Summer Capsule Wardrobe Series

The Closet Case Patterns Kalle
Part 3 - Cropped shirt and shirt dress

Blog / 12 July 2017

The next addition to our mini summer capsule wardrobe is the gorgeous Kalle shirt or dress by Closet Case Patterns. A shirt or blouse is a really nice way to bring a more smart/casual look to a little collection of clothes, and like the other patterns I’ve chosen for this blog series, there are lots of options and variations.

To catch up on part 1, which features the Rosari skirt click this link and to see part 2, which features the Lark tee click this link.

Check out my latest YouTube video to see how the shirts sit and move in real life.

Design and Variations

The Kalle has a loose, body skimming silhouette with three lovely length options. Choose between a cropped length with a wide hem facing, a tunic length or a shirt dress with a high low hem.

You can also choose your own design details with a standard or band collar, an optional breast pocket, and inverted or box pleat and button, popover or hidden placket.

I’ve made two versions as part of the summer capsule wardrobe but I love it so much I have another cropped version and plan on a tunic length for the autumn!

My first version is the cropped one with a hidden button placket, band collar and inverted pleat.

And my second version is the shirtdress with a regular button placket and standard collar with a box pleat.

Fabric choices and notions needed

As the design of this garment is fairly loose and boxy, the most flattering fabrics to choose are lightweight ones, especially those that have a lot of drape movement when you swoosh them around. Or for a more structured look you can go for something with a bit more body like poplin or traditional shirting fabrics.

For my cropped version I chose our Summer birdsong cotton lawn, which is lovely and soft and lightweight. The colours in it are really gorgeous and mean it would go with lots of things.

For my shirtdress I choose this modern Aterlier Brunette viscose halo print in black and light brown. This fabric is also really soft and drapes beautifully.

Like the previous summer wardrobe posts, we have put together limited edition pattern, fabric and notions packs which have everything you need to make these versions, giving you a saving of over 15%. Alternatively you can get the individual bits you need too – see the bottom of the post for direct links.

Size and alterations

When you look at the finished measurements on the pattern, you’d be forgiven for thinking you might want to go down a size as it is a very lose style and has plenty of ease.  However, after reading a few other blogs by people who have made the pattern too, I decided to just go for it and make the size that I measured up as – that’s a 6 on this pattern, and I’m so pleased I did. If I had gone any smaller it wouldn’t have fitted me across the shoulders.

The pleat at the centre back is pretty wide and a lot of the looseness of the shirt comes from that so you could always make that a little bit smaller by letting your pattern piece for the back bodice over hang over the edge of the fold in the fabric when you come to cut it out. Just make sure it's even all the way down by folding back your pattern and be aware that it will put the notches out to you'd have to adjust for that when you put the pleat in and make it fit the back yoke. 

The only change I made to the cropped version was lengthening it by 5cm. I used the shorten/lengthen lines on the pattern to do this. Due to the hem facing on that version, its best to do it that way rather than just to try adding it onto the bottom.

I originally wasn’t going to but I’m really glad I did and I think the length suits the high waisted jeans perfectly.

For the dress I just made it up straight out of the pattern so you can see what kind of length it comes to.

Given that the hem is really dipped and comes up quite high at the sides, you might want to consider either lengthening it or reducing the curve at the side depending on how comfortable you are with thigh exposure. I think for summer it’s fine, especially when its really hot, but if I were to make the dress version again, I think I would do that adjustment. These is a really clear diagram explaining how to do this on the Closet Case Sewalong, find it in this link.

Style Options

For my cropped version I think it looks best with something that has a higher waistline. I really like wearing it with my rosary skirt and my high waisted ginger jeans .

I think the dress looks lovely paired with some tie up sandals.

Nicky Jones who is a local Birmingham Image Consultant (find out more about her services in this link) says ‘the looser style works best if you have less waist definition.’ She also advises that you can add a belt if you want to accentuate your waist shaping and if you have a shorter body, then you can try dropping the level of the belt to add length.

Out of the two collar options I prefer the standard collar as I like to wear collars loose and open.

I’ve found it hard to get the band collar to sit evenly when its open on my cropped version so I’ve mostly worn it buttoned up so far. Nicky advises that this type of collar suits smaller boobs and longer necks, where as larger boobs tend to look better with an open standard collar.

I hope you have found these versions inspiring and if you fancy giving them a go we have the limited edition packs available (see the links below).

I'll see you next week for the final week of this series where I'll be featuring the Closet Case Patterns Ginger jeans! They are so lovely!