Hawaiian Style Kalle Shirt

I know I’ve probably said this countless times before, but this is for sure one of my favourite makes!

The fabric is from Sister Mintaka – she was talking on her stories about whether or not to stock this fabric and I said words to the effect of ‘OMG you have to so I can make a Hawaiian style shirt!’. And luckily she did decide to order it so I snapped up a couple of metres of it.

The pattern is the Kalle shirt from Closet Case Patterns. I made a cropped version last year and I absolutely love it but for some reason I hadn’t got around to making any others until this Summer (I do have 2 or 3 more cut out and ready to sew too).

I made the size 6, as I did last time and I used the cropped version as a starting point, but lengthened the front to be basically the same length as the back and I gave both the front and back a straight hem rather than the curved one on the original.

I still love the huge pleat in the back of this pattern!

I spent way longer than I would like to admit making sure that the pattern matched across the front and I messed it up a bit! I don’t know how, but my calculations were slightly off so the button band is twice as wide as it should be to make it match as I didn’t have enough fabric left to recut one of the fronts, which I think I would have had to do to get it to match properly. This is definitely the most complicated pattern matching I’ve every tried – stripes are usually my limit! But it was an interesting challenge.

The best part of pattern matching I did (IMHO 😂) is the invisible pocket – can you spot it in the photo above?

Ta da!

Because of the button band fuckery the collar doesn’t sit quite right, but I don’t think it’s really noticeable to anyone else as long as I don’t do it up right to the top.

I love the buttons too – they were from my local sewing shop and I think they work quite well. I thought about doing the hidden placket version, but I thought pattern matching across the front would have been impossible if I had tried!

I’m quite sad now that the weather has turned cold because I probably won’t get much wear out of this until next Summer. I did manage to wear it a few times over the Summer (I made it in August 😳) and I got quite a few compliments – and my favourite, someone asking where I got it from and me being able to say ‘I made it’ while feeling pretty smug that it means I have a one-of-a-kind garment!

I’ll leave you with some outtakes – even with a remote and taking the photos myself I still end up with some gems!

This is my resting face – I don’t know if I look really pissed off or really sad – probably a combination of both!

And…..just……wtf!

2018 in Review

Another year is over so I’m recapping what I’ve made in the last 12 months. I thought I hadn’t made as much in previous years, but I made 5 dresses, 4 sweatshirts (2 for my friend’s daughter), 2 Cleos, 4 Pairs of trousers, one of which was part of my Socialite Soiree suit, 4 shirts, and a coat. Plus I made a Freddie Mercury outfit and refashioned a bunch of things into a Miss Fisher outfit. Phew!

Here is my final Make Nine 2018 progress – I made 5 of them, which I think is the most of any Make Nine I’ve come up with. I still didn’t yet make jeans. 2019 will definitely be the year I finally tackle jeans! I made my Honetone Coat, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (twice), Blaire Shirt and Portobello Trousers.

The thing I’m proudest of making this year (as I mentioned via the #myproudestmake hashtag) is my Honetone coat. I really took my time over it in February and I’m really glad I did. Apparently there is some really cold weather coming in January so this will still get lots more wear this Winter. I kind of want to make another coat, but I probably don’t need one.

My second favourite make from this year was the suit I made to wear to the Sewcialite Soiree. I made it in record time, (unlike my coat) because I left myself, like 3 full days and 3 evenings to make it in. The Joe Jacket came together really easily and I definitely want to make another one, in black and white houndstooth – if anyone has any ideas where to buy some suiting in houndstooth, let me know!

One of my favourite makes was my cropped Kalle shirt. I definitely want to make more Kalles. I did wear it quite a bit this year as we had an unusually long Summer.

2 things that I wore way more than I anticipated were my 2 Cleos. Though sadly I wore the mustard one to work a lot and when unloading a delivery from a van I got a big black mark on it, which hasn’t come out yet. Happily I have loads of mustard corduroy left over from my suit so I’m going to replace it – I think that will be one of my first makes of 2019.

Pretty much my only refashion project (except adding a hem band to a cropped Inari tee) was to make my Miss Fisher outfit for The Rafashioners. The coat will definitely get lots of wear in Spring and Autumn when it’s not too cold.

My love affair with shirts continued – I made 4, 3 of which were from patterns I hadn’t used before. (Clockwise from top left: Blaire, Honeycomb, Melilot, Kalle)

I also made 4 pairs of trousers – and I have lots more plans for more trousers in 2019. (Clockwise from top left: Persephone Pants, Simplicity 1696, Portobello Trousers, Mercury Trousers). I really want to make more Persephone Pants next year so I’m on the lookout for good fabric.

I also made 5 dresses last year, which is a lot considering I don’t wear them super often now I work hulking fabric around all day. Dresses aren’t the most practical of garments. I love the Laurel I made – definitely a good rediscovery of a forgotten pattern in my stash. (Clockwise from top right: Inari Tee Dress, Carnaby Dress, Ebony Dress (blue and gold))

Also this year I ‘launched’ my Hundred Years Wardrobe project – to sew something from each decade of the 20th century. I also completed the first project – this 70s Freddie Mercury Zandra Rhodes outfit. Sadly I didn’t dare wear it to the cinema when I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing!

This year I joined my local brass band, and a swing band, playing the cornet/trumpet which I played for 10 years while at school. I went to their big Christmas concert last year and the year before and last year I finally plucked up the courage to talk to the band leader and then I played at the Christmas concert this year! I also spent rather a lot of money on a set of mutes so I made some storage bags to keep them from getting bashed and scratched.

The other thing I wanted to do in 2018 was to do some knitting and to make my partner some clothes. I basically didn’t do either of these for 51 weeks of the year – I have actually done some knitting over the Christmas break. I’ve been finishing a jumper I cast on probably 3 or 4 years ago!

All in all this was a pretty good year for me – I did plenty of sewing, played lots of music and got a new job which I don’t hate. My partner turned 40 and we went away for a weekend. And I’ve tweaked some stuff in our flat so it looks nicer and works better – and I’ve been clearing out cupboards this holiday season, which has been really satisfying! I finally renewed my passport and went to visit one of my best friends, with my other best friend, in Germany finally, which was really brilliant. I always feel stupidly pleased with myself when I manage to fly somewhere on my own!

I’ve also had quite a few periods of feeling low and uninspired this year but I tried to be kind to myself and not get annoyed at myself if I didn’t sew for a couple of weeks or blog as regularly as I might have liked. Sewing and blogging should be fun hobbies so if I didn’t fancy doing them, then I didn’t and I feel good about that.

Peachskin Blaire Shirt

I made another shirt – something new and different for me (read in a sarcastic voice!)


It is, however, a new to me pattern – the Style Arc Blaire Shirt. I had admired this pattern for quite a while and bought it last year and I finally made plans to make it during the Summer and ended up making it in September, when it was still relatively warm here.

I like the shape of the side seams and the under layer, though I did get a little confused by the instructions and was paranoid that I had done it wrong until it was basically finished. This was my first Style Arc pattern and I have to say the instructions are sparse to say the least – I think it fitted on one side of A4 in 2 columns. Luckily I’ve made a lot of shirts and this pattern doesn’t have some of the trickier parts of shirt-making, like cuffs and plackets and the collar seemed pretty simple to put in. I think this would be doable as a first shirt, though.

The fabric was this mustard with a geometric blue and white pattern peach skin from Fabric Godmother but she doesn’t seem to have it any more, sadly. This was my first time working with peachskin and I kind of like it – I don’t know about the fibre content, but I assume it’s synthetic as it does make me slightly sweaty without necessarily making me warm, but I like the drape and the slinky-ness. It was a little slippery to cut and sew, but it wasn’t as slippery as the crepe I used for my Mercury Trousers, so it seemed okay coming off the back of making those!

Another way the Blaire is a little simpler than, say, the Archer or the Melilot, is that there is no yoke or pleat on the back, so you don’t have to worry about any burritos!

I made the straight size 8, without making any changes and I’m happy with the fit – as you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I like looser-fitting tops and particularly shirts. You can’t really see that there is a seam across the middle – I think when (probably when, not if) I make it again I might pay with the directions of stripes or with some colour-blocking.

I sadly didn’t have any outtakes from this photo shoot, which is a shame because it’s my favourite part of my blog posts. 😦

I think I’ll definitely keep my eye out for a fabric to make another shirt next year when the weather warms up again. And I do kind of want to make the shirt dress version – I don’t actually own any shirt dresses, which is weird considering I like shirts so much!

 

 

Cropped Kalle Shirt

I’m finally blogging my Kalle shirt, which I think I made mostly in March and then finished in April (i.e. took about 3 weeks to get around to adding the buttons!). I love this shirt! If you’ve read my blog for a while (or looked at my handmade wardrobe archive page) you will see that I like making shirts and have made a few different patterns. This was my first Kalle but I predict it won’t be my last. I wish I lived somewhere that was warmer more of the year so I could justify a couple of the shirt dress version, but I already have lots of dresses I  never wear, so maybe more cropped versions and some tunic versions are in my future.

I made the straight size 6 based on my measurements and made no adjustments, and I’m pretty happy with the fit. I think I have a long body, so maybe next time I would add a couple of inches to the front hem (and maybe the back hem to keep them in the same proportion) to make it just a little less cropped, but I do love it. I just need to make more high-waisted trousers to wear it with!

I bought this fabric from the Sewing Bee Live from Higgs and Higgs. I can’t find it on their website, and Sew Over It have sold out.  It was kind of a last minute purchase – I’ve got a certain amount of money out to spend on fabric and hadn’t spent it all by the end of the day, so I bought it for my last £20 (it was £10 per metre) and I’m so glad I did! It has a really nice drape and although monochrome might be a bit boring, I’m sure I’ll get a  lot of wear out of this once the weather is warm enough – though I could wear it with a vest underneath.

I made the version with the hidden button placket, and I’m so glad it actually worked this time, unlike when I tried it on my first Deer and Doe Melilot shirt. The instructions were great, very clear. And it’s great that she gets you to sew the button holes as soon as you’ve made the placket so you’re not wrestling a finished shirt through your machine to make the buttonholes.

I really love the giant pleat on the back – it gives the back a really nice, swingy shape. I’m glad I picked a drapey fabric for this, though I’d be curious to make it with a more structured cotton or something.

I really do love the shape of the hem – and sewing the hem facing was super easy. I was worried it would all go wrong and not sit nicely, but the drafting and the instructions are spot on.

Sadly I don’t have any outtakes today, boo! I took these photos myself using my tripod and timer and it tends to be when The Boyfriend takes the photos that I end up with some great photos!

I may be pretty late to the Kalle party, but I really do love it. I also love shirt making in general – I like all the topstitching, as it makes me feel like a boss when it goes well and the stitching is all straight. And I like that shirts are more involved than some projects (not that I don’t love a quick win sometimes) and handily I love wearing shirts, so it’s lucky that I don’t mind making them. I have the Style Arc Briar next on my list of shirt patterns to try, but I’m looking for the perfect fabric.

Do you make shirts? Is there a particular type of garment you love making?