Lobelia Bloom Kalle
Posted in Projects on Saturday the 4th January 2020 by Vicki Ormerod
I love shirt dresses and always find them stylish but have not made many of them so far. Well this is slowly changing as I add this Kalle shirt dress to my wardrobe.
When I saw this Lady McElroy Lobelia Bloom Cotton Twill Fabric in the Minerva offer I instantly new I wanted a dress made out of it and at first I was imagining ruffles of some kind. But the more I looked at it and when I wrapped it around me once it arrived, I could only see the Kalle shirt dress. The fabrics is soft and great for summer heat, but would also work great layered in colder months. It was easy to work with and feels great on the skin. And that print - love all the tiny flowers and the red with different pops of colours.
The pattern I used is the Kalle Shirt Dress by Closet Case Patterns. I made this pattern before as a shirt so knew what to expect and what alterations I needed to make. The first one was the sway back adjustment. I have a sway back and can get away with it on some patterns but this one was looking just silly the first time I made it. So I knew I had to do this before cutting out the fabric. I guessed the amount I need to take out by putting the first shirt on and pinching out the exes and measured up to 6 centimeters of extra fabric. You can only imagine how bad extra 6 centimeters looked here. I made this adjustment and hoped it would be good now. I am happy with how it looks and will use this new pattern piece for all future Kalles.
The second adjustment I made was lengthening the dress version by an extra 10 centimeters. I did this at the lengthen and shorten line marked on the pattern so that I could easily follow the bottom edge of the pattern when cutting out. It is important to remember to do this to both front and back piece but also on the button band piece. I also graded between the smallest size on the top to the second smallest in the hip area so I would be sure to have enough ease there.
I was debating between the full collar and mandarin collar. I am not normally a fan of the mandarin collar on me but recently I saw a few Kalle shirt dresses with mandarin collars on Instagram and was persuaded to give it a go. I love how it looks and maybe I am a convert now. I still love the full collar look but a mandarin collar has its advantages - it requires less fabric and is faster to make.
I finished the hem with a self made bias binding from the original fabric. I am normally too lazy to make the bias tape but as with this curved high-low hem you can see the inside of the ham I thought this would be a better option. I had a yellow bias tape at home which I was debating on using but was not sure if it would end up looking funny. It was worth it and making the bias tape did not take too much time. It gives a nice finish to the dress and I like how it looks.
I love this style overall and will definitely be making more Kalle shirt dresses in the future. I also love the cropped shirt version which is next in my home production line.
Thank you for reading,
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