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Sewing is therapy for me. I hoard fabric, patterns, notions, and spend more time shopping for fabric than I care to admit...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lekala 5669 Blouse

Hi again!  I just made a very funky blouse from Lekala patterns.  I am not sure if it is 'me' or not but it sure is interesting!  Based on the lines of the top, I simply had to make it.  I mean, can you blame me?  I had to find out simply based on my curiosity how the heck this was put together. 

Here is my review of Lekala 5669. 

So, if you haven't heard of Lekala before, listen up.  These patterns are based on YOUR personal measurements.  When you order the pattern, you list your measurements and a very short while later you receive your personalized pattern PDF.  How awesome and cool is that? 

The designers recommend using a medium or highly stretchable jersey fabric for the body.  Also you need jersey braid or piping for the trim.  I've never heard of jersey braid or piping so I experimented until I figured out what worked.  More on that later.

After putting the PDF together, the top was fairly easy to stitch.  All the notches matched up and even though the instructions were translated from Russian, they did make sense.  One thing you really need to do with Indy pattern companies is to read the seam allowance width.  For the two Lekala patterns I have used the have 1 cm or 3/8" seam allowance.  Had I used a regular 5/8" like the big 4, I would have been in trouble! 

So with this pattern, the front is two pieces and so is the back as you can see in the technical drawings above.  After putting those seams together the next job is to secure the two cross over straps and the right side is simple with just one seam.  Just read and follow the directions as written and if necessary, look at the drawing, it comes together easily.

The next step is to apply your piping, braid, trim or whatever you want to call it.  I laid the top flat and started at one of the left shoulder seams to apply the braid.  By the way that is where the notches are that fits the left sleeve front and back.  After that step, you attach the side seams and then set in the sleeves.  And yes, the left sleeve needs hemmed before attaching it.  Sounds simple right?  Well if you knew what type of edging to use it would be a breeze but I had no idea so I experimented and struggled a bit before breaking down and trying fold-over elastic.  First I tried a contrasting knit that I made into bias tape--that took forever and it was too wide, didn't lay right, and was heavy.  My next step was to cut the bias taps in half and try applying a narrower trim.  That was a little better but still left ripples in the trim and didn't lay very well.  I was just about to wad it up and leave it for a while and I thought about fold over elastic.  I even searched the blogosphere to hope someone had documented their trials with the top but I couldn't find any other reviews.  Long story short, I stopped at my local JoAnn's and purchased two packages of the purple fold over elastic that was 5/8" wide.  I forgot to bring a scrap of the fabric to see if the purple would match but forgot so thankfully it worked perfectly!  It applied easily, lays almost flat all the way around and gives a nice contrast. 

Hemming was completed on my coverstitch machine.  I am still struggling with that thing.  Does anyone have any good tips or know of any tutorials on using it?  I mean I bought that thing so my hems would look perfect and damn it I'm not there yet.  --Insert heavy sigh here!--

So, I do like this top.  It is comfortable but I do have a few tips.  Buy the dang fold over elastic straight away and use that for the piping.  Other stuff just doesn't seem to work very well.  Trust me, I know this from lots of trial and error. 

You might want to check the length of the top.  The length is fine but had I measured prior to cutting, I would have lengthened it about 2 more inches.  This is merely a personal preference and nothing to do with the pattern. 

If you do make this, will you let me know?  I'd love to see your version and what you thought of the pattern.
Also, if you can get all these curves to lie flat, I'd love to see that as well and hear your tips on how you were able to accomplish that!

Thanks so much for reading! 
I so appreciate your comments!
Sue :)   

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful pattern and your top is gorgeous!