When the weather warmed up a few weeks back I was inspired to sew a summer dress. Does that happen to most of us? I feel that I really have put my cold weather sewing behind me for the year now, even though the weather is still very up and down.
The pattern is Lekala 5144, a raglan sleeved knit dress with gentle shaping and a separate faced neckband. Super simple.
Lekala patterns are pdf patterns that are customised to your measurements. In addition to height, bust, underbust, waist and hip measurements, you can tweak your order further by specifying things like shoulders wider or narrower than normal, biceps larger than normal, bust higher or lower than normal, waist higher or lower than normal, and so on. Of course, the issue here is knowing what “normal” is. I’ve been experimenting a bit with this feature on Lekala. My starting point was with the alterations I normally need to make with patterns. I know that as well as being short (this is taken into account with the height measurement) I am proportionately short-waisted. So I chose that option. I think that I might have narrow shoulders too. And depending on what bra I intend to wear with the garment, I might order the pattern with a lowered bustline. But this time I told Lekala I had a broader back than “normal”. Big mistake.
See that fold? That is how much fabric I had to remove from the top of the centre back seam. I often remove fabric from that area anyway, as I have a rounded upper back (sometimes known as a “dowager’s hump”. Ew). Luckily it wasn’t hard to do – I unpicked the topstitching from the back neckband, folded it out, and resewed the seam. Problem fixed.
Otherwise, the construction of this dress was very fast and highly satisfying. Seams were overlocked, and topstiching of the band and the hems done on the machine with a twin needle. I used different colours in each needle, mainly because I could.
I’m looking forward to wearing this dress. The fabric is a light weight double knit (like a ponte) from Super Cheap Fabrics in Brunswick. I love the retro style of the print and the colours. There were another couple of colourways – I’m tempted to get some more, but there is already so much in my stash that is begging me to be sewn.
If you are interested in making this pattern there is a tutorial on sewing the neckband here.