Hi all. Amy here. So a while back I saw this cute dress in an ad in my IG feed for this Frank & Oak dress. My first reaction was, “Oh! That looks like a Kalle Shirtdress!” Then I realized they had added a button to the inside back of the dress that buttons through the placket and turns the dress into a sort of romper for biking! As I’m an avid biker, quite often commuting to work in a Kalle Shirtdress, this was particularly relevant to interests! Thanks algorithm! I bookmarked this idea for later and went about my day.
Then, when we learned that some crispy fresh oxford shirtings were going to drop at Core Fabrics I immediately thought of this hack! I love wearing oversized men’s shirts from the thrift store in real traditional button-up fabrics like those of Polo or Lacoste. Being a baby of the 80’s, there is always a part of me that is ready to go full on preppy at a moments notice and this fabric is the perfect opportunity to combine this aesthetic with my appreciation for modern silhouettes.
I started by sizing up my Kalle a couple sizes. I wanted to have lots of extra room in the back to account for movement when the romper hack was activated! I also wanted to change the hem line, to recreate more of a side slit than the regular shapely high-low Kalle hem.
In order to do this I squared off my front and back pattern pieces maintaining some of the high low difference in the pieces. I then used this Pauline bonus tutorial to make the mitred slits on both sides.
In order to accommodate the extra button I also added a little square of fabric in the inside of the back piece. Pin the “romper” where you want it and then mark center back to know where to attach the piece. Cut a 1.5″ square of sef fabric. If your fabric is thin or loosely woven you could also interface this little piece. Clip the corners of the square and fold in all sides, 1/4″ wrong side to wrong side and press flat. Center this square over the mark on your back piece and sew down 1/8th of an inch from the edge all the way around.
Attach your button with a long strong thread shank in order to make room for the extra layers of fabric when this button is done up. Sew two buttonholes that line up as your last button on both plackets.
I also added an easy fold over belt to cinch the romper view in a bit. It helps to keep everything from being to billowy and literally turning into a sail.
We are getting a little late into fall for me to wear this bare legged but I am excited to bust this out in the height of summer when we’re biking from the pool and back more or less all the time to keep from melting. I also love not flashing on-coming traffic when I’m trying to get from A to B without having to incorporate bike shorts into every look. So sweaty.
So that’s it! Hope you have fun dreaming up some fun hacks to your shirt dresses. And remember, always wear a helmet!