Lightbulb Moment With Lekala


Lekala 5088

In my quest to sew things that actually fit well, I decided to try out one of Lekala’s free patterns, 5088. It’s a three-seam straight skirt with a waistband. Lekala’s system drafts a pattern for you based on the measurements that you input, so ideally the pattern will fit you perfectly. I ordered through the Russian site, using a string order, which gives you more options in terms of saying what adjustments should be made to the pattern to get a better fit. 

However, I’ve never really had a grasp on what my proportions are compared to the average block. I’ve gathered in ballroom dancing that I have quite long arms, and I’ve gathered through sewing that I have narrow shoulders. The others measurements, however, baffled me. Do I have I long neck? No clue. 

I left the majority of the adjustments on “average” and printed my custom pattern. Since I was already cutting out Simplicity 1500, which I’m sewing up several times over, I decided I might as well squeeze a pencil skirt out of the remaining fabric. If it didn’t work out, it was no big loss–because that leftover denim was just going to be wasted otherwise. 

The Lekala skirt sewed up quickly (though adjusting to a 3/8″ seam allowance was tough!), but when I tried it on (sans waistband) I found the fit was rather loose. Considering how little ease Lekala is supposed to have, I was surprised. I tried the skirt on several more times over the course of the day, and again this morning. Finally, I realized that it seemed like the pattern was expecting the widest part of my hips to be higher than they are. The looseness is, I think, because the widest part of the skirt is a couple inches above the widest part of me!

It occurred to me that, perhaps, I needed to ask for an adjustment for being short waisted. I did some googling, and found a couple methods for determining if you have a short, long, or balanced waistline. Lo and behold, I am indeed short-waisted.

I will adjust this skirt to adjust for the actual location of my hips, and as it uses so little fabric and is one of the free patterns, order another one and test whether my adjustment fixes the issue. If I can figure out my body proportions and get Lekala to draft a pattern to fit me, it would make my sewing life so much easier.

Lekala Free Patterns

Lekala Offers Super-Customized Patterns

Lekala Offers Super-Customized Patterns

I love all things Russian. And I love all things custom. And I love the idea of sewing patterns that are inexpensive and customized to me. Who wouldn’t like that?

So when I read on Artisan Square about Lekala, I was intrigued. They are a Russian company that offers a dizzying array of patterns (especially of dresses) for sale, each for between $2 and 3. What makes them unusual is that instead of selling multi-size patterns, they customize each order according to your measurements. That way, ideally, you have fewer adjustments to make.

Even better, they offer a package of fifteen customized patterns for free. The bundle includes a knit top, a blouse, two dresses, and a whole bunch of skirts. I went ahead and ordered it last night . . . greatly increasing my current pattern stash. Within an hour, I had received printable PDFs of all fifteen patterns.

Apparently, the non-Russian version of the site–which I linked above–offers a smaller range of customization than the Russian version. The latter site, which is much less fancy looking but also in English, allows you to place a “string order” which includes a massive number of customizations, including high and low waistedness and the “distance between the protruding points of the breast.”

If I find I like the free Lekala patterns, I’ll make sure to purchase using the string order in the future. I think that having custom patterns for a few dollars a pop sounds like a fantastic time-and-headache-saver.