We are right in the middle of winter, and the polar vortex has well and truly landed in Melbourne. I must have been influenced by the predictable sea of Melbourne black when I selected the fabric for Emma‘s and my Darn Cheap Fabrics seasonal challenge. I have been actively trying to get black out of my wardrobe, but there were enough shards of colour in this fabric to persuade me to buy it anyway. I also thought that it was something that Emma would definitely like.
As it turns out, Emma liked this fabric so much that she already had some of it! There is another funny coincidence in what we chose to sew as well – but you’ll have to pop over to her blog to find that bit out. So, back to what I made. The jacket is Lekala 4108, and the the skirt is a free pattern from Itch To Stich, the Lindy petal skirt.
So, I’ll start with the skirt. First off, the pattern is free – that is always a bonus! I cut out size Small for the hips but graded up two sizes to Large for the waist as per my measurements and didn’t make any alterations to the length. The waistband is cut separately, but the elastic isn’t fully encased. It’s a different waistband treatment to usual, and it seems to work okay but if I used this pattern again (and I probably will) I’ll encase the elastic in the waistband completely and sew it on to the top of the skirt. I twin needled the hems to secure them in place. Scuba is very easy to sew with; the edges don’t require much finishing, and it’s quite stable. It is of course polyester to the max, but in Melbourne winter a bit of polyester doesn’t really go astray. We need the warmth!
I’m happy with the fit and the length, although I am wearing it rather high up on my “waist”. The taller among you may need to be aware of the finished length at the centre front where the two “petals” of the skirt overlap one another. Okay on my 158cm, but it might be a little more revealing on some. Overall verdict on the pattern? A definite winner.
The jacket is Lekala 4108. I have learned a lesson with Lekala – wait for an illustration on a person so that you can gauge the overall proportions rather than just relying on the line drawing of the garment itself. I had no idea that this pattern was going to be so cropped – although the description “short jacket” should have given me a clue. The sleeves are also cropped, so overall this really isn’t the jacket that I had in mind. The line drawing was extremely deceptive, in my opinion. A cautionary tale for all!
There was also an issue with the drafting at the centre back of the jacket. It kicked out terribly where there is a seamed and faced band. I unpicked it and resewed it after removing a wedge of fabric, which has improved things and made it lie flat, but my fix has left the overall finish at the centre back hemline looking less than professional.
Otherwise the fit is good, as I hoped it would be with Lekala’s made to measure patterns. I should point out that scuba is definitely not one of the recommended fabrics – Lekala suggest “blouse fabric, lining” and it’s designed for wovens. I also left out the lining. So really, is this a fair review of the pattern? I’m not sure. I’m half tempted to sew another unlined version for summer in a woven fabric, but have a whole lot of other summer jacket patterns ahead of it in my mental sewing queue. As expected the instructions were rather brief in parts, and I would like it if there were more notches and markings on the pattern pieces to help with alignment and generally keeping things the right way up. Despite these minuses, Lekala patterns are definitely great value for money.
So to the final verdict – will I wear this? I have a rather strong feeling that I won’t. The skirt might get some wear with other garments, but in this combination, or the jacket alone? I’ll have to wait and see.