The Closet Case Kalle Shirt

Not to big up this post or anything, but this is probably my most favourite make...ever! I've had the Closet Case Kalle pattern for a while now, admiring it (in all its versions) on blog posts and in Instagram photos, and just hadn't got around to making it yet. I also had this Cotton and Steel, Rashida Coleman-Hale designed, banana print cotton lawn sat in my stash for a while. I pre-ordered it from The Fabric Fox (it's now out of stock, but here's the pink version) and then, when it arrived, I was in the middle of other makes (probably my many Lindens) and put it in the cupboard for later. A few months later, I rediscovered it and put it in the wash knowing that it would be a Kalle.

I have the pdf version so I just printed out the pattern and cut the style I wanted. I can print again for other versions, so no tracing needed! I chose to make the tunic-length (view B), with the full-length (exposed) button placket and added the pocket (or course!) The sleeve cuffs are angled to fit the shirt, which is a really nice touch as they don't jut out like on other patterns. The back has a drop-hem, which is really nice and you also get the option of which way round you want to use the box pleat on the back. I chose an inverted box pleat (below) but I think I will try it the other way for a more structured-looking shirt, maybe in the cropped version next time.

As you might already know, the main reason I took up sewing last April was because I really wanted some cool patterned shirts and was disappointed with what was on offer on the high-street and the types of fabric RTW shirts were made from (i.e not cotton). I've been making a lot of knits lately so it was nice to return to the shirt. I really love shirt making, there's something satisfying about building a collar and seeing the fabric turn into something structured (maybe it's just me!)  I decided not to use bias binding for the hem (as I didn't have enough banana fabric left and didn't want to use a substitute) so I looked up how to sew a narrow baby hem (which is suggested as an alternative to the binding in the instructions). I found an online tutorial on the Colette blog and gave it a go. I'm really pleased with how it worked out. I usually hate hemming things as it's often the final step and I tend to rush it eager to complete a project. What I liked about this pattern is that you hemmed the shirt quite early on, before sewing the collar, so it wasn't rushed, just part of the process.

I found the pattern straightforward to follow (as is my experience with the other Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans) and found myself reading the sew-along blog posts to the point where I abandoned the pattern and just used these for certain elements. They are a very valuable sewing resource! I had my first 'buritto method' experience with this shirt (above) and managed not to mess it up! The yoke is perfectly enclosed with no visible seam allowance at the seams which gives it a professional-looking finish. I used poppers/snaps for the buttons, which I painstakingly measured and attached (I think I might need one of those button measuring tools).

The overall verdict is that I adore this shirt! Everything just works: the fabric, the pattern, the fit, the style. I will be making many more of these (I have fabric in my stash perfect for the Kalle) and hope to share them with you all soon. Another of my #2018makenine completed!



  1. Hi Dani - I spotted this and thought you might be interested - Catharine x


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