adult's clothing · Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along: my Lekala 4329 jacket revealed!

Well, you’ve seen it already on my dress form Ada, so this isn’t really a big reveal.  But I know that there is a difference between seeing clothes on a dress form and seeing them on a real person!  So here goes – Lekala 4329, made to my measurements.

Lekala 4329 jacket

Lekala 4329 jacket

Lekala 4329 jacket

Lekala 4329 jacket

Lekala 4329 jacket

So, what’s my verdict?  I’ll start with the minuses.  See the bit of blousing above the belt at the back?  That’s due to a couple of things.  Firstly, the belt is probably too tight!  Secondly, I provided Lekala with a circumferential waist measurement.  They have divided that measurement evenly between the front and back pattern pieces, but most of my “waist” measurement is actually in my front.  Which then makes the front a fraction small and the back a fraction large, at waist height.  But it’s not drastic.  And maybe I just need to pull the back down a fraction.

The pluses?  It’s a great fit across the shoulders and chest, I love the two piece sleeves, it’s well proportioned for my short and short-waisted frame, and everything fits!  The pattern pieces all fitted together beautifully, and overall I have to say that I am very pleased with Lekala’s price and product.  There is no way that I would have been able to make a jacket that fitted me this well with an unaltered pattern from any other pattern company.  Lekala still need tweaks, but that is the challenge of translating circumferential measurements to my body shape.  I think that the secret is all about taking accurate measurements.  Actually, the most recent issue of Threads has one of the best articles on taking measurements that I have ever read – I highly recommend it.

So, what about the rest of the Lekala-alongers?  Suzy has already shown off her lovely jacket here.  Andrea will be putting has hers up on the blog later today here  Black pleather – fantastic!  Rachel‘s went into the rubbish bin after she inserted the sleeves.  Karen‘s is still in flat fabric form somewhere in her new sewing room, that is still being set up.  And Kathryn and Ali – how far did you get with yours?

Overall, it’s been a great experiment.  Thanks for taking part, whether by sewing along or by reading along!

Lekala 4329 jacket

adult's clothing · Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along: what are we up to?

Behind the scenes there have been emails going out to the Lekala-along participants, hopefully keeping them on track and sewing!  Three of us have finished our jackets, and I have a strong suspicion that there are still a couple who haven’t started.  Just to update you and provide a blog record, I’ll include my “instructional” emails from the past few weeks.

Week 4 – Lekala instruction 5. Construct the collar. Sew the right collar to the left collar at the centre back seam. Repeat with the facing pieces. Sew the outer collar to the collar facing with right sides together along the outer edges. Grade seams, possibly understitch, and turn to the right side and press. Pin to the neckline, matching notches and centre back seam, and the lower edge of the right collar to the hem markings on the bottom of the right lower front, and the lower edge of the left collar to the pivot point on the left upper front. Baste into place.

Week 5 – Lekala instruction 7. Insert sleeve heads, sleeves and shoulder pads.

Week 6 – Attach the facing and assemble the lining.

In terms of the lining, it consists of the Lining parts as per the Lekala instructions BUT in effect also includes one the main fabric lower front part (times 2), the main fabric lower back part, the main fabric button stand (times 2) and the back neckline facing. The main fabric button stand and the back neckline facing are sewn together to form facings for the entire front, and the lower front/lower back parts effectively form facings for the bottom “peplum” part. Clear as mud? These will eventually be sewn to the lining pieces – but we’ll get to that bit later as well. At this stage if you ignore the “attention” part of the instructions and just cut the lining pieces for the front part and back part from the main pattern pieces, that will be fine and we’ll trim them to the correct size to be joined to the facing pieces (back neck plus button stand pieces) later on. By the way, I cut the back lining piece so that I could incorporate a centre back pleat for wearing ease.

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - altering the lining to accommodate the facing

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - altering the lining to accommodate the facing

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - altering the lining to accommodate the facing

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - front lining

In the photos you can see that I have cut out the lining pieces the same size as the outer garment pieces (with the added centre back pleat already sewn in place). Then I laid the facing pieces on top, with the raw edges even, and made marks around the edge of the facing pieces. If you look carefully you can see them. I then remarked TWICE THE SEAM ALLOWANCE inside those markings. When I say inside, I mean closer to the raw edge. If you look carefully you can see that too. Then I cut along that line. After that I sewed the facing pieces to the lining pieces, knowing that I had allowed for the seam allowances. It sounds weird, but it works. You should then have facing/lining pieces that correspond in size to the outer fabric pieces. Sew all the facing/lining pieces together, leaving a centre back gap for turning through later. Sew the lining sleeves on too. Then you’ll effectively have two jackets – one of the outer fabric and one of the lining/facings.

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - front facing/lining

Lekala 4329 jacket progress - back bodice lining/facing showing unstitched area

Week 7 – Insert the lining.

This is where it is useful to use whatever references that you have about lining jackets. There are plenty of web references that are helpful to get you into the right headspace, even though they might not exactly apply to this style of jacket.  One that I particularly like is this one from Threads.

Essentially, turn your outer jacket inside out, then put the lining inside it so the right sides are together. Pin everything in place, matching all essential seams and markings etc, then stitch. You can then turn it around the right way through the gap that you left in the back of the peplum seam, and the body of your jacket will be lined. Next you need to sew the sleeve lining to the sleeve hems. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can turn them hems of both the jacket outer and the sleeve to the inside and hand-stitch them together, or you can do it by machine working through the opening in the back lining. Just make sure that you pin things carefully so that the lining sleeve isn’t twisted inside the outer sleeve!

Lekala 4329 - lining

Lekala 4329 - lining

Week 8 – Any finishing details.

Sew up that gap in the back lining, make the buttonholes and sew on the buttons, and press your jacket! Voila!

Lekala 4329 - buttons

And guess what – this is Week 8, so those of you who haven’t finished, how about finishing during the school/Easter holidays, and we’ll kick off the new term with our new jackets?

Lekala 4329 jacket - finished!

adult's clothing · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along week 3

Anyone wondering what we are up to with our Lekala Jacket sewalong?  Well, week 2 ended up going for a couple of weeks.  But finally we are up to week 3.  This is what I emailed to our participants on Friday:

So, what are we all at?

By now you should all have your fabric cut out.  Although you might not have the lining cut out – I’ll get to that bit later.

Our task for this week is to get some sewing done.  I suggest that this week we do the following:

Lekala instruction 1 – apply interfacing.  I actually interfaced the entire upper front and back of my jacket, because the fabric is so drapey.  I forgot to interface the hems, but will do that before I sew much further.  I can tell already that it will need it.  You might want to really go to town with your interfacing; it will depend on your fabric choice and what overall effect you are after.

Lekala instruction 2.  What this really says is to sew the back darts, sew the centre back seam, sew the side and centre back pieces together (princess seams).  Press all seams open.  Stitch the lower back to the upper back.

Lekala instruction 3.  What this one says is to construct the front pieces.  Sew the side front pieces to the centre front pieces (princess seams).  Press all seams open.  Stitch the lower fronts to the upper fronts.

Lekala instruction 4.  Sew the front to the back at the shoulder and side seams.  Press the seams open.
With all of these, make sure that you are finishing edges as you go.  You might not need to do anything at all – it is a lined jacket – depending on your fabric.  Mine is a very fray prone, loose weave, and I have decided to overlock the edges.

Lekala instruction 6.  Sew the two pieces of the sleeve together, matching notches.  Press seams open.  Press up the hem as well.

That is it for this week.  I’ve skipped Lekala instruction 5 at this stage.

So for the next few weeks, I am suggesting the following:

Week 4 – Lekala instruction 5.  Construct the collar.  Sew the right collar to the left collar at the centre back seam.  Repeat with the facing pieces.  Sew the outer collar to the collar facing with right sides together along the outer edges.  Grade seams, possibly understitch, and turn to the right side and press.  Pin to the neckline, matching notches and centre back seam, and the lower edge of the right collar to the hem markings on the bottom of the right lower front, and the lower edge of the left collar to the pivot point on the left upper front.  Baste into place. 

Week 5 – Lekala instruction 7.  Insert sleeve heads, sleeves and shoulder pads.

Week 6 – Attach the facing and assemble the lining.

In terms of the lining, it consists of the Lining parts as per the Lekala instructions BUT in effect also includes one the main fabric lower front part (times 2), the main fabric lower back part, the main fabric button stand (times 2) and the back neckline facing.  The main fabric button stand and the back neckline facing are sewn together to form facings for the entire front, and the lower front/lower back parts effectively form facings for the bottom “peplum” part.  Clear as mud?  These will eventually be sewn to the lining pieces – but we’ll get to that bit later as well.  At this stage if you ignore the “attention” part of the instructions and just cut the lining pieces for the front part and back part from the main pattern pieces, that will be fine and we’ll trim them to the correct size to be joined to the facing pieces (back neck plus button stand pieces) later on.

Week 7 – Insert the lining.

Week 8 – Any finishing details.

As you can tell from the above communication, this is a fairly casual sewalong, and I am not claiming to be an expert.  Most of the women who are taking part are fairly experienced seamstresses and won’t have much problem with any of the elements, but it can be a challenge to decipher what Lekala want you to do and I am attempting to clarify some of that.  So, what am I up to?  I’ve actually finished up to the end of week 5.

2014-03-11 19.20.54

The outer jacket is all assembled. Collar is basted in place, sleeves are in. Phew! From the back:

2014-03-11 19.21.06

The shoulder pads still need to be secured into place. I do have a few other in-progress shots that might be of help to some people. I eased the sleeve caps with a bias-cut strip.

2014-03-11 18.46.32

I am using Cecelia Podolak’s book “Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets” as a reference throughout construction, and the bias strip technique is described in it. Because I used a strip of the outer fabric, it also doubles as a sleeve head.  I am a massive fan of this book – it’s an excellent reference.  Mine is an ex-library copy.

Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets by Cecelia Podolak

I have interfaced the sleeve cap, as you could see in the photo, and have also interfaced the entire front and back of the jacket. This was a little after the thought, so I cut all the pieces separately and fused them individually. If I’d been a bit more on top of my game I would have block fused the fabric before cutting. The sleeve hems have been interfaced as well.

I’ve taken a close up photo of the fabric. It’s a loosely woven cotton, with some metallic threads throughout. It reads fairly light from a distance, and I am now wondering if I have chosen a fabric that will be too pale for me.

Lekala 4329 jacket fabric - cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I’ve been trying the jacket on as I go, and it’s interesting to see where it differs from the muslin and where it is similar. The fabric has quite a lot of give, and it grows quite easily as I sew. I am trying not to over handle it. However, I can see that it is probably a bit too roomy in the upper chest, although it’s looking good across the back. I have the lining all cut out ready to construct. Maybe this will be finished sooner rather than later! Actually, Suzy has already finished hers. I have set up a flickr group for the sewalong so if anyone is actually interested in loads more progress photos, you can follow them over there.

Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along: the muslin on Ada

I thought that some of you might be interested in how the Lekala 4329 jacket muslin fits Ada, my dressform.  She is dialled out to the same bust, waist and hip measurements as me.  But although she is the same size, she is not quite the same shape.

Lekala jacket muslin

Lekala jacket muslin

It really highlights to me that to get fit right you need to know how your measurements are distributed. Ada also has a longer torso and slightly higher waist than I do – and obviously she doesn’t have arms to check bicep fit!  But the main issue for me is my protruding abdomen.  I need to pad Ada up a bit!

Thanks for your comments and suggestions on my fitting post, both here and on instagram/facebook. I think that overall Lekala have done a pretty good job for me – just a few tweaks to make. I’ll show you my pattern piece alterations once I’ve got around to making them.

Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along: I made a muslin

Now, don’t faint – but I made a muslin!  After reading Suzy’s account of how her Lekala #4329 jacket is progressing, and seeing her muslin(s), I decided that it might be worth my while to give one a go as well.  Would you like to see the photos?

Lekala jacket muslin

Lekala jacket muslin

Lekala jacket muslin

Unsurprisingly, my husband’s first comment upon seeing my muslin was “um, you haven’t finished it – you need another sleeve”.  For muslin purposes, I thought that one sleeve would be enough!  I love the two-piece sleeve, and am very happy with the way that it fits.  Sleeve length is also quite good.  The waist is pretty much where it should be, but I have what I now realise is my usual Lekala issue with my waist measurement being evenly distributed around the front and the back of the garment.  I will remove some of the waist ease from the back and add it to the front – a full abdomen adjustment (FAA instead of FBA).  I think its pretty good across the shoulders too.  Other comments and/or suggestions?  This pattern was ordered with increased upper arm width, narrow shoulders, and raised waist, in addition to my other measurements.

Lekala jacket muslin

Oh, what unflattering photos. Keeping it real.

Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · sewing

Lekala-along week 2

Now there are eight of us Lekala-alonging to make Jacket #4329.  The task for week one was to measure ourselves, order the pattern, print it, tape it, and cut out the paper pattern pieces.  We also had to decide on what fabric we were going to use.

Lekala-along - jacket fabric choices

I have chosen a fairly loosely woven cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics that has been in my stash for a little while.  It is cross woven with white and red threads, with some metallic silver threads thrown in as well.  It has lots of texture and will ravel terribly but I think that it will have the right sort of drape for my jacket.  The lining fabric is printed cotton voile, also from stash.

So this week it’s all about cutting out.  Both the main fabric, the lining, and the interfacing.

There are eight of us taking part in this sewalong.  Other than myself, there are:

Karen – And So I Sew http://and-so-i-sew.blogspot.com.au/ another Melbournian
Rachel – Four Wise Monkeys http://fourwisemonkeys.blogspot.com.au/ from beautiful Ballarat
Kathryn – Our Shabby Cottage http://ourshabbycottage.blogspot.com.au/ another Ballaratian
Andrea – Fabric Ephiphanies http://fabricepiphanies.blogspot.com.au/ all the way from beautiful New Zealand
Suzy – Suzy Bee Sews http://suzybeesews.blogspot.com.au/ from my husband’s home town of Mt Gambier
Jenny – Jenny Recorder http://jennquick.wordpress.com/ from warm Perth
Ali – Thimberlina http://thimberlina.wordpress.com/ all the way from the UK!

I’m looking forward to seeing where they are up to with their fabric choices!

Lekala · Lekala-along #4329 jacket · planned projects

Lekala-along

Three of my sewing buddies and I have decided to do our own little Lekala-along.  I thought that I’d mention it here in case there was anyone else interested in joining us and giving Lekala a try.  The pattern we have chosen is a jacket, #4329.

1658_small_image_9517

This pattern is currently on special for US$1.49 (less if you join up as a member) although I think this special finishes very soon.  The four of us making it are all quite different shapes and heights, making this an interesting exercise in testing the Lekala software, testing our own measurement taking abilities, and seeing if we all like the finished product!  All that we are up to at the moment is buying, printing, taping and cutting out the pattern pieces.   And thinking about fabrics.  We don’t have a schedule that is set in stone, other than aiming to get our jackets finished by mid-May.   I will blog the process a bit as I go.  Anyone else interested?