Gingham Kalle Dress

A second Kalle, this time in the dress length! My mom brought me this classic green gingham, just enough to make this dress; it’s a little bit crisper than the drapey mystery blend I used for my last tunic, so it stands away from my body a bit more.


Like my last version, this is a size 18 graded to a 20 with a small FBA. This time around, I converted the darts to French darts (on a steeper diagonal angle) so that I could drop the sleeves down more. I have big biceps, and even with the generous ease of this pattern, the sleeves bind up a little in my last version. With an extra inch of space here, they’re perfect! I also brought the shoulder seam forward half an inch to stop the collar from dropping back, and it’s worked perfectly. I’m really happy with the fit now, though I think the next version will be longer and thus more teaching appropriate!


Honestly, I suppose I could do a sway back adjustment to get rid of a little of the pooling at my lower back, but the back is so loose and open and my butt so generous that I don’t much care. In movement, of course, everything works!


I did the inverted pleat on the back, and as you can see, cut my top collar, popover placket, and sleeve cuffs on the bias, which adds more visual interest. I also added bias-cut pockets at the hip using the chest pocket pattern piece. Chest pockets never really work for me, what with all that chest pushing things out of them, but I love the look of a low hip pocket. I would have liked these ones to be big and oversized, but I only had just enough fabric to cut them at this size. I used pearlized snaps rather than buttons because I happened to have just enough of them around.

Have you made a Kalle yet? What adjustments or changes did you do?

3 thoughts on “Gingham Kalle Dress

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  1. I did an FBA according the directions on Heather Lou’s blog and it honestly didn’t work (I also did a forward shoulder adjustment at the same time). I ended up tossing pattern, fabric – the whole works into the bin never to be seen again. I’m sad about that too because I keep seeing really lovely Kalles like yours and wonder why on earth I couldn’t achieve a reasonable fit with this pattern? Love yours in this nice gingham!


    1. Oh, that sucks! I ended up doing my FBA in two tries — the first one in the blue tunic I made was fine but not great, then I ended up rotating it into a French dart for this one. FBAs with dolmen sleeves seem to be tricky, though, based on my limited experience here.


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