A Kalle Shirt Dress with Spoonflower Fabrics


Howdy stitchy friends! I’m thrilled to be showing you all my latest make. I have been absolutely gagging to sew up a Kalle Shirt Dress for so long – in fact it is one of my #2018MakeNine, so yay to ticking another make off the list!

So when Spoonflower got in touch to talk about collaborating on this post, I did a little excited dance inside at the thought of being able to design my own fabric. Short of weaving the fabric myself, it feels amazing to be handed the ability to design the raw material!

I recently upgraded to an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to have a go with designing a pattern myself. I downloaded the Procreate app, and had a blast having a bit of a doodle!

I knew I wanted to recreate my own version of an abstract-type pattern, much like I’ve been falling in love with in the Oliver Bonas shop window. Plus I knew this abstract-style would be relatively easy to recreate, and a good starting point for beginning my journey into fabric design.

Once I had my design finalised, it was easy to upload onto the Spoonflower website. And I loved playing around with the different layout/sizing/tiling tool – it helped to visualise the finished product. I ended up shrinking my design right down after seeing what it would look like. And before embarking on this fabric designing mission, I already decided on making a Closet Case Kalle Shirt Dress. And I wanted something with plenty of drape, to give this dress a soft floatiness. So I opted for the silk faille, which was the perfect choice as it turned out.

I was a little bit worried that my fabric design (which was predominantly dark blue) was printed onto a white fabric, but I don’t think it shows much at all. The only part I think you can really tell is if you can see the inside of the dress on the back panel (as it hangs lower than the front).

The pattern itself wasn’t the easiest I’ve ever sewn. And I used the sewalong on the Closet Case website so much for reference. It really helped with so many aspects of the make – from making a hidden placket, to perfecting a crisp collar point. The photos especially were so handy to refer to – I’m a much more visual person, so progress photos really helped.

Before I started this make, I decided on making the tunic length version, because I was concerned that the dress length option would swamp me, as I’m not particularly tall at 5’4″. Well…. it is a bit on the short side for wearing as a dress! And I certainly wouldn’t wear it without tights or leggings underneath. So note to self – future Kalle dresses should be made at the dress length Jen!!

I had fun making the hidden placket too – I’ve never made one before. I was a bit concerned that the fabric wouldn’t press nicely into the placket folds, but it was fine. I tested on some fabric scraps first, and found that this silk faille pressed really nicely, albeit a little bit slippery to work with.

I think I stuffed up on inserting the sleeve cuffs, as I ended up with too much fabric being sewn into them and then puckered the seam. Fail. Luckily the fabric pattern is super forgiving and hides a few mistakes well!

The silk faille felt quite synthetic to work with, but had a lovely silkiness, which feels lovely on my skin. Really floaty and summery! But the main quality of this fabric that I loved was that it was almost completely opaque, so I didn’t need to think about any lining fabrics etc. It was a bit of a dodgey one to topstitch, and felt like the fabric was kind of laddering a little as I stitched into it. You will see from some of  my close up photos anyway.

I loved using a number of different sewing machine feet to help with topstitching this project – including my ditch stitching foot especially! I could set that to run along a seam, with my needle slightly to one side, to get a perfect line of topstitching just a couple of millimetres from a seam.

Overall, I am super happy with this make. I can’t believe that I’m able to wear my own doodles and it look really cool! I am a bit disappointed that I chose on making the tunic length version as it is a bit too short to wear alone as a dress. So I will likely take this up to shirt length and wear it as a boxy shirt with jeans. I will definitely be returning to make more Kalle dresses, for sure!

Pattern: Closet Case Kalle Shirt Dress [tunic length with hidden placket]

Fabric: Spoonflower, silk faille designed by me usingProcreate

Size made: 8

Alterations made: Evened out the curve at side seam hem slightly, so less dramatic

Disclaimer – This post is sponsored by Spoonflower



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