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Lekala Patterns: 4017 (Blouse) - Type:Tops    printable version
Viewed 546 times
Review rated Helpful by 2 people    Very Helpful by 7 people   
Reviewed by:Baja Susana
Friend of PR
About Baja Susanastar
Member since: 7/13/08
Reviews written: 30
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 5 people
patterns reviewed: 29
Bio: more...
Report a problem with this review
Posted on:10/16/13 9:30 PM
Project Photo:Lekala Patterns: 4017 by Baja Susana

Pattern Photo:

Pattern Info provided by Baja Susana

Pattern Rating:Recommend, with Modifications
Current Tags What is a Tag:
Fabric:Cotton-Lycra Woven  [See other projects in this fabric]
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Pattern Description: Women's ruched top. Bodice shaping, and button front.
It took 17 pages to print the pattern pieces.
Here is what the pattern looks like right out of your printer
Line drawing and instruction page
Here is the page that shows you what the pattern pieces should look like
Pattern pieces example
Here are the pattern pieces before taping together
Pattern puzzle pieces
And finally he pattern pieces
Voila! A pattern

Pattern Sizing:Patterns are drafted to your measurements. Send them the specific measurements that they request and in 24 hours your pattern arrives as a PDF.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looked mostly like the pattern picture, I left off the ruffles on the shoulder straps.
I used contrast facings, and bound the top edge of the blouse front and back with black bias binding. Here is a tip:
Because of eye issues, I am not the ace top stitcher that I used to be. But I still like to top stitch. And when I am attaching binding I want my top stitching to be beautiful and do double duty to hold both sides of the binding neatly in place. So now I use a decorative stitch in matching or contrasting thread. It gives a nice finish and I don't have to worry about perfection. Here is some decorative stitching on the binding :
Decorative Top Stitching

Were the instructions easy to follow?
There are minimal instructions, and they are poorly translated from Russian to English. It is mind boggling to me that a company with such advanced technology cannot find someone that can translate the instructions.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the design, I liked that most of the pattern pieces fit together well.
I did not like that the arm hole facing that was also the shoulder strap pattern piece did not fit I had to re cut it.
Here is the armhole facing, I pinned it like crazy to ensure a nice smooth application.
Pins Pins Pins
You do have to add seam allowances. I am comfortable with doing that since Imuse Lutterloh almost exclusively.
I use my SA curve ruler, it makes life easy. Since this pattern was printed without seam allowances and I many cases there was no room on the papers to add the seam allowances, I used chalk to mark the seam allowances directly on the fabric.
Adding seam allowance directly on fabric Here is a better view of the SA curve. This ruler has different curves and is 5/8"
Nifty SA Curve
Fabric Used: cotton Lycra "American Gabardine" as they call it in my local fabric store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: This was going to be part of my mini wardrobe collection, but the armhole facing gave me so much trouble, I tossed the whole project in my "maybe later drawer". I gave up too soon. I forgot that there was a 1.5 inch button strip to be added to the front. And without that extra inch, the armholes were not sitting right.
I decided to finish the blouse, and go back to the armholes. After I put the button strip on, the armholes were fine.
I felt that the top was too loose and looked baggy on me, so I tapered it to make it a more close fitting silhouette. Had to take almost 3 inches out of the center back. This also meant removing my decorative top stitching cutting the binding and reattaching it.
My artist friend did not like the black binding on the front, so we tucked it in a took this photo.
Without black binding

Aretha Franklin Bombastic Boobs

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I am not sure I like the Aretha Franklin Bombastic Boob look. I think one of these tops is enough.
A thinner less endowed woman may love it. The fabric was probably not the best choice for ruching.

Conclusion: The concept of Lekala patterns is simple and interesting. The price cannot be beat anywhere from free to $2.49 US. If you register on their website, you receive a 10% discount. I have read many other reviews and looked at blogs about Lekala. Many SEWISTS have had great success with these patterns
Sunny Gal Blog
Lekala patterns have been reviewed on PR. I suggest that everyone try one.
I also think that I have completely exhausted red, black and white in my sewing.
thumbsup Pattern with more than 5 reviews!
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6 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
SewLibra said...
I like your top and find your review very interesting. Thank you for showing photos of the online pattern process. I have yet to use that method of obtaining patterns and appreciate seeing how it is all done!
10/16/13 11:35 PM
Quickie said...
Good that you finished this top in the end. In your climate it is useful to have many of those, I suppose
10/17/13 2:29 AM
Re Becca said...
Wow, thats a gorgeous top. American gaberdine, that's funny. Very interesting review, so much info for those of us considering Lekala. I like the look of the dress, very Baja-vacation-esque. I think it looks very fun, esp. with the skirt. Great top and great review.
10/17/13 11:28 AM
AdaH said...
Great color, I love red. You have a great fit so was worth finishing the blouse. I have never tried Lekala patterns thanks for the review.
10/18/13 11:26 AM
Pj3g said...
Really cute top and definitely a 'very helpful' review! Great job!
10/19/13 9:37 AM
8dove8 said...
Your tip for decorative top stitching is wonderful, practical too...very nice on this top...thanks for sharing...
4/3/14 4:59 PM
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