Tencel Twill Kalle Shirtdress

The denim Tencel Kalle Shirtdress I made last year has become a firm summer favourite. I reach for it every time I want to feel comfortable, especially when those summer temps crawl above 30 degrees Celsius and I still need to leave the house looking somewhat presentable. Because I (probably) can't wear the same dress every single day, I decided to make a couple more Kalle's to help round out my summer wardrobe.

This was my fourth time using the Kalle Shirt and Shirtdress pattern by Closet Case Patterns, and I think I've got a pretty good handle on it by now. I can see my button band and collar insertion skills improving, which is so exciting! There are various options you can choose for this pattern - different lengths, a standard or band collar, an inverted or box pleat - but in the end I made an exact copy of my first dress, because I like it and I'm kind of boring like that.

This version includes a standard collar, front pocket, button band and box pleat at the back. In the post about my first dress I mentioned that the size I made - a size 14 - felt a little big, but after wearing it all last summer I clearly changed my tune (because loose = breezy), so I went for the same size again here. The only modification I made was to lengthen the dress by a couple of inches so it hangs my knees, and even out the front and back pieces so there's a less dramatic high-low hem than originally drafted.

Can I take a moment to appreciate this fabric? I used black Tencel Twill from Blackbird Fabrics, which has been hanging out in my stash for more than a year waiting for the perfect project (the black isn't in stock at the moment, but this is similar). I think this might be my dream fabric. It's easy to work with and has a beautiful drape and a lovely sheen. I finished the dress off with plastic tortoiseshell buttons and a sew-in label from Kylie and the Machine.

Black might not be everyone's first choice for a summer dress, but this fills a big gap in my wardrobe. I surprisingly have very few black dresses, and this is something I can wear right through summer (and layer up with a jacket when it starts to get cooler) and feel comfortable and confident in. That's a winner in my book.

I love this pattern, so you know it's not the last Kalle you'll see around these parts. In fact, I have another to share very soon!

p.s. Apologies these photos are a little grainy ... I'm still trying to work out my indoor photo set-up. I might need a fancier camera!

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