I have to say I was a bit skeptical when I read that Lekala offered customizable patterns. You put in your measurements and shortly after, you get a pattern that’s supposed to be your size. I’ve been wanting to try it so I bought 3 blouse patterns. I know that fitting takes me the longest because I take forever trying to decide what alterations are really necessary. I don’t always do an FBA, even though I always have to make room for my bust.
Now that I’ve made my first Lekala blouse pattern up, I can see what smaller alterations I would want to do on this blouse or on other blouses, even though they are “customized” to my measurements.
All in all, I LOVE this blouse. It’s not super fitted, and if I wanted to take more time or have a closer fit (which is really what this blouse is about) I would’ve done an FBA. I can tell from the side views- it’s not tenting a ton and the sheer fabric helps keep it looking too tenty, but it’s definitely a straight line from the apex down to the hem. Sometimes, I like the close fit and want the button band to follow the curve of my front, which would require an FBA or altering the font pieces to curve just so.
Fabric: I bought this at JoAnn’s! I was so surprised to find it there and I’m going to have to go back for more because a childhood friend of mine wants me to make her a blouse that looks just like mine!
I stitched and serged all seam allowances, leaving a really clean finish on the inside. The hem was also serged and then turned up and stitched.
The instructions are pretty limited so I’d recommend having some experience making buttondowns OR have other instructions on hand to help with the collar, for instance. This is not a difficult shirt at all but I want you to know that the instructions are just a construction order list with minimal direction and no illustrations. I cut it in a night and then stitched it up in two evenings. The buttonholes were done one morning before I howered! Ha! Anyway, if you want instructions, I’d recommend Grainline’s Archer. I would also recommend instructions for the Henry Shirt from Sewing for Boys. There are really great ones in there for collars and I love the way Karen does everything by machine. Or, of course, you could google any part of the construction order that doesn’t make sense.
Let’s see…how do I show you a black blouse?
Do I show you a flat picture of the shirt during construction?
I should show you the blouse close up so you can see the fit and the princess seams.
And then I noticed something… I attached the buttons wonky and now the yokes don’t match up. But, hey, no problem. That’s an easy fix and I know for a fact that it’s just the buttons, not something that happened during construction- that would be awful! I think the cami I’m wearing underneath is masking my unlined yokes…that is, unless you’re looking for flaws in my work.
I love this blouse. I could use a tiny bit more room in the cuffs but because the armhole fits so well (I like it close fitting) then there isn’t any dragging or pulling. Another thing that I’d fix for the next one would be to narrow the front shoulder. The back shoulder is fine- it’s just the front. In conclusion, I have to say that I love this pattern. I also can’t wait to get working on the other two blouse patterns I bought.
What do you think? Have you tried Lekala patterns? Will you now? Do you think a sew-along would be a fun idea? There are so many patterns on the Lekala site that I’d totally make up. First, I need to assess the gaps in my current wardrobe. Then I get to choose a new pattern. Any gaps you need to fill?