LTA Green Seamstress Project #4

Last but not least, the forth project using French organic fabric is a Kalle Shirt made with schoolbook double gauze, sent to me by Amandine Cha.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

When all four fabrics arrived on  my doorstep, this was the one I was most excited about. I had my eyes on it from the very beginning and no questions asked, it was going to become a shirt. I've never seen anything like it but I had my suspicions that  the subtle blue and pink stripes would fit perfectly into my existing wardrobe.

The website describes this fabric as a poplin, but with my English way of sewing would better describe this as a double gauze. Both the "right side" and "wrong side" are equally beautiful - and when you cut into it, you can see that it's two layers of fabric attached together with tiny stitches at regular intervals. 

Being a natural fabric, it washed and pressed beautifully. If I had planned more carefully, I would have measured the width before and after pre-washing to record if it had shrunk at all. I've not previously worked with double gauze, but my experience tells me that a looser weave of fabric has potential to shrink slightly in the washing machine. I didn't notice any behavioural change once the fabric had dried - the same lightweight, drapes qualities were still there. 

The only problem I had was deciding what exactly to make with it.

ALTERATIONS

My original proposal to Amandine (approximately this time last year) was to make the Grainline Archer button-up. But by the time that our long hot summer rolled around, I realised that I was lacking in sleeveless options. So I naturally switched up my shirt plans to the Kalle Shirt, which still has all the structure of a collar and button placket - but with the bonus of have a grown-on cap sleeve that just gently hangs off the shoulder. This pattern has all the benefits of keeping you covered, but without the restrictions of a long fitted sleeve that you definitely don't need in London's 30 degree heat.

I made minor pattern adjustments during the cutting-out process. For example, I did not cut the back yoke on the fold, which enabled me to get this triangular bias cut pattern with the blue and pink lines - a detail that even Amandine herself picked up on when we met up for dinner and drinks in mid-July.

Having made this pattern once before, I decided to lengthen the shirt by 2 inches since I already knew it would turn out quite cropped. In doing so, I straighten out the hem. The original pattern has a beautiful curved shape. But with the fabric pattern being so straight, I thought it would be a weird mis-match and also provide more opportunity to mess up the cutting stage if the grid of the fabric didn't evenly match up.

VERDICT

For me, this was the perfect fabric and pattern combination. The fabric is so pretty and easy to wear, and this shirt shows those details off in the best way. I spent a lot of time just looking at the fabric deciding what to make with it - knowing that I wanted to get it just right. This shirt could not be more perfect. The fabric is beautifully light and drapey, which has been the ideal thing to wear in this heatwave - and it has this nod to traditional shirting, which makes it office-appropriate too. I just can't stop looking at this fabric.