I have had the Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt in my pattern stash for a very long time and never made it, in spite of seeing many inspiring examples on social media. Then, a conversation with my SewingSansFrontieres friends, Hélène and Suzy, resulted in the three of us deciding to make this shirt, and make it from an old tablecloth. I was very excited at the prospect of this as I do love a tablecloth refashion and I really needed a push to make the pattern.
I decided to have a practice run and made the long version of the shirt using some vintage white cotton lawn that I had in my stash. I cut all the pattern pieces out and then decided to ice dye them before sewing them up.
I simply crumpled up the wet pieces of fabric, laid them on a grid (in this case a just replaced ceiling exhaust fan, now in my dyeing kit!), covered them in ice, sprinkled powdered dye over them and put the whole lot over a bucket to catch the melting ice. I used violet, blue and red dye.
This technique is really meant for snow, but we don’t get a lot of that in Perth. I could replicate it by crushing the ice, but our freezer makes quite small ice cubes so I went with them. It’s so hard waiting for the ice to melt to see what the results are like.
The pattern pieces on the line. Quite bright! I didn’t use a solid piece of fabric and then cut out the pieces as I didn’t want wastage, but I did throw a few scraps into the mix.
The patterns created by the ice dyeing are amazing, I could gaze into this fabric for hours. I can see flowers, including orchids, and faces, and here and there are little creatures.
The shirt was a fairly straightforward make and I don’t know why I waited so long.
The only drawback to dyeing the pattern pieces is that there is no choice where a particular bit of design finishes up. I have a bit of a situation going on in the front of my shirt, but my husband assures me that no-one would notice. Hmm, not so sure!
The back of the shirt is really long, and from behind I look as though I wearing a dress. In fact, I may have used the wrong cutting line as I don’t see other shirts being this long.
I considered chopping the tail off, but I just couldn’t sacrifice that pattern. I may eventually have to face the fact that it looks silly and cut it off.
Excuse my wet hair, it was a really hot day when I took these photos, and I’d had a swim.
I wore this shirt enough to know I love it, in spite of the length, so I dug in my stash and found a vintage damask tablecloth to use for the “real” thing.
This time I made the cropped version, and would make this one a little longer next time!
I’ve teamed it with my Pattern Union Lisa Bias Skirt, because I happened to have that on and I though it looked quite cute.
I did the inverted pleat, as with the first one, and I love the way the back sits. Here teamed with jeans made from my trouser block.
I used the facing for the hem and it adds weight to the bottom. I really like the line of stitching around it too. I used the collar band rather than the full collar this time as the fabric is quite thick and I wasn’t confident that I could get sharp points with it.
I found the correct number of buttons in my stash – these little flowers, and I’m thrilled to have used them. I feel that they really go well with the damask.
I’ve now worn the damask shirt a couple of times and it’s really comfortable and feels nice to wear.
Given that Hélène, Suzy and I did this as part of our Antidote April for Magamsewalong on Instagram, I thought I’d show you their tablecloth makes too. They look sensational and so, so clever.
This has been such a fun mini project, from working with my two friends, to ice dyeing the fabric. I can’t wait to make my next one!