First of all – thank you all for the thoughtful words regarding my missing dresses. I knew you´d understand. Still no sign of them, but if they show up, you´ll be the first to know.
For the last year or so, I have more and more become smitten by Lekala, the pattern company that claims to make personalized sewing patterns. I have since December last year bought quite a few patterns, and tested different pattern types, and used them both for myself and for sewing for a friend with a different size than I. I know a lot of you are curious about Lekala, so I thought I´d talk a little about my experiences with this pattern company.
Lekala-patterns offers a wide range of options for printing: with seam allowance, without, you can get the pattern in A3, A4, legal, letter, wide PDF, PLT, LEK and tabloid. I have only tried A4 for my home printer, and it works very well. There´s not too much paper going to waste, and the patterns I have used have always been very precise and accurate. You also have to option of choosing between cm and inches, and that´s always good.
Lekala has two different sizing systems, one regular one with no customization, and one quite detailed one with options for many different adjustments. I have found that the patterns I have used so far fit me very well based on the detailed adjustments I have entered, just be aware that most of the patterns come with very little ease (especially in comparison to the Big Four). So if you like your clothes to be roomy, take that into account when entering your measurements. I like fitted garments, so for me it was never a problem. I had no problems with the fitting for my friend either, although she has a different body type than I.
Some of the instructions for construction can be fairly cryptical. Just so you know. I am used to Burda, and thus also used to deciphering pattern instructions. There are no diagrams or step-by-step instructions, so if you are an absolute beginner, then maybe steer clear of the more complicated patterns. But for me, I feel you come a long way with the written instructions, and a good reference book.
The garments themselves are like magical creatures. Except for one dress that I made, and accidentally used a pattern made for stretch in an woven fabric, all of the garments I have made fit me perfectly. Without any adjustments. Just think about that for a second. No adjustments. Damn. For the record, I usually need to make a FBA, and trace patterns over three sizes, lengthen the length of skirts and trousers, and also at times to some adjustments in the back. So the time saved by having a pattern made for me, is like magic to me. I know that others with different body types than me have complained about the computer generated patterns not fitting their body, but for me it works really well.
Patterns I have used
I have made a Pinterest-board to keep track of the Lekala-patterns I have bought and these are the ones I have tried:
[su_row][su_column size=”1/4″]4097: This is a very cool sweatshirt, I think. The construction is so nice, and I love the details, like the thumb hole on the cuff, the asymmetrical hood closing and the actually rather fitted style.[/su_column][su_column size=”1/4″]4110:This is the dress I made for my friend. Apart from fiddling about a little with the attachment of the collar, it went together rather smoothly.
This shirt is one of the more tight fitting garments I made. I use a beautiful chambray for this, and because it has no give, I had to take out the seams a little to get a bit more relaxed fit. But I actually think that it had more to do with my fabric choice than anything else. I also lengthened the sleeves.
This dress is for knit fabric. I didn´t realize that before I had cut it… Luckily I have taken to trace the seam line, and leave generous seam allowances, instead of cutting a 5/8″ seam allowance, so it worked out fine. I did skip the sleeves though, as they were teeny tiny in my non-stretchy fabric.
[/su_column][/su_row][su_row][su_column size=”1/4″]4193: This dress was so much fun to make! It has a lace insert in the back, and lots of pleats on the front bodice. Again, I skipped the sleeves, as I thought it would look better without, but I might change my mind again. The fit is impeccable.[/su_column][su_column size=”1/4″]4294:
To be honest, this dress isn´t finished, but I have basted all the pieces together and trust that it fits. I am making this from a crepe de chine, so I am taking my little time with this one, but I look forward to the finished dress.
Ironically, this very loose fit top actually have the worst fit of the lot, because I used a tissue knit without much stretch, instead of the recommended stretchy knit. So I might make this again actually, as I love the cool diagonal design.
[/su_column] [su_column size=”1/4″]4162:Finally, this jacket is the piece de resistance. If I may say so myself: it´s perfect. I have struggled with the fit on earlier jackets, but this one – no adjustments what so ever. I made it like a wearable muslin, and so my fabric choice isn´t the best, as it attracts dust and lint like nobody´s business, but I have some more versions of this one planned for autumn![/su_column][/su_row]
Well, no surprises here, I´ve become very smitten with Lekala. I really think that if you are interested in sewing fresh, new designs and also wouldn´t mind skipping some of the fitting issues, I´d say go for it!
Pro´s:[su_list icon=”icon: plus” icon_color=”#E92C6C”]
- For me, fit issues are almost eliminated
- The choices are endless – the pattern catalogue is huge
- There are new patterns all the time
- The designs are original and fresh
- The patterns are printable in different formats
- You can choose with or without seam allowance
- There are patterns both for knits and wovens
- They are cheap!
Con´s:[su_list icon=”icon: minus” icon_color=”#E92C6C”]
- Instructions tends to be a little complicated.
- There are no yardage suggestions.
- I prefer printed patterns over PDF´s, but that´s just me.
- The search functions on the web page are a little bit limiting. I would like to see options for knits/non-knits, specific search terms etc.
All in all, as you can see I really do recommend trying patterns from Lekala, please be aware that I have not received anything to do this review, I just wanted to help out others who have been curious about Lekala. Have fun!