Kalle Shirtdress >> MaddieMadeThis.com

A Kalle Tunic in Crisp White Poplin

After I posted my new Kalle on Instagram over the weekend, I realized I’d never shared any posts about this pattern!  It’s a staple for me, so it seemed like time.  Closet Case Patterns get me, you guys.  When the Kelly Anorak launched last fall, I was immediately in love.  Like, so in love.  And really, I didn’t think that anything could top my love for the Kelly… until the Kalle came out.  I fell for it, and I fell hard.  I’ve realized that buttoned shirts are one of my favorite things to wear.  The Kalle is a perfect addition to my wardrobe, then!  I’ve made a couple, but today I’m sharing the Kalle tunic in a gorgeous white poplin.

The Kalle Tunic

Cutting out the Kalle

I made a size 6 Kalle, which is my normal size in Closet Case Patterns.  I absolutely love the fit of my Kalles.  Since I’m so tall and straight, I often try to avoid super straight designs because they don’t always do me any favors.  The 6 is a great fit on me — loose enough to fit the style, but not baggy.

I used a fantastic white stretch cotton poplin from JoAnns.  I bought five or six yards of it at first, and then went back for another five a few weeks later.  That’s how good it is.  It’s crisp but lightweight, presses well, and isn’t totally see through.  JoAnns can be pretty hit or miss (seriously, stay tuned to hear about my other Kalle tunics…), but this poplin is so good.  If you can get your hands on some, I recommend it! I do think that the stiffness of the fabric made the collar a little too tight, resulting in it standing out from the collar band a lot.  I’m not mad about this, though.  I kind of love the Flying Nun/preppy look, and it definitely softened up after a wash or two.  Just consider not interfacing the collar proper if this bothers you.

Kalle Shirtdress srcset=> MaddieMadeThis.com” width=”4032″ height=”3024″>

Sewing up the Kalle

Okay, real talk — I always have issues with Closet Case patterns.  I don’t know why, and at this point, it may just be a mental block.  But you guys: I did not have a SINGLE big problem with the Kalle tunic!  This is basically unprecedented for me.

The popover tutorial on the Closet Case blog was integral to my Kalle tunics.  I actually tried to make an Archer button up with a popover front last fall, and couldn’t figure it out.  It’s been sitting in my WIP pile for probably eight months.  I’m not ready to finish it just yet (it’s flannel), but when I do, I’m so much more confident about my skills.  Although I will say that if you’re using a fabric with no wrong sides, pay attention — my placket has the buttonholes on the left side, when women’s shirts usually use the right side.  I literally could not care less, but I know some people do.  Also, guys, make sure you don’t accidentally put the placket on the back piece instead of the front.  Ask me why I’m telling you this…

Kalle Shirtdress srcset=> MaddieMadeThis.com” width=”4032″ height=”3024″>  If I made another Kalle out of a hefty fabric, I might take a little of the volume out of the back.  It’s… poofy? right now, and I think it has a lot to do with the weight of the fabric.  I don’t ever really make a fit adjustment beyond lengthening something, so I’m not sure if there’s a technical term for this.  But basically, I’d want to keep the width at the yoke and take a wedge out coming down the center back.  I also did an inverted box pleat, so the excess is on the outside, which doesn’t help.

The Kalle tunic also showed me how far my skills have come in the last year.  I remember it being early summer (maybe May) of 2016, and trying to do an Alder shirtdress.  The collar just seemed so tricky, and like it came together so oddly.  I now attach collars the way that Jen has you do them in all the Grainline Studio patterns, and it feels like second nature.  I don’t even need to look at the directions now!  So this was a nice time for me to realize that my skills are growing all the time.

Kalle Shirtdress srcset=> MaddieMadeThis.com” width=”3022″ height=”3024″>

The Kalle tunic also comes together super fast, which is a nice change from the other Closet Case patterns I’ve tried.  I can do one of these babies in like two hours!  I use homemade bias tape to finish off the hem, which I think adds a super fun pop of color and has the added bonus of busting my stash.  The pattern is drafted to have you make your own, but you could also buy some.  I hear Kalle prefers homemade bias tape over storebought, though, so proceed with caution 😉 (thanks Lara for the inside scoop ;)!).

I truly love the Kalle.  I can see it being a staple in my wardrobe for years to come!  I’d love to do another tunic in a black poplin or cotton, but for now I’d like to focus on the shirtdress style.  I’m already planning for a trip to Italy next summer, and I think the Kalle in black and/or in white would be such a great lightweight dress, but still modest enough to get me into churches for sightseeing.  That black Kalle is super perfect, and I can’t wait to make its inverse twin!  Anyways, in case I haven’t convinced you already: MAKE A KALLE.

Kalle Shirtdress srcset=> MaddieMadeThis.com” width=”4032″ height=”3024″>


Yardage needed: I used a little less than 1.75 yards since I made my own bias tape

Level: Advanced beginner (placket)

Time: approximately 3 hours

General modifications: none

#SewingTall modifications: none

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