Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lekala 4352, Summer Linen Dress

Lekala 4352 in fuchsia linen

This is my "wow" dress for the summer.  
Wow - I finished it.
Wow - I did it.
Wow - It fits.
Wow - I wore it for a special dinner with my husband's company.

The outdoor photos were shot at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Hotel in sunny Southern California.  My pint sized photographer was a little grumpy after a day of travel and his desire to stay on a very comfortable bed.  Mom twisted his arm and got a few photos, but the dress back and some details were not photographed.

My Pinterest board for Sewing Inspiration is full of items I would love to sew.  Sadly, most will never find their way to my sewing room.  This black dress with an interesting neckline did make it to the sewing room.  Let me tell you about it......

Modcloth dress I pinned on Pinterest and fell in love with.

Line drawing for Lekala 4352

Lekala 4352
Lekala is a new Russian pattern company.  You input your measurements and they email you a PDF pattern to fit.  I was very skeptical of this whole idea, but figured I would fit it once I had all the pattern pieces.  Well, I was shocked when the whole dress fit.  I did add a little fabric to the left bust line, because I am a little thicker on the left side and it showed in the muslin I made. Also, my shoulder slope was tweaked just a little, but I didn't make any other changes.

Red line shows how much I added to the left side bust line.
Dress muslin

A few notes on the pattern.......
1.  This is not a beginner pattern.
2.  Essentially there are no directions.  The few that are printed are very difficult to decipher the English/Russian translation.
3.  Pattern has no seam allowances.
4.  Pattern pieces do not have common US pattern markings.  A squiggly line was for gathering the neckline.
5.  Not all pattern pieces are marked with names.  You figure out which is the front and back pattern pieces and the top and bottom.  
6. No fabric yardage is listed.  Thankfully, I have an 1/8 yd left after this dress.

Fuchsia linen with a beautiful drape from my stash.  I wish I could remember where I got this fabric because I would love to have it in every color.  
White silk organza for the interlining.
Fuchsia rayon lining.

Dress Construction:
1.  The neckline is unique so I tried to follow the directions in the pattern, but went on my own when I couldn't figure out which piece went where.  Making a muslin sure helped.  I worked out all the construction details.  
2.  I used silk organza as the interlining using the old fashioned hand basting method after wax marking the pattern onto my organza.  This makes the dress hang beautifully.  
3.  All the seams were hand basted before machine sewing.  All seam allowances are one inch and sewn to the organza.
4.  After finishing, I realized the floppy part of the neckline was very difficult to keep in one position. So, I added a broach to keep it from rearranging itself.

Very happy with this well fitting dress.

Yes,  it was a difficult dress, but SOOOOO worth it.  A marriage of the perfect fabric, perfect interlining and pattern design.  A few more Lekala patterns are hiding in my sewing room and I can't wait to tackle them.  

The dress fit so well and looked so good, I wore it to a very fancy dinner.  My husband was a top agent in 2014 for Nationwide Insurance and we ate at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach this summer.  I felt a little sneaky wearing my handmade dress with the Executive Staff of the company.  No one knew I made my dress.........except me.

Front collar details.

More front collar details.
My husband and I at the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach.  We ate dinner with my husband's company's executive staff and no one knew I wore a handmade dress.