Kalle Shirtdress in blue tencel // sewing pattern by Closet Case Patterns
Sewing Projects

A Kalle Shirtdress pattern in Blue Tencel

I just realized this week I totally failed to post about this Kalle shirtdress I made in the spring. I’ve had photos edited and waiting to go, but just plum forgot. Which is weird because this was easily one of my most worn items this summer; it got packed on every trip and was generally the garment I reached for most when it was so hot and sticky I just wanted to live inside my freezer drawer.

I don’t have nearly enough Kalles in my life, odd considering it’s one of my favourite patterns and in the end, we’ve sewn god knows how many. Most are unwearable/half finished muslins, and the rest we shoot and then keep in pristine condition in our sample closet (which we occasionally lend out to magazines, and also just for prosperity). After the frenzy of sample making that happens before we launch a pattern, sometimes it takes some time to feel like sewing that particular garment again, even if I really love the design. I decided I definitely needed a new dress, since the white linen one I originally made is starting to look a little worse for wear.

For this version, I finally used this gorgeous blue tencel that had been needlessly languishing in my stash. I opted for the hidden placket since I wanted something more on the minimalist spectrum. Otherwise, it’s basically a size 10 straight of the packet. I’d normally grade to a 12 or 14 through the hip but since the Kalle is so loose I don’t find it necessary.

I really did wear this dress all.the.time, but had to just accept the fact that tencel wrinkles like the skin on rice pudding no matter what you do (can you tell I’m doing the Whole 30 right now and am utterly fixated on sugar and dairy products 24/7?) With my love of linen has come a tolerance of wrinkles of all kinds, so it doesn’t bother me much. Kinda adds to that whole easy breezy summer dress vibe anyway, am I right?

*** Now cannot stop thinking about rice pudding.

I could probably get away with wearing this for a while longer layered with tights, but I wore it so much this summer I’m kind of happy to give it a break and come back to it in the spring. However, we are working on a sleeve expansion for Kalle, so I’m planning on making another shirt and dress in cozy flannel.

What did you wear to death this summer? And would you wear Kalle all year long if it had longer sleeves?

  • Elizabeth Gales

    Longer sleeves!!!!! I finished a Kalle just as it got chilly, and had to put it away. I’d love the option to wear it year round.

  • paula strid

    Actually living in the NW has me looking at things differently. We layer a lot here. I think it would be cute in flannel with warm tights and a long sleeved tee or turtleneck underneath. Seeing what you come up with in the sleeve options would also be fun. But I live in the land of flannel so flannel is what is calling me now.

    • FLANNNNNELLLLL! I need to get some more of that beefy stuff from Robert Kaufman.

  • Renee

    Love the dress – I think you mean you’re keeping your samples for posterity, not prosperity 🙂

  • Cadi

    Yay for sleeve addition! I’ve been wearing mine with a turtleneck layered under and a long cardi over, but having sleeves would be awesome!

    • That actually sounds super cute – I should try to layer this tencel jobby with a turtleneck.

  • layer_make

    SLEEVES!!! I can’t wait. I think how often I wear my Kalle dress and tunic has contributed to me never wanting to be restricted by a waistband again, so thank goodness I’ll be able to sew up a winter version!

    • Yay, glad you want them! I love our cuff.

  • Selena

    Yes please to sleeve expansion! Love the Kalle pattern so much

  • Caroline

    A longer sleeved huge blue buffalo check flannel Kalle would basically be the coziest and most adorable thing ever. With tights and boots and extra awesome.

  • Summer is almost here, 8C one day 32C the next, must be time I busted out your Kalle pattern Heather Lou. Excellent pattern which clearly exudes a convincing summer vibe and you’re rocking’ it! x

    • Australian seasons always make my head spin!

  • Joanne Cook

    Kalle sleeves!? Yes yes yes and yes, please. I loved the pattern in summer but living in the north of England and being a cold person, we’re talking about maybe 2 months of potential in a sleeveless garment. So gimme sleeves and I’ll be sewing up more than the 2 kalle’s that are already in my wardrobe.

    • I’m right there with you – I can’t do short sleeves of any kind with our winters.

  • Oooo…I say yes to long sleeves too. A lot of your Kalle inspiration photos were dresses/tunics with long sleeves and I LOVED them.

  • Nadeen

    Yes, please, to sleeves! I love my spring/summer Kalles and would love to wear a flannel one in fall/winter!

  • Mary Russell

    I’m for long sleeves. I’ve made about five versions: eyelet, linen, hand-dyed cotton and even flannel. It was cool enough for the flannel today but my arms needed some cover.

    • Eyelet! That must be so pretty! I like our sleeve. It’s got a great cuff.

  • K_Line

    Whole 30 is hideous. I wish you the best. Don’t worry – after a month the sugar cravings will subside. 🙂

    • It’s been okay so far. I’ve done some crazy elimination diets for health reasons before and don’t find it *quite* as restrictive, especially since I’m eating some of the things they say you can have on their vegetarian plan, including beans and yoghurt. I don’t want to eat meat everyday. The crazy thing is I never realized how addicted I am to sugar, it’s almost like cigarette cravings! I’ve had a few nights of real itchiness and had to resort to eating a few dates to stop thinking about it. Also when I realized Kombucha is okay last night and was in bliss over my “hippie soda”, hahaha

  • Katherine Magne

    Kalle with sleeves is pretty much a dream come true. I was going to draft them for my next one (blue plaid mammoth flannel) but I’ll sit tight!

    • Great! Should be in the next week or so.

    • Kathryn

      I already DID draft some sleeves, and used them with a mammoth plaid flannel. LOL. Great minds!

      • Katherine Magne

        Ha, that’s awesome! May I see a photo? 🙂

        • Kathryn

          I just saw this reply. It’s still in pieces, but I would be happy to share a photo here when it’s done. Give me another couple weeks! Though, maybe sooner because it’s snowing like crazy where I am today. That’s motivation!

  • Love it in the blue… I’ve got some blue linen/silk in a similar shade that’s destined to become a shirt dress I believe!

    • Oooh that would be so pretty! Linen silk! I’m not even sure I knew that was a thing!

  • Becky

    Best of luck with the Whole30! I did it last winter and I learned quite a bit about what foods my body likes better than others. Also, my skin actually looked luminous for once!

    As for summer clothes, I finally fixed up an old linen shift that I have nearly worn out. I did repairs with fluorescent stitching in the same color family as the original dress, which came out just how I wanted, and wore the dress as much as possible. I don’t mind the wrinkles either, but I like to start the day with a fresh press and see the lived-in wrinkles develop over the day.

  • Yes!!!! I was thinking sleeves on Kalle would be fab- so happy to hear this extension will be happening 🙂 you really are the best x

  • Kerry

    Triple yes to sleeves! The hardest thing I’ve had to do was put my 2 Kalles away for winter. This would be the best thing since the Kelly lining. Thanks for all your hard work and your fantastic patterns Heather.