the colors. It reminds me so much of those super popular back when I was in high school Ralph Lauren oxford button downs.
I think the Kalle really lends itself well to stable fabrics. Maybe it’s just what I prefer, but I think a stable fabric helps the shirt stand up and maintain it’s shape. I do think a lot of the reason why I didn’t love my first was because of the fabric. This oxford version is much more stable and I think really fit’s the “style” of the shirt.
So I’m not going to lie – this shirt really tested my patience. I really haven’t made many button downs (in fact none – other than my other Kalle). And there are some confusing parts. I also think sometimes I get confused by Closet Case Pattern’s instructions – maybe it’s just me – but I was really happy there was a sew along from time to time…
This shirt is also not without it’s faults. Sewing button plackets always confuse me and sleeve plackets send my mind spinning. If anyone has any good blog posts/tutorials they reference – send them my way.
Let’s see what else happened during the construction process – my button holes are all a smidge too small. My hands hurt from shoving the buttons in the button holes.
And I cut into the garment while trying to trim threads. Note to my future self – do not use fabric shears to trim threads.
I was sewing on the bias tape hem and got to a point where there was a huge chunk cut out of the hem – awesome. So I had to chop of about 3″ of the back hem. Which actually turned out to be a happy accident and I would in the future remove even more.
Oh! And I didn’t really all the expansion pack instructions before starting and even though it said to get to the collar installation, it didn’t want you to sew up the side seams (which makes logical sense, my brain wasn’t thinking) so I had to rip out french seams. Yikes – it was bad.
All that being said, I am really happy that Closet Case Patterns released the sleeve option. While I really love a good kimono/dolman sleeve, I think this shirt was really meant for a sleeve. It completes the pattern for me. Is it dorky to say I felt really cool when I was wearing this shirt?? Way cooler than I will ever be ha!
I also used all french seams which makes this garment really pretty on the inside too. If I ever determined that I have the patience for flat fell seams, it would also look so nice with those too.
It was a journey to say the least, but now I ended up with this awesome Kalle – and maybe I’ll make another!
Kalle Shirt Tunic Summary:
Size Made: 8
View: Tunic Length with Full Button Placket and Inverted Pleat
Fabric Used: Light blue oxford from Stitch Sew Shop
Notions Used: Sewing Gauge for Button Placement [Actually I can’t find mine but I really missed it for this project so I included it here anyways!], 2 vintage buttons for the cuffs, White Buttons from Wawak for front buttons.
Ease of Construction: Well, it was not easy for me – but it was a comedy or errors.
Fit: It was a great fit on me. It does have a lot of ease, so I’m glad I stayed with my “normal” size for Heather’s patterns.
Repeatable? I think so!