The Kala Top, Berlinerie Patterns

A Review of The Kala Top Pdf Pattern by Berlinerie Patterns.

Berlinerie Patterns reached out recently for pattern testers. They are a German company who create pdf patterns for Women, Men and Children with some Accessories too. They're in the process of translating their patterns into English.

Kala Top Pdf Pattern Review Berlinerie
I made my Kala Top with a gently rounded neckline.

The Kala Top has an A-line design with a loose, breezy fit around the stomach and hips. Lightweight fabric with drape such as chiffon, viscose or voile is recommended. The Kala Top Pdf Pattern includes three neckline options:

  • high cut v-neck

  • low cut v-neck

  • round neck.

The back neckline is cut straight across the shoulder blades but you could easily use the front neckline shape if you prefer.

Kala Top Pdf Pattern Review Berlinerie
The back neckline is straight but you could easily use the shaping from the front neckline.

The Kala bodice is constructed with a facing which neatly finishes the neckline and underarm while encasing the straps. You can choose a standard short length facing or make it longer so that it acts more like a lining.

The Kala Top comes in A0, A4, US Letter and Projector format. Only the Projector format has Layers enabled. Most of the testers felt that Layers should be added to the other formats but unfortunately the software that Berlinerie currently uses is not compatible. This may change in the future. It's available in sizes XS - XL.

I chose to make a Kala Top with a rounded neckline, straight back and full lining. I opted to make a muslin first from some old sheeting. This is a really important step even with a simple shape like the Kala Top.

There is no shaping at the bust such as darts so if you have a fuller bust you may have to consider grading between sizes or adding darts. There are no measurements given for the upper bust but my full bust measurement puts me into a size UK 18. I knew that this would be far too wide for me across the shoulders so I graded from a UK 16 across the neckline and under the arms down to UK 18 over the hips.

Kala Top Pdf Pattern Review Berlinerie
My muslin of the Kala Top - I need to bring the straps in!

When I tried on the muslin I was happy with the fit over the bust and hips but the straps were too wide apart so I widened the armhole by an inch to push the straps closer together. The feedback from most of the testers was that the straps were too far apart so this has now been addressed in the revised pattern.

I graded between sizes from the underarm down to the hips and scooped out the top of the armhole to make the straps closer together.

I used a pretty pink crepe from foreverfabrics (in the process of closing down unfortunately). I thought this fabric would be difficult to control but actually it was really lovely to handle and is very comfortable against the skin.

I have to be honest, the instructions are not great for The Kala Top. The translation has made some steps difficult to follow and it still contains typos. It is, however, easy to construct if you've had any experience in making a top with a facing. Perhaps not great for an absolute beginner though.

Kala Top Pdf Pattern Review Berlinerie
After grading the Kala Top pattern the straps fit comfortably on my shoulders.

The front and back are cut on the fold from the same pattern piece. You can choose to make the 'facing' whatever length you want. I made mine 3" shorter than the main pieces so it acts more like a lining. You could cut the outer and inner pieces the same length and with careful fabric choice the Kala would be reversible.

I constructed The Kala Top in a slightly different way from the instructions. After sewing up the side seams of the main bodice and lining I then sewed the bodices together at the underarms. This meant that I had a guide where to line-up the straps.

I also didn't follow the instructions for the straps. I made my straps using a 2"x 25" strip of fabric. I sewed this into a tube, turned it out and then pressed it flat before cutting into two. This is longer than you need but gives you enough to make adjustments. Consider making the straps wider if you want to make sure that your bra straps are hidden,

I sewed the straps to the back neckline first and then tried The Kala Top on so that I could mark where to position them on the front neckline. I basted them in place and checked fit before sewing and finishing the front neckline.

After making my alterations I'm really happy with The Kala Top and it fits me better than anything I could buy in store in this style. Usually straps like this are constantly falling off my shoulders. I can see plenty of ways this pattern can be adapted too - I could continue the A-line down to make a dress or add ruffles to the hem. Another thought I had was making a pair of Winslow Culottes from matching fabric to make a romper/jumpsuit outfit.

This is a staple item to have in your wardrobe and doesn't use much fabric - I made this Kala Top from one metre of fabric so I think I'll be making plenty more in the future!

Geordiehandbag's Sewing Adventures


Welcome to my Sewing Blog! 

My name is Joanne and I love to sew. Here I'll be sharing my hand-made makes and giving my honest opinion on pdf patterns and how easy they are to understand and construct.