This was my first venture into the realms of Lekala patterns. For those of you that have not encountered this site before it is a great resource for made-to-measure pdf patterns at very competitive prices. You simply input your personal measurements (in inches or centimetres), choose whether or not to add seam allowances and select a pattern. There are many free patterns but on this occasion I chose a raglan sleeved top costing the grand total of £2.15.
The pattern is a simple top with just 3 main pieces, front, back and sleeves. There is also a pattern for the neckband but I did not use it, more of that later.
For this first ‘wearable toile’ I used the remnant of ‘shimmery’ floral printed jersey bought in June from Minerva Crafts. I cut all the pieces and was able to extend the length of the bodice by 6 inches which still left plenty of remnant fabric should I need it.
I stitched the main raglan seams on the sewing machine using the ‘lightning’ stitch, length 3.00. I had my suspicions that the neckline would be too high and having attached the neckband they were confirmed. I removed the neckband and re-shaped the neckline slightly. I then cut my own banding across the width of the fabric x 2 inches wide. My ‘go to’ method to attach banding means that I only cut to the correct length once I have pinned to the neckline whilst stretching a little as I go. Once I have established the correct amount of ease and length, I cut off the excess, make a narrow seam in back and proceed to baste the neckband with straight stitch on the sewing machine. This is then completed on the overlocker and another row of straight stitching worked from the right side to hold the seam allowance in place.
I kept to the 1 cm seam allowance and found that the extended length of the top was just right. I thought the sleeves were a little short and have added a cuff. This was made from a piece of fabric the same length of the cuff x 3 inches wide, folded in half wrong sides together. The cuffs were also top stitched to keep the seam allowances in place.
Alterations: On this particular fabric which does not have a great deal of stretch for next time I will add ½ inch at the side seams at the underarm point and grade to 0 at the hip. I will also add ½ inch to the side seams of the sleeve pieces. It may be that on a more stretchy fabric this alteration will not be required but it is always easier to take a garment in than to let it out. For the next ‘wearable toile’ I will keep to the extended length of the bodice and the revised neckline scoop to see how it pans out before drafting a new ‘master’ pattern.
I count this top and pattern as 8 out of 10, just a couple of points need improvement!