This is my Closet Case Kalle number two and first dress version.
Number one is the shirt length in a crisp cotton. There is also now a three (navy pinstripe rayon shirting), four and five (both in printed silk) of the dress version here. Closet Case is one of my very favourite pattern companies- the combination of style and fabulous pattern drafting is a winner for me… see my Ebony tee and dress, houndstooth Clare Coat, Carolyn pj bottoms in a knit and a pair in flamingo cotton. I also have 2 pairs of Ginger jeans which I’ve never got round to blogging because so many others have done it so well.
I made a wearable toile of this dress first. There’s loads of ease built in and I wanted to have a play and see how it changed the look if you started grading between sizes based on what I would normally look for in terms of ease in my clothes. I traced off a 2 at the bust graded out to a 6 at the hips. It fits me with no issues and gives the dress a completely different look, more fitted, less relaxed. Once this is hemmed it has a good home to go to. It was a helpful process to go through in terms of understanding fit for me.
Here’s the how for the final dress….
- The fabric is a really soft cotton shorting from The Cloth House. I used 2.5m @ 114cm wide in a single layer cutting layout.
- The size is based on my bust measurement- it’s a straight size 8
- I’m around 5’7″ so lengthwise I cut the front and back to the longest length on the pattern and then added an additional 3/4″ to the front.
- I lowered (by 1″) and narrowed the side splits a bit too.
- The interfacing in this is sew-in in the form of Egyptian muslin because I had quite a lot of it.
- Pritt stick, spray starch and Wonder Tape got a lot of use in this project- great for collars, pockets and plackets.
- I kept the lengthened sleeves I used on the shirt version but used the normal cuffs rather than the fold up ones on this version.
- I underlined it in self fabric. The shirting was just slightly too lightweight and see through for a dress and because of the high-low hem I figured you would see whatever you underlined it with. It now feels pretty much the same as double gauze in both weight and drape. I cut the underlining on the cross-grain since it made much better use of the yardage and used a further 1.5m. It gives a great, completely invisible finish to the hem and collar since none of the hand stitching can be seen on the outside. I hand basted the outer fabric and underlining together with silk thread. I like the control I have in making sure everything is perfectly lined up.
- I cut a cardboard template to get the pocket curve as symmetrical as possible. I find this is the quickest and easiest way to get a good result.
- I like a contrasting yoke on the inside so used some double gauze for that. It’s cut on the straight grain to give more support to the bias cut outer yoke.
- The inseam pockets are great but probably a smidge too low. I’ll raise them a couple of inches next time.
- The joy of gingham is the potential to play with the bias grain which I used on the
- Outside yoke
- Bias binding to finish hem (obviously)
- The embroidery is done with white sashiko thread on half the collar, the placket, pocket and hem. I kept the stitch really simple and just varied the length and density- really happy with how it came out.
- The buttons also come from The Cloth House, the Simflex makes quick work of accurate placement- not necessary but it a very nice sewing toy to have.
Hands up- I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS DRESS! Hoping I can get cold weather use out of it too with grey tights and cardi maybe.