FO: Lekala 4261 Top

Why hello Lekala 4261!  This coral blouse was actually a less fussy version of Lekala 4261, a wearable muslin if you will.

lekala 4261

Fit

Hard to tell as I’ve made it too small for the intended recipient.  It’s becoming a recurring theme here!  I’m going to make various people at social sewing try it on I think to see what the problem was.  I think it could be my use of 7 french seams, it could be the way I eased the french seams.  Maybe it was a typo when I entered it into Lekala.  In some way, it’s going to be my stupid brain.

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Fabric

This top (and the binding) was made out of 1 metre of a silk cotton blend from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  It is BEAUTIFUL to sew.  In fact, although I promised myself to not buy any more fabric I’m in love with silk cotton.  It’s tempting to make lots of silk cotton underwear out of it as it’s just so luxurious and also well priced.  This was $13.95 AUD per metre, which is very reasonable.

Techniques

I’m really pleased with the way this blouse turned out, even though it doesn’t fit the intended recipient.  That’s ok, maybe it will eventually fit me, or there will always be someone skinnier at social sewing that may benefit from my sewing sizing mishaps!

The seams are all french seams (except the side seam with the inserted zipper), with handmade matching bias tape using this method.  While it does give you more seams than cutting long strips and then joining them, it’s easier to cut the bias tape after laying out your pattern if you leave a decent sized square.  It does take me a few moments of thinking to cut it out right, but if you take your time it turns out beautifully.

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I usually don’t use invisible zips (as I find them finicky and liable to break), but it was the best option for this blouse.

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Future learnings

*ahem* it would be wise to check the seam allowances BEFORE doing french seams.  The seam allowances (if you add them) on Lekala patterns are 1 cm (1/2″) , and I did french seams with something wider than that, and with 7 seams shaping the blouse…it slowly shrank.

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Lekala pattern company update

There has been a lot of interest in the Lekala patterns, and I thought there were some key things I’m not sure I covered in my post about the Gridlock Lekala dress

  • The pattern is emailed to you after purchase as a PDF customised to your measurements
  • It’s dirt cheap (approx $2.50 a pattern)
  • The instructions appear to have been put through bing translate, and as such are amusing, but rather useless
  • Some patterns are very stylish, others aren’t to everyone’s taste
  • They don’t provide fabric recommendations consistently or requirements at all.  Even after download, until you lay out the pattern pieces you won’t know how much it will use
  • These aren’t suitable for complete beginners in my opinion, but if you have made something similar before and you are an advanced beginner you could be alright

Happy sewing!

The Tessuti Gridlock Lekala dress

A sewing challenge for all sewists, using the same fabric, to create out own outfits?  Challenge accepted tessuti.  Challenge accepted.  (see here if you want to know more of about the challenge, and here to see some entries).

The fabric didn’t feel anything like I first expected, and it had more stretch and drape and was warmer to boot.

Gridlock tessuti dress

As this was intended to be an ‘experimental’ project for me, I wanted to try a new style, a new pattern company and  heck, let’s try some new measurements while we’re at it right?  I’d read about the kind of creepy yet awesome site www.upcloud.com which takes your measurements via your webcam.  This is free and AWESOME. nice to get some validation that my self measuring isn’t too off.  I’d like to think I’m self-confident enough to not fib about my measurements, but who doesn’t give themselves a centimetre of two of leave?

gridlock tessuti dress

The new (to me) pattern company was Lekala patterns, and the specific pattern was ‘dress with Basque 4189’.

gridlock tessuti dress

So earlier when I said I might fib about my measurements?  Here’s the interesting thing.  When completing the measurements for the Lekala website for my pattern, I didn’t believe the waist measurement that Upcloud had given me.  So I added an extra 4cm.  For cupcakes and the like.  4 extra centimetres is a HUGE differential.

And as such, when I made up my muslin the waist was too big.  By 4 centimetres. GAAAAH. And so much trimming and adjusting was done. Next time, I’ll trust the pattern.

The skirt is 7 pieces, 4 for the peplum and 5 for the bodice. It still came together pretty quickly, even after adding another 11 pieces for the full lining I added. The lining was a light cotton batiste I thought, but after an incident with an overly hot iron I can confirm that it is in fact some unnatural fibre (clearly pulled the wrong fabric from the stash), but I’m happy with it. Using a bright white was important as the lining was going to help make the cream sections “pop” more.

lined dress



The fabric was so thick that the seams should have all been graded, however the included seam allowances on Lekala patterns is a scant .5cm which left insufficient for grading. All the neckline and armholes are prickstitched down to keep the lining from peeking out. The hem was catchstitched by hand for an invisible finish.

Fabric
Gridlock!

Fit
It would have fit beautifully from the first go if I had put my measurements in right. *sigh* The only other alteration was to reshape the skirt and make it more of a pencil skirt and taper in a little towards the hem.

Lekala back gridlock tessuti

Lekala peplum gridlock

Gridlock tessuti dress lekala

Techniques
Prick-stitching, catch-stitching, and really I should have tried a waist-stay to help support the weight of the peplum. The only grosgrain ribbon on hand however was covered in my little pony pictures. Honestly, the problems I have.

Future learnings
I will use Lekala patterns again, their styles are a weird mix of Cue style dresses (an edgy Australian brand), gypsy blouses and wedding dresses. The fact is though, I didn’t have to do a FBA and it fit perfectly through the shoulders. I’m intrigued to try more. They are PDFs, but that work ok for me for the slim pattern pieces are easy to assemble and fold.

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All and all, I love this dress.  And it’s pretty good for playing peekaboo in!  Make sure you go and check out the other entries on Pinterest, it’s such good inspiration!