Fall Wardrobe Builder: A Versatile Shirt Dress

I’m back with the second installment on the Fall Wardrobe Series with Clover! I am especially excited for this garment because I’ve been wanting to sew it for over a year. If you know me, you know my patience level is that of a toddler so this long wait has been killing me but there’s a reason I put it off for this long…Last year I attempted the Kalle from Closet Case Patterns as a crop top. I used a big plaid print that I absolutely adore. However, the print was a quilting cotton weight fabric and that just was a really bad idea for the silhouette of the boxy crop top. Since my shoulders are the broadest point on my body, having a crop top that hung stiff from my shoulders just made me feel nothing aside from a line backer!!! Ugh! I have spent the last year eyeing and admiring many, many Kalle shirt dresses and tops from fellow sewists and I knew I had to give the pattern another try. Have you ever had that experience? A super popular pattern that you adore on everyone else but hate for yourself?? I knew I had to make a few changes for my second attempt: a fabric with better drape and feel, the shortest hem on the shirt dress option and a belt to cinch the dress in at the waist.

The Pattern & Fabrics

As mentioned earlier, I used the Kalle from Closet Case Patterns to sew this cute shirt dress. I chose a olive green leopard print from Mood Fabrics. The print scale was large enough to keep the shirt dress from getting too busy, the color is my absolute favorite and of course I have been riding a huge animal print high this fall so it was perfection!

The Sewing Tools

I couldn’t have completed this garment with as much speed and ease if it weren’t for my awesome new Clover sewing tools! I shared a run-down on how I used these tools on my Instagram (check the fall wardrobe highlight if you missed it!) but I thought it would be helpful to link them up here:

  • Hot Ruler: This is such a helpful tool when it comes to getting a super crisp and even hem or fold line. I love being able to quickly and easily fold fabric with precision and use my iron to give it a good press without having to move the ruler away! This ruler has a grip-y side that sticks to the fabric without shifting as you iron the fold. I used this for creating the button placket, the pocket and hemming the shirt dress.
  • Point 2 Point Turner: Crisp corners on a collar (say that 10 times fast) elevate the look of a garment so much! I loved using this easy tool to poke out the corners on my collar and smooth the curves with ease.
  • Thread Clippers: I have a habit of leaving all the thread tails until the end of construction. These little clippers make it super easy to just scan the garment for thread tails and snip away.
  • Buttonhole Cutter: I have never tried this tool before I sewed up the Hudsons and I can tell you I’ll never be going back to using a seam ripper to open the buttonholes! This cutter is sharp and creates a crisp cut line down the center of the buttonhole….and there are a lot of buttonholes on the Kalle!
  • Water Erasable Marker (Thick): I love using erasable markers to transfer pattern markings onto the fabric. This one is thick which means the markings stand out boldly but erase with a little drop of water in a snap! I used the marker to mark buttonholes and button placement in a jiff!

The Finished Look

I wanted to show the shirt dress just as it was but also play a little bit with the styling and layer it with distressed jeans. I’ve been seeing that trend all over Pinterest and thought this was a great shirt dress to use! The shorter hemline makes it almost a tunic which is really flattering over pants. I left the bottom half unbuttoned and let the breeze give it a flowy feel!


Well that’s it for my second sew with the Fall Builder Wardrobe collaboration with Clover!! I’ll be back with the third garment later this week!

2 thoughts on “Fall Wardrobe Builder: A Versatile Shirt Dress

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