Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Finished Item: Lekala 4011 (Plus a whole bunch of other stuff!)

One day, my daughter and I were looking at sweatshirt patterns - she likes the McCall's 6614 sweatshirt she got but it's a unisex pattern so it's pretty boxy. We found a few that she liked, but when she saw this Lekala pattern, she wanted it!

She loves bright colors and isn't big on prints. I found this insanely bright neon sweatshirt fleece at Hancock for 50% off plus I had an additional 10% off coupon - score!

Now, issue #1 with Lekala patterns; there is no recommendation on amount of fabric. So you'd have to be pretty confident or just over purchase. But you don't want a bunch of extra neon green sweatshirt fleece hanging around, right? So I bought 2 yards.

A positive or negative depending on how you sew, there are narrow seam allowances, for this one it was 1 cm which is close to 0.39". I used a 3/8" seam allowance (0.375").

The pattern printed and taped together well. It was 28 pages total (with 3 or 4 blank pages) and the markings all lined up really well.

(my cute 25 cent basket that holds my pattern weights -aka- giant washers)

The grainline is labeled "beam", the pieces each have the pattern number and the measurements. I don't know why it says 'linen type top'; but it does. And then it has the pattern piece. Sleeve? Great. Center Part Left Front? Uhmm. Ok. Little bit of finagling there...

So to ensure the pattern would fit on my fabric, I traced and cut everything out and then laid it on my fabric

 NO problem! Well I headed to the sewing room and LUCKILY caught my error. And then realized I was going to have to be REALLY creative to get the pieces to fit onto 2 yards of fabric.


  • Cut the left front piece backwards...oops. Recut it but didn't have enough fabric so it was slightly off grain and ended up growing on me.
  • I told myself I'd cut the "pocket lining" piece out of lining fabric. Uhmm, no. It shows from the outside. Err. Had to find random scraps big enough to cut the pockets from.
  • I serged the left front and the left princess seam piece but that's the seam where the zipper goes.
  • Then I sewed the shoulder seam while top stitching the pocket

Break time.

Then I read the zipper instructions 317,413,897 times. And still didn't understand what they were telling me. So I had to start pinning pieces together and doing what made sense. Once I figured it out, THEN the instructions made sense! Oy!

There is a LOT of top stitching on this jacket and it isn't my strong suit. My machine doesn't produce the "beautiful stitch" I read sewers swooning about. And anything under 1/4" is tough for me. I am low on patience.

Then I realized how crappy my top stitching around the pocket was (yes, the pattern suggested binding the pocket but I had no fabric for bias tape!!) so I wanted to add double fold but didn't know if it worked. My young adult nieces confirmed, yes, add the trim.

More Mistakes:
  • I made something weird happen on the left piece (right facing here) and so the seam doesn't   line up across the front.
  • I didn't interface around the zipper. Oops.
  • The zipper should start at the top, pointed part of the right side and I guess more of the band (or placket as they refer to it) would fold up. Darn it 
  • Because I decided to do the bias tape after sewing the side seams...the raw edge shows. I used some fraycheck and went about my business
Again, after completing this step, I realized what the instructions were saying with sandwich the placket and blah, blah, blah. Fine.


After that, it was mostly smooth sailing. I had no problem setting the sleeves, however I did notice it needed to be eased more on the front than the back. I don't know if this is normal or not. And the bands weren't overly different from the circumference of the sleeve opening. 

The pattern suggested adding bias tape across the collar seam which I really like. I wish I would've read that before I under stitched the collar, I could have gotten a slightly cleaner result. But, I like the green contrast on the black bias tape. I took double fold and opened it once, ironing out the crease. this made it 1/2" wide and nice and flat.

FINALLY, after working hard Friday and Saturday, it was done! Wooohoo!!! She not only loved it, it fit very well. The *only* issue is the sleeves are slightly too short. I could've added 1/2-1" BUT this is pretty good, imo because I normally have to add 2 to 2 1/2" to her sleeve length. So I don't know if the sleeves are drafted longer or if they lengthened them based on her height. Either way, I was pretty impressed overall with the fit. She wore it all morning and said it was comfortable, warm and cozy. 

I don't know why she's standing so stiffly.

Success! I sewed my first separating zipper AND my first Lekala pattern and most importantly, the giftee loves it :-)

I will definitely try a Lekala pattern for myself now. Maybe a simple one!



His blanket is bigger than his body
2.5 yards of checkered and black serged together

New PJs in cotton flannel for my husband using McCall's 4244 which I graded up (yay me!) to an XL after discovering my pattern only had S,M,L.

This time I used the dual casing method and loved it! Well, I didn't love threading 42" of elastic twice plus the drawstrings but I love the finished look. 

I didn't know if they would fit well but I compared them to an existing pj pair and...pretty close. The blue ones are knit so it works that the flannel are larger

I was all set to make pjs for my daughter and I using this I heart Bacon fabric but's super popular and they had just over a yard. I still bought it. I can't make pants from 1 yard! :) Some crazy people are selling it on Etsy for $7-11 per yard. I paid $2.79. Uh yeah, I'll just wait to see if they get more in stock.

Then I was minding my business and Kyle at Vacumming the Lawn posted that she made herself an apron for Christmas. Hey! I want an apron!! So...about 2 hours later I had this:

Chevron main, dots pockets and ties, scroll for the neckband. I accidentally cut the children's size ties. Haste makes waste and all that jazz...

No cat shots, but a mommy/daughter shot!

And an awesome Christmas gift!!!!

Jerk is a physics term and it is:
the derivative of acceleration with respect to time
the 2nd derivative of velocity with respect to time squared
the 3rd derivative of position (sometimes called r) with respect to time cubed

It's funny and it's science! Yay!!!!!!!!!!

Hope your Christmas was amazingly awesome!

***Edited to add: Lekala patterns are $1.49, $1.99 if they add seam allowances. Also, I am up to 97 items, FYI :-D ***


  1. Whoa, that jacket looks amazing!!

  2. A sewer and a nerd too? We were separated at birth. Wait. Trekkie or Star Wars?? There is a difference. Choose wisely. =)

    I love the cassette tape fabric. That print looks like it was modeled after my music collection. One of my friends teases me about still having cassette tapes and the means to still play them. If it ain't broke...

    1. Ooooh! :-) Star Wars!! My papa was a huge Star Trek fan when I was growing up and I just never got into it. I have enjoyed the modern movies though :)

      Hey, I have about 1 yard of it left...yours if you want it!

    2. You have chosen wisely. =)

      Oooo...I'd love to have that one-yard piece!

  3. Mrs.Smith
    Your daughters jacket is fabulous..[You have accomplished so many sewing talents this year..] I promise you,if I would have encountered this many problems..that jacket would have been in the It looks so pretty on her too.. Fit looks great.

    And then the cute pj's and even an apron for mom..
    Happy sewing .

    1. Oh, if it had been for *me*?!?!?! I would have given up. I got into a fit hemming the sleeve of an ITY knit top and it hasn't resurfaced to be finished!

    2. How did you finally work out how to put the placket at the zipper end where it asks you to fold it out?

    3. Rekha, before inserting the zipper I sewed the placket to the jacket. Then I inserted the zipper (which also finishes the end). Then I folded the placket up and stitched I'm the ditch from the right side.

      If you want a photo or drawing you can email me. Sewcraftychemist @ gmail . com

    4. I sorted the placket by folding the short edge of the placket over the zipper tape, and then stitched along the zipper leaving a 3/8" seam on the top. I then used the 3/8" seam allowance to attach to the bottom of the garment.
      I still have a problem!! It seems the left zipper is attached to the inner edge of the side front, rather than the inner edge of the centre front piece. How did you manage that?

  4. Very nice, your hard work paid off!

  5. WOW! You were really churning out the holiday gifts! That sweatshirt is pretty awesome. Nice apron you made for yourself! ;)
    p.s. My degree is in chemistry and I worked in structural biology for 8 years before switching to IT at Princeton University.

  6. I love the neon green sweatshirt! I like the off center zipper and the look of this pattern.

  7. I love your sweatshirt. Now I have to go check out that pattern.

  8. Damn, lady. Isn't it amazing what you have done in your first year of sewing! I love that you are such a fearless sewer, relentless and willing to just keep pushing and sewing. So inspirational.

  9. That green sweatshirt is super-cute! I've looked at the Lekala patterns, and now you're making me think maybe I should try one...

  10. Linen type top means use a woven fabric.


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