I have seen numerous pictures of the Kalle shirt popping up on my Instagram Feed for some time now, It was part of the Sew My Style 2018 challenge back in March but I did not take part at the time not feeling confident of my ability to make a shirt.
I am not really a frequent wearer of shirts possibly because of past fitting issues with off the shelf ones but I finally decided it was time to have a go at making one for myself. I do have some experience of making shirts before having sewn a couple up for my husband this year. This is the first Closet Case Pattern I have purchased but I am pleased to say that like most of the indie patterns I have used to date the instructions are very good (much better than those I followed for a man’s shirt). It is also worth noting that there is an online tutorial which goes into more detailed instructions if you find yourself struggling at stage.
There are 17 pattern pieces in total which is quite daunting but this is due to the numerous style choices that the pattern offers, I only in fact needed 8 of the pieces for my choice – I went with the tunic length shirt with a band collar and a popover placket and inverted pleat. The fabric is a lovely brushed cotton that I picked up from a recent visit to Sewisfaction – more details on my visit and fabric haul are in my previous post.
I cut a size 6 using my bust measurements, I usually need to grade up for the waist and hips but the instructions say that due to the amount of ease this is not necessary so I kept with the size 6 throughout.
The first stage involves the popover placket which I was a little nervous about due to all of the markings on the pattern piece but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I did read through the instructions a couple of times and also read the tutorial very carefully making sure I had everything the correct way round because I was very nervous about getting it wrong (in part due to the fact that you need to cut down the middle of the garment). I can assure you that it all worked out fine and everything turned out correctly.
I struggled with the inverted pleat but I must hold my hands up and say this was down to me and not the instructions which tell you to match the 2 outer markings -I kept trying to match the outer to the inner marking of either side and then finding that the bottom half of the shirt was wider than the yoke, finally the penny dropped!
I love the fact that all the seams are neatly tucked away using flat fell seams which gives a lovely finish on the inside and the hem can be finished off with bias binding, this was the first time I have used this technique and although it wasn’t perfect, (I will do better next time) I love the way it hides the raw edges.
The collar instructions are easy to follow but I do struggle to get nice curves that match on both ends but I think this is due to lack of practice, I did have to fiddle about quite a lot until I was happy with the result.
I steamed ahead with adding the sleeve cuffs without taking much notice of the instructions – my mistake! I ended up having to unpick and re do them because I put them on the wrong way up, once that was sorted it was just a case of adding the buttonholes, I have learnt from past experience that it is a good idea to put pins in each end of the buttonhole before using a seam ripper.
I am really pleased with the result and will definitely be adding more shirts to my wardrobe, I have just discovered that there is a sleeve add on available for the pattern so I will be sending for that, I really like the idea of a long sleeved version. There are numerous different versions with 3 length choices, different button fastenings and collar choices an optional breast pocket and with the add on sleeve option this gives 2 sleeve lengths so although the pattern is more expensive than the big 4 I think it is well worth the money.
I have some links below:
Sleeve Expansion Pack