indigo days

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

Hey guys! It's been a hot minute. Or maybe more than a hot minute? Lately I've definitely fallen prey to the instant gratification of Instagram over the longer format of a blog post, but I'm trying to make myself sit down and actually blog, because, quite honestly, I've got a lot to say, and there's only so much one can put into an Instagram caption!

I took a break from blogging for the Mood Sewing Network for a couple of months this past spring to get my "life" into some semblance of "order"... whatever that means.  And if I'm being completely honest, to find my way back to enjoying fashion again.  My love for sewing and creating hadn't really waned, but my interest in clothes was just... not there. I've felt a bit off in my personal style, and really meh about current trends.  I feel like my body has changed, and keeps changing, and day in and day out it was just so much easier to wear gym clothes than try to come to terms with what looked the best, and (more importantly) felt the best on my body.

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

Honestly, I feel like what's finally kicked my butt back into gear has been participating in Me Made May! There's been a lot of Me Made May action happening over on Instagram, and I've felt very inspired by what many of my online girl crushes have been putting together for their daily outfits. In particular, I've been getting major wardrobe envy from Ebony H and Sophie of Adaspragg.  If you don't already follow those two, go and follow and let me know if you similarly want to wear everything in their closet!

The other really great benefit of Me Made May has been documenting my own outfits.  It's no challenge for me to wear handmade everyday, at this point, and so the past few years my participation in Me Made May has been very half-hearted, at best.  But this year -- perhaps because it hit during a time that I was feeling some major wardrobe doldrums -- seeing my own outfits has really helped me to get a handle on what I like wearing, and where my personal style might be going. In my mind, this is really the benefit of doing these online challenges.

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

And so, as we're rounding out May, I'd like to introduce you to one of the things I've made recently that just felt so so right for me at the moment.  This is the Kalle shirtdress from Closet Case Patterns, sewn up in a tencel denim from Mood Fabrics.

Many many many moons ago, when I still used Pinterest, I pinned an image of a woman wearing an oversized denim shirtdress.  Apparently it was in another lifetime, because for the life of me I can't find that image anymore, or login to Pinterest, but that's another issue! But trust me - this woman was the definition of chic. It's funny the things that stick with us. I hadn't thought about that image for years, but when Heather released her Kalle pattern, and I started nosing around in my stash looking for a fabric to make it out of, that image came back to me and I knew that this pattern, and this tencel denim that I had bought for an entirely different project, had to come together to make my very own oversized denim shirtdress.

It's not exactly a novel idea.  Denim shirtdresses are classics, and can be found, in varying silhouettes, pretty much every season in RTW.  Still, it felt like a total eureka moment to this humble sewist, alone in her sewing room, in her crappy apartment, in her broken down beach town, on a spit of land in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. I'll take my props where I can, okay?

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

The tencel denim was perfect for this pattern.  A pure denim, or even chambray, wouldn't have had the drape that the tencel provides, which I think is key in making this oversized silhouette feel effortless. Sewing it was pretty drama-free.  I enjoyed the fact that it was basically just a large shirt, with many of the fun shirtmaking techniques - like button plackets, collars, pockets, topstitching, burrito-method back yokes... you know the ones. But the drop-shoulder, kimono sleeve meant that fitting was basically a non-issue, and the construction stopped just short of that point in making a shirt (sleeve cuffs and tower plackets...) where I start to feel like it's getting a bit tedious.

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

The only time I started cursing was while doing the bias binding on the hem.  This mostly had to do with my blood sugar being low (you can ask my husband, my boss, my mom... strangers on the street... I turn into a monster when I'm hungry) sewing non-stop for too many hours on end, the fact that this fabric didn't like to hold a crisp press on the bias (has anyone else ever experienced this? It pressed fine on the straight grain, but on the bias it just kind of wanted to bounce back...) and just my ongoing feud with bias binding (curse you bias binding... curse you!). However, it really provided a nice finish for the hem in the end, so it was worth it. 

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle ShirtdressMood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

Some of my favorite features of this dress are the dropped shoulder, the topstitched sleeve cuff, and that deep box-pleat at the back, which billows out when the wind catches it. I also love the exaggerated curve of the hem (even if I am still a bit sore about that bias binding...) 

I kept all my topstitching subtle by using a navy thread.  It's a touch darker than the beautiful indigo blue of the fabric, so it gives a hint of definition, but still keeps everything in the blue family so there isn't much contrast going on.  

I'm pretty obsessed with this dress right now. I actually sent Heather a text after wearing it for a day that went something like "DUDETHEKALLEDRESSOMG" (I may or may not have been drinking, and Heather may or may not be my friend that I drunk-text.  Mind your own beeswax, people. Sheesh). It's so incredibly wearable, and it makes me feel put together, yet relaxed. Perfect for my very casual lifestyle. Also, it's a godsend to have dresses like this when, for whatever reason (you've lost weight, you've gained weight, you're on your period, you're sick, you've put on muscle, you've aged, you're hormones are shifting... the list goes on and on...) you're body is changing and you can't quite get a handle on how to dress it.  This dress just works, and yet I don't feel like I'm wearing a sack. 

Mood Fabrics Tencel Denim Kalle Shirtdress

I feel fairly refreshed from my sewing and blogging break, and I'm hoping that some of my renewed enthusiasm for clothing will stick with me through the summer.  Summer is always the most difficult month for me to get excited about clothes in because wearing clothes is, basically, disgusting. Ha! But I'm feeling optimistic! I got big plans, people! Big plans! 


Okay. Medium sized plans.


Small plans? Look, we're just gonna try to keep trucking!  Thanks, as always, for following along. Love you guys!