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Lekala S4006

I saw Thornberry's S4006 ages ago and really liked it. A simple shift dress but with enough little features to make it interesting, plus it was free and I thought a great test of the Lekala. Lara has the details about Lekala in her post if you are not familiar with them.

I used a fabric that is a ramie or cotton or linen mix. It is years old and was just green and white but a pretty ordinary green so I dyed it with an aqua that isn't very visible here due to such bad photos but it didn't turn out as vibrant as I thought so it was a good fabric to test the pattern as I could still wear it as a house dress. You can't see it here but the hem is a faced curved hem and I lined it with a tiny orange gingham and I used the orange theme to topstitch around the sleeve hems and around the neckline.

What I like: it was perfectly drafted and the pieces fit really well together. The sleeve is a great shape and the bust darts were in the right position.

What I don't like: it is way too big. I ordered it with seam allowances and maybe I'll try again eliminating the seam allowances and see for fit. It is too long. This below the knee length is matronly. I don't like it on anyone... it throws the proportions off and makes you look dumpy and short. It's too wide in the hips - I was hoping I could use this draft as a kind of block but no, won't work as is.
Obviously my measuring is out. Lara got a really great fit so it's got to be me... it's hard measuring yourself for some parts. I have very small shoulders and back (probably a size 6) so it's hard to accurately measure my shoulders at the back.

The sleeve went in perfectly and pretty easily for a set in sleeve. The fabric has some mechanical stretch due to the semi loose weave. Darts are probably a bit low now I look, but that could be the the overall dress is too big. Hate to say it but the colours are pretty accurate if not a little lighter here. Still not what I was going for.

 I made the yoke burrito style and cut the outside one on the bias for visual interest. It should have a little dart in the back centre but I forgot and I think the bias helped me stretch it to fit... oops. I still like this style but I will need a measuring partner to get my measurements accurate for future use. I really would like to try Lekala again as I hate making so many fitting changes to patterns. So a fail - but good experience and a pretty quick sew too. You keen for Lekala?


  1. I've used Lekala a few times now and intend to use more in the future. In my experience the patterns go together nicely, the notches match up and the fit for most items has been spot on - darts in the right place, princess seams fitting beautifully, collars sitting nicely. They're brilliant for me - I don't have to go to the effort of doing a full bust adjustment. But I've learnt the hard way that it's a good idea to do a quick measure of the pattern before cutting out. (Thinking back I have even told people that the patterns are a good starting point but may require fine tuning!) I made my daughter blouse 9567, the fit was brilliant everywhere but the sleeves, which were too tight (despite having the bicep measurement as an adjustment)- the armscye was the right size and fortunately I had extra fabric so was able to do a quick adjustment. I then made a few different tops for me without issue. When the daughter asked for blouse 5958 I confidently took my scissors to her Liberty Lawn and assembled the body of the shirt - she tried it on.... the fronts would barely meet let alone overlap... Fortunately the fabric has a very busy pattern so you don't notice the gussets I had to insert down the side seams. That done, the shirt fits perfectly, right shoulder width, princess seams in the right place... a couple of minutes with a tape measure before I started sewing would have saved me a lot of frustration!

    1. Oh yes that is good advice Fiona and something I need to remember. I actually found the measurements I used after I wrote the post and on glance they look fine but I'll remeasure and see where I went wrong. Your experience shows it doesn't matter if one fits the next one may not!

  2. I have never braved a Lekala but am interested to see them. Your fabric looks lovely and cool and I really like the orange check trim, and your yoke on the bias. It does look too big, but could you not run it in down the sides and re-insert the sleeves? You put a lot of work into the pretty hem, but you could just cut off and make the dress shorter. Your sewing as always is beautifully neat. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Patricia. Yes I may fix it up to have as a house dress and I may just skip the sleeves to keep it cooler and at least use it. Good idea.

  3. I didn't have the best experience with a Lekala pattern, but I have heard of people living them! I don't like making loads of adjustments to a pattern either. It is a pretty color on you, but it does look a little big.

  4. You're definitely on the right track with the dress. Once you have it (or the next version) fitted better you'll have a real workhorse pattern I reckon. And a really nice practical style for your climate.
    *bemused* I just sounded like my mother. 'Nice practical style'
    I really meant 'a nice, practical style' Such a difference a comma makes!

  5. I've never tried Lekala, but am keen to try it out some time!


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