Thanks for stopping by to read my first post! You have no idea how happy I am to be back blogging again.
If you’ve seen me before, it has probably either been on Instagram or on my old blog, Stitch Study. Some of you might then be wondering: why the new blog? Well, I decided to switch things up and start fresh for a few reasons, but the main thing is that I want to take this sewing adventure in a different, more exciting direction. In the past, I mostly just recorded my makes and noted any pattern adjustments I’d made. But now that I feel I’ve moved beyond the beginner level (finally), I think I have more to say and share. I believe that this new platform will allow me to do that, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
You’ll still find me over on Instagram, though. It’s an addiction, but I love it and have no desire to kick it. Plus, the sewing community I’ve found there is awesome. I also have no current plans to delete my old blog, so those posts will continue to hang out there for now.
Alright, now that the formalities are out of the way we can get on to the good stuff. Patterns! Fabric! Sewing! Clothes!
This, of course, is the Kalle shirt/shirtdress from Closet Case Patterns. Friends, I love this pattern. It’s the perfect casual dress, in my book. I made another version in chambray and I wear it all the time with leggings. So often, in fact, that when my mother sees me she asks if I have nothing else to wear. But I mean, why bother, right? I love how the deeply curved hem and boxy shape are paired with the crisp cuffs and collar. It’s comfortable for sure, but still oh so very put together.
I actually chose this pattern as part of an effort to make my wardrobe more wearable. I realized earlier this year that I’ve been saving a lot of my nicer fabrics for special occasion garments – i.e. fitted party dresses with big skirts that are worn once and then hang in my closet only to be pulled out for a random Throwback Thursday post. I guess it’s also possible to be perpetually overdressed in my everyday life, but I’m not really the kind of gal who’s comfortable wearing a fit and flare dress daily.
So I made it a goal to fill my closet with more everyday wearable pieces made out of quality materials. Basically, take my fancy fabric and sew it up in a more casual style that I’ll enjoy wearing at home or at work. I think this Kalle, made in silk crepe, fits that bill very nicely. Obviously, I have many more versions of this pattern planned!
The pattern has a lot of options, but here I made the dress version (view C), with the hidden button placket and regular collar. I cut a size 12, but graded out to a 16 starting at the lengthen/shorten line down to the hem. I also did a 1″ FBA without a dart, following the tutorial on the sew-along. I often grade out at the hip because I’m pear shaped, but it wasn’t really necessary with this pattern. I actually ended up taking it in from the underarm to the top of the hip because it turned out a little too wide for my taste. It’s still loose-fitting, but nips in at the waist a little to give some shape. I believe I pinched out about 1.5 inches on each side at the waist, so about 6 inches overall.
I didn’t feel the need to make this adjustment in the last version, which just goes to show how different fabrics can affect fit. I think in a cotton chambray (with more body to it than this very lightweight silk), the silhouette has more of the intended “boxiness” rather than “bagginess.”
Another change I made was to the collar. I was admiring some Chloé and Gucci dresses I’d seen in ads, and loved how they had big, beautiful, oversized butterfly collars. My first instinct was to start searching for vintage ’70s patterns, but I’ve been on a stash diet for a while and I’m desperately trying to avoid adding anything to it. So Kalle to the rescue! It was a simple modification to make, and I like how it adds interest to an otherwise understated dress. I’ll share how I did it tomorrow, so if anyone is curious just check back here.
The main fabric is a beige silk crepe de chine that I purchased from Fabric Mart last year. I believe it also has some lycra in it because it’s got some bounce. The mustard fabric used for the collar, cuffs and placket is a stretch poly crepe from fabric.com (it definitely has some lycra in it). It has a nice weight and texture, similar to wool crepe. This dress started out as a “first draft” for another piece of silk I have in my stash. Basically, I wanted to practice sewing with silk before I cut into the good stuff. It turns out that silk is actually really really really nice to sew with, and the polyester gave me the most trouble. It didn’t want to hold a crease or stay where I pinned it. at. all. Plus unpicking was awful because the stitches got lost in the textured weave. I still love the color, though. I have a little less than two yards left over, so this is definitely not the last you’ll see of it!
And even though working with this fabric was a pain, I really like how the French cuffs on the sleeves turned out. The sleeve pattern is an add-on expansion PDF available in the Closet Case Patterns shop. I was hoping something like this would come along because it’s December and boy is it getting cold now!
Okay, so since you all have been so kind reading through this whole post, I won’t tease you anymore. I’m giving away a copy of the Kalle pattern! This is not sponsored or anything, just my way of saying thanks for stopping by and visiting my new blog. So if you want to be entered to win the pattern, just leave a comment below! You’ll have until next Monday night (December 11 at midnight EST) to enter, then I’ll pick a random winner and announce it here on the following Thursday (12/14). Just be sure to check back to see if you’ve won! (Or ya know, hit that follow button and make sure you don’t miss the announcement!)
**Giveaway is now closed! Thank you for participating!**