My first Lekala blouse- custom sized, downloadable pattern

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?

first lekala crouching

Do I show you a flat picture of the shirt during construction?

first lekala blouse during construction

I should show you the blouse close up so you can see the fit and the princess seams.

first lekala blouse black princess seam frontfirst lekala back first lekala blouse black back closeup

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.

first lekala blouse black close up yoke oops first lekala blouse black first lekala blouse peek 

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?

46 thoughts on “My first Lekala blouse- custom sized, downloadable pattern

  1. Tia Dia says:

    I have never tried Lekala patterns, although the “customization” could be a fantastic seller. I love your blouse. The fabric is tdf, and I see why your friend wants one, too!

  2. Tracy S (T) says:

    Brilliant to read such a great review of a Lekala pattern. I downloaded two yesterday and am working up to cutting out … this gives me great hope. The blouse fits you so well. Looking forward to your Lekala review part 2.

  3. girlguydogcat says:

    That blouse is very nice. Blouses are such a simple thing but t’s hard to find a nice basic pattern that’s not a tent, a basic button down or has all kinds of strange design details or embellishments. I may have to give Lekala a try. Can’t wait to see your other versions!

  4. robindrush says:

    I love the blouse and the fabric! I have Lekala cd’s and pattern software and rarely use them because I hate matching paper and notches and I too need fba.Though, the one time I used it for a dress, it came out pretty close–only minor adjustments needed. You blouse looks like a pretty good fit. Can’t wait to see your other two blouses!

  5. CGCouture says:

    You look lovely in this! I can see why your friend would want one of these shirts too! And I’m hopeful that my local Jo-Ann’s gets some of the cool fabric I’ve seen around the blogosphere lately, it needs some “new blood”.

    I have stalked the Lekala website for *ahem* years….they have so many cute patterns on there, the price is super affordable, and the fact that they let you input measurements has made me consider them pretty heavily, I’ve just always been a bit nervous about inputing my CC information into such a dodgy looking site. And I may not have been the only one since they’ve got a new one now that looks less dodgy than the old Leko-Mail site and is easier to navigate. They also sell through Etsy, though I think the options on there are more limited.

    • Leila says:

      I haven’t looked on Etsy for them. Interesting. I’ve bought from them on two occasions, buying several patterns. The site looks dogdy but I haven’t had a problem. 🙂

  6. Shawn Mueller says:

    I have a few of these patterns but only tried sewing one of them and it was a complete disaster – I don’t know if it was a weird grading issue (I’m not a ‘little’ girl) or a fault with my construction process.

  7. Laurie says:

    I love this blouse… It is just my style. I love the fabric too… Is it like a dotted swiss? I saw a navy blue dotted swiss that I may get. The pattern is really nice on your black blouse tho… better than a dotted swiss!

  8. Rosamond says:

    I have used them and found the patterns to be good but not great due to the lack of instructions and some pieces not being in English but aside from that they fit me better than traditional patterns due to my shape.
    If you think you are going to a copy shop to have them printed on large format printers tell them up front, they charge for a new pattern if you change the formatting. Their prices are so reasonable that it is not an issue; my printer never gets things squared up which is a piecing nightmare.

  9. Simona says:

    Now that is a gorgeous blouse. Looks so good on you. You rock lady! Well you convinced me. I shall have a look at their website and see what I fancy, however got so many patterns I need to makes some stuff first before I buy more patterns. 😉 can’t wait to see your other makes.

  10. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) says:

    I love this shirt, both the style and the fabric 🙂 I stumbled across the Lekala patterns the other day on Craftsy, which does make me want to try one. I have a big list of things to do so I’m just going to get through that before deciding on trying anything new – but definitely on the list of patterns to try.

  11. aem2 says:

    I love this blouse on you. I’ve just made a massive wish-list of patterns to contemplate buying, but I’m a little confused by the customizing process — in particular the Adjustments. Are my protruding bust points normally far apart, or closer or further apart than normal? How do I know?

    • Leila says:

      I guess you could compare to a store bought top to see….other than that, I’d measure the distance from apex to apex and then compare that on the pattern. I hope that helps.

  12. Essi P says:

    I’ve seen Lekala patterns popping up a lot in the sewing blogosphere just recently. It’s nice to see a finished result rather than just links to the patterns. The blouse looks really good and the fabric is to die for. Accidental visit to JoAnn’s website might be my next stop ,D

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