The Killer-Kool Kalle Shirt
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Before I jump into the details of the pattern, I want to share with you what I've been up to in the last 24-48 hours. I was sucked into a vortex of Japanese Sashiko embroidery. I will write about this at a later time because it deserves its own post (or 2). I had already cut up the pieces for my Blanca Flight Suit (#blancaflightsuit). (Yes, it's yet another cracking pattern from Closet Case). Then the idea popped into my head to embroider the back bodice, and I decided (in a bout of inspired madness) to attempt my first try at Sashiko. Then I was all geared up in my trusty Kalle and Pietra Pants for good luck. I got so engrossed in the task that I had to forego writing on this blog yesterday. Putting in a daily entry for this month was a goal that I had set for myself for Me Made May 2020, but I wasn't in any headspace to write yesterday since every braincell was dedicated to Sashiko. Anyway, I was determined to finish the embroidery so that I can get on with the rest of my life. Now that I've pulled myself out of that maelstrom, I'm back here again.
Now moving on to Kalle. What I love about Heather Lou's designs is that many of the patterns have a neat twist to them. In the case of the Kalle, 2 simple details - the dolman sleeves with arm cuffs, and the hi-lo hem - make it a great spin-off from the classic shape of a shirt.
Then, there are options galore, so that you can customise your shirt or shirtdress. First, the length of the pattern comes in 3 options - cropped, tunic or shirtdress. Second, you can choose a standard or band collar. Third, the placket can be standard, hidden or a popover. Fourth, the pleat in the back can be a box pleat or an inverted one. If you're still not dizzy (or impressed) with the options available, then you can also consider an expansion for a long-sleeve version.
My first version of the Kalle is tunic-length with a band collar and a popover placket. The fabric is a very light cotton in blue and white stripes. The pictures show the Kalle tunic paired up with the Pietra Pants, which I will write about later. That is another pattern with multiple variations to spoil you. I cut some pieces at a 90 degree turn from the grain-line to highlight the detailing of the placket, pocket, collar, arm-cuff and back yoke. I like how the stripes give the shirt some geometrical interest. This shirt is perfect for a hot summer's day with a glass of killer-kool aid in my hand while boating on a yacht. At least, it makes me feel luxuriously cavalier when I put it on.
As with all patterns from Closet Case, the drafting and instructions are absolutely top-notch. They are clear and precise, and they give me full confidence when launching off into any of their projects. The size range is from 0-20 and I sewed up a size 0 for me for the tunic. I sized down because I read about how the shirt has a lot of ease based on many reviews by other sewers. It feels great on me but I decided to go to size 2 with my second go at it.
Fresh off my sewing machine is this version which is made from the fabric scraps that were leftover from the self-drafted skirt I made eons ago. I think it looks super worn with the skirt.
The Covid-19 lockdown forced me to look deep into my cache of scraps, and I pulled out this festive floral cotton that was enough to give a pink shirt (also scraps from a previous make) some pizazz.
This time, I opted for a cropped version since that's what the scraps afforded me. And although I was hoping to try a standard collar and placket, I didn't have enough fabric to make it. So I had to do a band collar and popover again. But I'm not complaining because that means I will have to make another Kalle soon! And I am plotting a kaleidoscopic version with all three of these scraps in one shirt:
My hands are itching to cut it up and start. But first, I have to get cracking on finishing up my Flight Suit.