Russian Revolution and Canadian Chic

My entries for the Indie Pattern Separates are skirt 5266 from Lekala in Russia with their revolutionary made-to-measure patterns, and the Renfrew top Sewaholic in Canada, dressed up with lace.

THE SKIRT – Lekala 5266

I had a few issues with putting the skirt together, but all is forgiven because I have NEVER owned a skirt that fits so well.  This pattern is my new TNT skirt pattern. I have plans to make it up with linen for summer as well. I love the asymmetrical seam and the yoke.

What pattern did you use? I used Lekala 5266. I have been wanting to make a yoke skirt for a while, and this one looked like it had potential, despite the dated drawing on the pattern info page. I liked the asymmetric split. However, when I made my muslin, the crossover split looked a bit 1990s. So I decided to sew the front panel pieces together on my denim version.  I really like the idea of patterns that are made to my measurements, so that was another reason I decided to give this Lekala skirt a go.

What fabric did you use? This is a jeans denim with a smidgen of stretch.  It is the first time I have sewn with jeans denim, and I was really impressed with how easy it was to handle.

How did you find the pattern to use? The pattern pieces were perfect.  It is the first time I have made up a pattern and had no adjustments to make. Not one! My only wish is that I wish is for a 1.5cm (5/8″) seam allowance, rather than the 1cm (3/8″).  There were no waistband facing pattern pieces, I think they assume that if you are a competent sewer, you can make your own (ahem, keep reading).

I had a bit of a problem with the waistband facings. I had never drafted my own facings before, so I just traced over the yoke pieces, and cut off the bottom half.  It wasn’t until I joined the facings and then pinned them to the waist pieces that I realised that I should have added a good inch or so to the sides to allow for putting in the zip easily.  A trick for young players…  In the end I decided not to make another set of facings, and just used a Petersham ribbon sewn on the inside for a waistband.

The pattern instructions were indecipherable. Still, it is not a complicated pattern.

The main issue I had was with the zip. I wanted to make the zip a lapped one, mainly because the zip goes over a topstiched seam, and I knew it would be hard to get a workable solution with an invisible zip.  It wasn’t until I laid the zip on the seam that I realised that with only a 1cm seam allowance, a lapped zip just wouldn’t work. I ended up putting in an invisible zip after all, and I just tried to sew far away from the teeth so that the zip pull would still go over the topstitched horizontal seam. It makes for a pretty messy zip, “dogs breakfast” is the term that comes to mind. Still, I never tuck in tops, and I am pretty sure all my tops will cover most of the zip, so I’m not going to fix it.

Despite the issues I had, I would definitely recommend this pattern, and Lekala patterns in general. I love the fact that the patterns are made with my measurements, and the prices are really cheap. This pattern was under US$3.00.

However, I will stick to only making garment types that I already have instructions for. Also, I will systematically add 5cm extra to each seam allowance, before cutting out the paper pattern.

Did you include any fun/interesting/new-to-you details? I topstitched the seams in two parallel rows ,using a blind hemming foot to keep the stitching straight.

THE TOP – Sewaholic Renfrew

What pattern did you use? The ubiquitous and wonderful Renfrew top. It musts be one of the most reviewed and blogged knit tops on the internet.

What fabric did you use? The main fabric is 50% merino, 50% polyester. The other side is bright purple, and apparently this is a sports merino, so one side is wicking. I’m not sure which though, I just like the dusty purple better.

The lace is stretch lace, with a few sequins. I bought both the fabric and the lace from The Fabric Shop (not to be confused with the Fabric Store) in Auckland, New Zealand, on a fabric buying outing with my sewing group Koru Couture.

Did you include any fun/interesting/new-to-you details? I put three rows of stretch lace on the front. They are sewn with a single line of stitching at the top. I am really pleased with the way it sits, I suspect that is because of the stretch in the lace.  It took me several attempts to get the correct placement.

I also changed the Renfrew neckline from the pattern scoop neck to a higher neckline. to a to make it more like a crew neck. Partly to allow more room for the lace, partly to keep me warmer in the cold weather.

I broke a needle for the first time ever when I sewed over a sequin, and I sewed over a pin for the first time ever on my overlocker (serger).  It was adventurous sewing!

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