Pattern Review: Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirtdress

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The Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress from Closet Case Patterns has been a big deal for D.C. area sewists. The pattern is named after the owner of our local sewing store and studio, Stitch Sew Shop. A busy mom and entrepreneur, Kalle’s laidback and classic style is reflected in this easy-to-wear silhouette.

The Kalle features three different versions: a cropped top, a tunic length top, and a dress. The pattern can be customized with different button placket and collar options. A full button placket or a popover placket can be sewn. You also have a choice between a band collar or a traditional collar. A pocket can be added to the shirt front. The shirt/shirtdress can be further customized with either a box pleat or an inverted pleat in the center back.

Several versions of the Kalle have been sewn up by D.C. area sewists:

For my Kalle, I decided to sew the dress version with a popover placket, traditional collar, and box pleat. I purchased the pattern and fabric at Stitch two weeks ago and finished the final button hole this weekend.


Kalle accessorized with my furry child. She insisted on being in the photos. (I’m not checking my phone- it’s a remote for my camera!)

While I’ve modeled it here with stacked heels, my husband announced it would look best with sneakers. As I was trying on various shoes from my closet, he did a quick internet search and announced he’d found the perfect shoes for my Kalle. He ordered them before I could pretend to protest and they should arrive soon. He selected sparkling white Tory Burch sneakers. Aren’t they the perfect combination of sporty and classic?

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 9.07.00 AM

If you, too, need to complete your Kalle with these shoes, they are currently on sale at Tory Burch’s website. I think there should be some sort of best husband award for my guy’s smooth shopping moves and impeccable taste.

The full review is below and available at

Pattern Description: Loose fitting summer shirt/shirtdress with various collar, placket, and pleat options.

Pattern Sizing: Misses. I sewed a size 10 which matches my bust measurements. Since it is a flowy silhouette, it is unlikely you’ll need to grade between sizes. There is lots of ease. I am short (5’3″), but decided not to shorten the pattern. I like my dresses to end at my knees. If you prefer a leggier look and are my height, you will need to shorten the pattern a bit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: Yes! Initially, I was on the fence with this pattern. It looks kind of boxy and shapeless on the envelope, but when I saw it sewn up in drapey tencel, I was sold. It turned out more flattering that I’d anticipated.

Back view. Stacked heels from Nine West Outlet and are currently on sale. I love a sale!

Were the instructions easy to follow?: For the most part they were. I’ve made a traditional collar and popover placket before, so neither were new to me. I think the directions for both are very clear. The collar construction in particular is well done. If you haven’t sewn a popover placket or collar before, this pattern is a great way to try your first.

I did have a head-scratching moment with the cuffs. For the last few tops I’ve made, I’ve attached cuffs by first folding the cuff in half and then sewing both edges of the cuff to the edge of the sleeve. For Kalle, you sew only the edge of the cuff closest to the sleeve to the sleeve edge. The second cuff edge is folded over and sewn to encase the raw edge of the sleeve and cuff. It makes a neat finish, but the directions aren’t clear. The illustration does show only one edge sewn to the sleeve, but I was relying on the text and missed it. I spent some time unpicking my initial cuff insertion once I realized my mistake.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: The finished product looks professional. Closet Case Patterns focus on finishing touches and Kalle is no exception. The attention to detail (lots of topstitching and thoughtful construction methods) results in a make that looks tough to execute, but is do-able for an intermediate sewist.

Fabric Used: Yummy tencel in olive green from Stitch Sew Shop. The shop also carries this tencel in navy and black. The store isn’t set up for online ordering, but if you give them a call, they will take a phone order and send it to you!

Side view of high-low shirttail hem

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None. (How wonderful is that?!)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Yes, I think I might try the cropped shirt length. I feel like once you’re over 35 (ahem… I may fall into that camp…) cropped is no longer cute. I will likely add to the length so it falls below my waist rather than at or above it.

Conclusion: Kalle is a lovely pattern that delivers a professional finish.

Closet Case Patterns is hosting a sew-along for Kalle. If you haven’t yet sewn yours up, the sew-along posts may be helpful. You can find them here.

Happy sewing!


7 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Closet Case Patterns Kalle Shirtdress

  1. Very lovely version! I also am almost done and still need to do buttons/buttonholes. Glad I’m not the only one that had a head scratching moment with the cuffs. Luckily I did it correctly the first time and did not need to unpick.


    1. Thanks and lucky you regarding the cuffs! It certainly wasn’t the end of the world, just a little annoying.


  2. Love your #kalleshirtdress, and love your blog post. Well done! (and well done, husband – good call on the shoes! I can especially see them with a more casual linen version!)


    1. Thanks! I was very impressed with my husband’s shoe choice. This counts as enabling my sewing habit, right?


  3. Looks nice on you! With your fabric being tencel, you must have used a fairly stiff interfacing in your collar for it to sit up like that?


    1. Thank you! It’s so comfy to wear!
      I used a lightweight Pellon interfacing on the collar. This tencel has some body to it, so the lightweight interfacing was stiff enough to produce the degree of stiffness I wanted.


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