This week’s LSA Blog Squad post comes courtesy of the lovely Suzanna from Threadquarters, who has made the most perfect Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt.
Hello everyone! Suzie here with my first post for the Like Sew Amazing Blog Squad! I am so excited to finally be able to share my gorgeous new Kalle Shirt, made out of the most beautiful Lady McElroy cotton lawn from Like Sew Amazing. Grab a coffee and read on for the full review.
I believe I may be a little late to the Kalle party, and no doubt most if not all of you will have heard of this pattern before. But I’m actually always late to a pattern party. I think I like to wait and see all the different versions pop up first. It’s so wonderful that the online sewing community (apart from just being generally awesome) often gives you the opportunity to see lots of different versions of sewing patterns made up in so many ways.
And it was because of all the awesome versions of the Kalle out there that a) I decided to give this pattern a go and b) I opted for the cropped version! Initially I wasn’t sold on the Kalle due to the dropped shoulder detail. It’s normally something I stay clear of, since I have quite wide shoulders and try not to draw attention to them. And I certainly would NEVER have picked the cropped version had I not seen so many amazing ones on Instagram. But I thought being on the LSA Blog Squad might be the perfect opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and try a new style.
My absolute favourite part of the cropped versions (View A) is the dramatic curved high-low hem, which is also fully faced. I have to admit, I really do not like the accidental look of a bias bound hem flipping out at the sides, and was worried this might happen to me if I opted for one of the other views, so that was another deciding factor (I’m actually wondering if anyone has made or seen a lengthened view A that still has that awesome hem? I couldn’t find one).
With such a pronounced curve I knew I had to be careful with my sewing and trimming. And indeed, the process of attaching the facing to ensure a really crisp point at the sides is a little tricky so you do have to take it slow and pay attention! I must admit that I did have to go back and do a sneaky couple of hand stitches to finish it off.
As for the curve, I am so pleased with how smooth they turned out. I decided to do a little bit of research before doing my usual clip and notch for a curve and I happened upon a slightly curt comment on a well known blog’s tutorial on clipping curves. They informed the author that clipping would never achieve a perfectly smooth curve and the only way was to actually trim the seam allowance down to 1/8in. Curt comment aside, I decided to give it a go – and you can see my results. Super smooth! I also used my trusty Prym point turner to help push out the seam while ironing (using the curved end, not the pointed end). Another good tip.
I decided to cut the hem facings out of some white cotton from my stash. This palm leaf fabric is ever so slightly transparent. I was worried that if the facings were cut out of the same fabric you would be able to see the pattern on the facings. Meaning the pattern wouldn’t be as crisp at the hem.
View A originally comes as a Mandarin or Standing collar but I much prefer a Standard collar on me, so I opted for that. I followed the really helpful sew-along tutorials for the Kalle on the Closet Case Patterns blog (do check them out – so many tips!) and decided to try their thread tail method for achieving sharp points. Let me tell you, I won’t be turning points any other way from now on – look how sharp I got my collar points!!
You can see from these photos that the inside of the collar stand is white. I decided to do this purely for a little bit of contrast. I did toy with the idea of using red, but opted against it as then I would be limited by what I could pair with the shirt.
So I ordered some really lovely brass coloured buttons for this shirt, but they didn’t turn up in time (not ordered from LSA by the way!) so I had to raid my stash for suitable alternatives. In the end I just opted for very classic semi-transparent white shirt buttons, and I think they are fine.
As for the buttonholes. Urgh. My machine ALWAYS plays up doing these so I procrastinated on starting for quite some time! Eventually I bit the bullet and all went well until I got to the buttonhole directly under the collar. My machine just couldn’t cope with the addition fabric bulk. I’ve had this happen to me before, and feel there must be a solution. Please do tell if you know!!! So because of that I also chickened out of trying to sew a buttonhole on the collar stand as well. I’m a bit annoyed with this because I was thinking that the shirt might look cute completely buttoned up, but to be honest, I almost always wear my shirts open like this so those buttons won’t be missed. My mum has an all-singing, all-dancing sewing machine so I may try finishing the buttons on hers sometime.
Oh this fabric. It really is gorgeous! It is a really high quality Lady McElroy cotton lawn that is so silky-smooth to the touch. The fabric behaves so well while sewing – such a welcome change from sewing with viscose and jersey! I love the quirky palm leaf print and this navy & white combo will pair so well with a multitude of things in my wardrobe. A real winner.
Sarah has some other really beautiful cottons in her shop at the moment too. Sticking with the tropical vibe, I am totally in love with this palm tree print(makes me think of Miami Vice!) or how about this really funky print,also a Lady McElroy lawn. Both would make totally amazing Kalle’s.
So as I said at the start of this post, the cropped version was quite a departure from my usual style, but I am SO glad I took a gamble! Sometimes it pays off stepping outside of your comfort zone.
In these photos I’ve pair the Kalle with my navy linen Emerson cropped trousers, and I just love the combination. I can see myself wearing this outfit quite a lot this Summer. But I’d also like to get a few high-waisted jeans or trousers into my wardrobe, which I think would work really well with my shirt – and I would feel a little less conscious of flashing my belly to people!
An additional surprise to me was how much I loved the voluminous back. I opted for an inverted box-pleat and I just love the added drama it gives. I’ve tried to show it in these photos, but it was hard to capture!
Overall I am totally in love with my new cropped shirt. I learnt a number of new skills and tricks during the process which is always good. And working with that luscious fabric was a real treat! Thanks Sarah!