Tuesday 11 March 2014

Testing Lekala 8004

During my search for more knit patterns I discovered the Lekala pattern company. For those of you not familiar with Lekala: you pick a pattern from their large selection, send them your measurements and within minutes you receive a printable PDF of the pattern of your choice. Customized for your size. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Time for some testing. Lekala offers some free patterns, to convince sceptical sewists like me. As it's serger month I kept it simple, though you could also pick a free pattern for a wedding dress, a teddy bear or men's trousers. I selected Lekala 8004, a faux wrap knit top.

The printed pattern was glued together a few weeks ago while I was watching Olympic speed skating.

Some quick tissue fitting told me something was off. The horizontal seam that is supposed to sit under the bust went across my widest part. Needless to say this is not a good look. Hey, wasn't this pattern supposed to be customized?
Well, the blame is on me. I sent Lekala my height, bust, underbust, waist and hip measurements but overlooked the adjustments section. If only I had told them about my 'increased breast width' they would have known what they were dealing with. Since the placement of the underbust seam was my only worry I executed a vertical only FBA, as per Sham's instructions.

From there it was a quick and easy make. I added clear elastic in the shoulder seams and used a twin needle for the hems, just like I did in my Plantain shirt.

I bought a nice plaid for a pencil skirt to go with the top, but it will have to wait in the sewing queue till autumn.

Right now we are enjoying some bright and sunny spring weather, and some surprisingly early polka dotted guests in the garden. 

I will make another Lekala pattern soon, just to see how adding those optional measurements will influence the fit. But for now I'm already impressed. Although at 1.73 m I'm not particularly tall, I'm just slightly taller than the average height most companies draft for. It's nice to have just that little bit of extra length in the arms and bodice and the overall width was spot on.

Happy sewing!


  1. Thanks for the Lekala review. I am considering trying a blouse.

    1. Great! Did you choose one yet? I do like some of their blouse options too. I'm now considering one of the coats they offer to make a summer coat.

  2. That came out beautiful!
    I really have to give Lekala a try...

    1. What I forgot to mention in the review: the instructions can be a bit..ehh...challenging, mainly due to translation issues. My guess is Google translate scrambled the Russian originals. I hear Lekala is working on it, for now some imaginition helps ;)

  3. One of their patterns I tried was way off in fit. After that I was hesitant to spend the time gluing another one together. I know other people have had success with them, though.

  4. The top looks wonderful - I am most impressed with the style and it seems you are impressed with the pattern, except for the adjustment - but as you say, you didn't tell them.

    I downloaded some elastic waist pants and did a muslin out of stretch twill - they worked nicely, except I thought the style was not right for the fabric - only to check the recommendation that they would work for jersey - and they would. So I want to try them in due course (post study I suspect :) )