Check out those matching butterfly shoes.

He doesn't remember, but this was all Mikey's idea

May 16, 2020

If you'd rather click through the photos in a gallery, go here.

When I decide what to sew next, lately I've been divided between creating something new and fun and something practical, like T-shirts. Because I've been sewing face masks since the first weekend of April (I've made 128 so far and have an order for 50 more I started this week.), I needed a break from the practical and familiar. 

These past few weeks between batches of face masks, I made the Closet Case Patterns Kalle cropped shirt and Liesl + Co. City Stroll wrap skirt. Mikey spotted these two garments on a sample display at Bolt in Portland. When I pulled out the patterns and reminded him that he insisted I buy both patterns, he didn't remember at all. Even now that my versions are finished, he still has no idea what I'm talking about!

Wrapping up a batch of masks between finishing the Kalle shirt and starting the City Stroll skirt.

I guess I like a challenge because I had slightly less fabric than recommended for the shirt and had to match the plaid. I managed to puzzle the pattern pieces onto my 1.25 yards of fabric. I even was able to cut the button placket on the bias but had to cut the hem facings on the cross grain. I can't remember for certain, but I think the cotton is a remnant from Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver.

I cut size 2 and am overall happy with the fit. I typically prefer my garments tailored closely, but I find with cropped tops, a little extra room looks better.

I wore this all day once this week, and it didn't feel too big. But when I make the dress version of Kalle, I might go down one size. I just hope it won't pull at the bust buttons.

The pattern has multiple options for buttons, including a regular placket and a popover placket. I chose the hidden placket, which was great because I'd never made one before. The directions didn't make much sense on first read, but as I expected, they were easy enough once I actually got to that step.

A hidden placket means you can't wait until the end to decide on button placement, so when I got to the hemming step, I found the bottom button was in the way, so I had to shorten the depth of the hem a little. I'd guess the whole thing was my mistake, probably marked the buttons upside down or something.

The pattern includes instructions for either a boxed or an inverted pleat. I chose inverted.

Mistakes abounded in this shirt. I didn't account for the yoke when I matched the plaids, so my side seams didn't quite match. But I got lucky, and they were only slightly off. So I was able to fudge them just a little to force them to match.

My biggest flub came near the end of construction. I had just attached the collar and right at the end of grading seam allowances, the shirt got in the way of my blade. I cut a big ol' slice in the front. I cussed so much, Mikey checked on me to make sure I hadn't cut myself.

I knew the shirt was ruined but once I'd cooled off and finished venting, I machine-mended the damn cut and finished it. If I fold the collar over just right, you can't see the damage. And it's a cute, comfortable shirt. So I guess I'll wear it until I can't stand the error anymore.

I wore the shirt one day while working on the next batch of masks but had a hard time finding the right bottom to wear with it. Because of the cropped front, it needs a high waist, but the only skirt that matched was too long and wide, which looked funny with the billowing back.

I knew the cropped top looked good with the wrap skirt because I had seen it in person, so I pulled out the pattern and looked for a coordinating fabric in my stash.

This cotton velvet is leftover from some modified Sewaholic Thurlows I made three years ago. It's the first fabric I bought from Esther's when we moved here.

I had a little more than half a yard, which was enough for the main skirt and waistband but not for the pocket lining and hem facing. Which was fine because I like the contrast.

Pocket lining in contrast fabric.

The contrast fabric is a leftover cotton blend from Fabric Recycles. I originally used it for a Colette Hawthorn muslin, which has since worn out. I hope it lasts longer in this use.

Buttons are from my stash. I'm pretty sure I bought them when Kaplan's in Kansas City closed. I had no idea what I wanted to use them for. I had exactly four and knew they'd just show because of the of cropped shirt. Perfect fit!  

I cut size 2, which according to finished measurements would get me the higher waist I was going for. Typically I can't stand the feel off a high waist. This ended up sitting right on my belly button, and it didn't seem to bother me. Perhaps the mild stretch of this fabric and the soft velvet made it more comfortable. 

I didn't change much in construction with one exception. The seams are all half-inch, but I attached the hem facing at quarter inch at the back, grading to the half-inch at the top front. I thought the skirt was going to be a little short, especially where it curves and wraps. It turned out fine, and I doubt the quarter-inch made much difference. I also folded the edge of the hem facing over only a quarter inch for ease of construction. 

There was one error in the pattern. The front hem facing was off by one size, but it was an easy fix, as it was a size too big. So I just popped the short seam, cut off the excess, and restitched.

One final note on the pattern. I find the pocket bags just a tad short. My phone sticks out just enough that I'm concerned it might fall out, and it doesn't look as nice peaking out. Next time I'll add a little length.

Both of these patterns were great creative breaks from mask making. Neither took much time or material. I thought I'd be uncomfortable in this outfit because it's the most hipster clothing I've ever made or worn. But it turned out so cute! And even though the shirt isn't as tailored as I usually wear, it's polished.

I already know I want to make another wrap skirt in a vibrant pattern. And a shirt dress sounds so comfortable for summer coming up. Maybe I'll make one with a waist tie or belt. 

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