Done and Done: A Sailboat Kalle Shirtdress


I picked up these cute little sailboats on our last trip to Germany. It was at a store kind of like Jysk that carries discount home dec and accessories, including fabric. I quickly realized that I was wearing mostly stripes or solids and had sort of grown out of novelty prints.


I kept looking at it and realized it needed to be a Kalle shirtdress. As a dress, it wouldn’t need to match anything else. It would be the perfect, breezy dress for sightseeing in Europe this summer. I find that the sleeves and the print remind me so much of the short-sleeved Hawaiian print shirts men wore in the 50s.

I chose the standard collar, regular pleat and the popover placket. I was really worried about the placket, because, like the hidden placket, it’s the very first thing do and is very scary. I actually found the popover very easy compared with the hidden placket. I love the satisfying point of the tower placket and I always pull my button-downs over my head anyway.


The instructions say that you shouldn’t need to grade out at the hips if you’re only a size or two bigger on the bottom , but I found my most recent Kalle a little snug around my thighs, so I graded out two sizes at the hips. It’s the perfect amount of ease to keep everything feeling nice and breezy.

I was worried that the dress would be too short and I would have to wear tights or leggings underneath, but the length is actually perfect. I had also worried that the stiffness of the fabric would make it hang funny or stick out, but it kind of works with the boxy nature of the cut. I also love the curved hem as it lets me show a little leg without making the whole skirt short.

20180415_123842935420285.jpgMy last, and possibly favourite, detail is the contrast bias binding inside the hem. Continuing with the nautical theme, I went with the red bias tape I used to stabilize the shoulders of the blue stripe Blackwood cardigan. I’m especially excited to wear them together!

2 thoughts on “Done and Done: A Sailboat Kalle Shirtdress

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