To start off, let me say that I’m not entirely sure this qualifies for the Franken-Indie contest. I did use products from two different indie pattern companies, but only one of them was an actual, physical pattern. Even if it doesn’t qualify, though, I still made a nice new dress, and that’s what really matters, yeah?
Fabric/Notions: My fabric is 100% cotton shirting from the Pendleton Woolen Mill outlet store. I used two yards at 60″, and had just a little left over. My notions are all vintage, thrifted–a twenty-inch metal zipper (lapped, at the side), two packages of matching rayon hem tape, and a covered belt kit.
Pattern info: I’ll talk about the app first. I chose to make a half-circle skirt, and cut it slightly longer than the midi length that the app gives. What I was really looking for was the waist radius to cut–you just put in your regular waist measurement, and the app calculates the radius–and it includes seam allowance, which in the past, I’ve often forgotten to add when doing on my own. It does give a cutting layout and tell you how much fabric you’ll need, but no further instructions (although there are links at the bottom to waistband and zipper tutorials.) It did what I wanted, though, and since I tend to forget numbers immediately and have never written my radius down, I’ll continue to use the app if I make circle skirts in the future.
As to the Lekala pattern–aside from the style changes I made, I cut out the pattern pieces exactly as they were, with no adjustments for fit. No adjustments. I really appreciate that in addition to width-wise measurements, Lekala takes into account your height. As a rule, I have to lengthen all bodice patterns, but I didn’t need to with this one; my bust and waist were already in the right place. It’s pretty awesome. Obviously, I can’t know how these patterns will work on other bodies, but if, like me, you tend to have fitting issues, I’d definitely consider giving Lekala a try.
Unless you need a lot of help from your instructions. I didn’t really use theirs–a lot of times I don’t follow instructions anyway, and I was making so many changes that in this case, it didn’t really make sense for me. However, I looked over them to write the review. I can report that, although this is one of their most recent releases and hasn’t been edited by an English speaker (yet), all the directions do make sense. But they are very sparse–for the dress, there are 12 steps, and no pictures. If you know the gist of what you’re doing, I think the instructions would be perfectly adequate, but if you like a bit more hand-holding, well, that won’t be found here.
Alterations: Since this is a Franken-Indie dress, obviously there’s at least one: I chopped off the Lekala dress pattern at the waist and added a half-circle skirt from the By Hand London app instead. I made a few other changes, too, though: I combined the three back bodice pieces into one, with darts (less plaid matching, yeah). I also widened the shoulders by a few inches for slightly more coverage, and added an in-seam pocket on the side of the skirt where the zipper isn’t. (Both those things I simply drew myself–hope that’s okay.) And I added contrast plackets to the front yoke (the original just has the yoke piece folded back on itself) and omitted the buttons. I also left out the interfacing on the collar (because I hate interfacing) and thank goodness I did. The collar doesn’t need any more volume than it already has. If I make this again, I’ll probably cut the collar around an inch narrower, maybe more. But that’s really the only thing I’d definitely change.
I thought it would be kind of inconsiderate of me to put a thousand-word post on a group blog (sorry, this was still really long), but if you’re interested, there are even more details on my blog.