Pattern Review: Kalle Shirtdress by Closet Core Patterns


I love a good shirtdress. I found an amazing burgundy pinstripe shirting fabric. And I then I found the Kalle Shirtdress and Shirt pattern from Closet Core Patterns. With it came a very informative sew-a-long which includes how to choose the right fabric (thank you). There is also a sew-a-long video series from a sewing vlogger that I could not watch because GOD DAMN IT SHUT UP AND JUST SHOW ME HOW YOU ARE SEWING THIS.

This shirtdress was going to be a challenge: plackets, buttons, collars (OH MY!), but I just shrugged and got to it. I made a size 16, based on the finished measurements. You have a lot of choices you can make on this pattern: what kind of collar, a placket or full buttons, sleeves or no sleeves (you have to buy the sleeve expansion pack which I did). I decided, placket, traditional collar, and sleeves.

But, you say, there aren’t sleeves here. Yes, well, I didn’t actually read the instructions for the sleeves because usually you put in the sleeves last. LOL, not this time! You were supposed to put the sleeves in when you sewed the side seam, instead of setting them in after the fact. I now have two sleeves and sleeve plackets all cut up and read to be added to a different shirt if I even feel like creating a frankenshirt.

Doing the placket (or the place where the buttons end on the shirt) was actually easier than I thought, because it involved a lot of folding, which I remembered from back in my days doing endless origami figures. Kids these days will never understand what we had to do to keep ourselves occupied before the Internet.

The other great revelation for me was bias finishes and hems. I’m not going to try to explain this, read up on it here. I didn’t quite get it from the written instructions, so I found this video which is 17min long, which is 13 minutes too long. Seriously. I was waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for her to start actually fucking showing me how to do it, I just about lost my damn mind. And then, SKIPPED OVER A STEP WITHOUT SHOWING IT BECAUSE THAT’S APPARENTLY HOW THESE VIDEO TUTORIALS WORK.

But needless to say, I am never finishing anything ever again without using bias hem or finish.

Anyway, I’m REALLY happy with how the dress turned out, and wow, what a difference is makes to actually use the right fabric when making a garment. It took longer than I thought it would, but it was by far the most complicated pattern I had attempted thus far, so I was patient with myself. And, look at the pointy collar! The contrast stitching! The buttonholes that I had to teach myself how to do!

The back under the collar is a little rough, but that’s what my long hair is for. I’m definitely going to make it again. I wish it hadn’t gotten cold immediately after I made it so I don’t get to wear it more often. Once summer comes again…

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