Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lekala 4319 progress

I've decided to take a stab at Lekala 4319 as a potential entry into the "New to Me Pattern Contest" on PatternReview.

Lekala 4319 tech drawing
Lekala 4319 is a tunic-length knit top with a ruching detail at the side. The following image shows the vitual model on the Lekala web site:

Computer model version
I have printed out and taped together the PDF pattern and cut my fabric last Sunday. As is generally the case with Lekala patterns, the instructions are a bit sparse and already led to an "oops" with my cutting layout (more on that in a bit). In case anyone else plans to make up this pattern at some point, I'll document the construction here on my blog as I go.

Pattern Prep

Just a few notes about the pattern/PDF itself:
  • The pattern took 44 pages of letter-sized paper to print out.
  • The grid of the PDF layout is 7 x 6 pages with a few blank pages mixed in.
  • The first page of the PDF gives an overview of what the pattern pieces look like on the PDF grid:

To make the massive PDF grid more manageable, I grouped the pages together by pattern piece for taping. The pages are pretty well labeled, as far as what goes next to what, so it was easy to tape all of the bodice overlay pieces together, for example, cut out that piece, then move onto the next piece/grouping. 

One thing that I found interesting that I wasn't sure about for the line drawing is that the bodice has a full underlay piece. My pattern piece is darted, although I'm not sure if that's typical (the line drawing has no darts), or if it was something that the software added because of my massive bust.

Fabric layout and cutting

A few more notes about the fabric layout and cutting your fabric for this pattern:
  • This pattern is a fabric hog, to put it bluntly. I had a 3-yard piece of merino wool jersey that I really wanted to use for this pattern, and I ran out of fabric. I did prewash and likely lost a little length to shrinkage, but to be safe, you'll probably want to have a 3 1/4 yard length piece for this pattern. (Full disclosure: Obviously, I am plus sized, but I am also only 5'2". If you're smaller, you might be able to tease this out of a shorter length of fabric.)

    Correction (24-Feb-2014): I goofed when I originally wrote this bullet point. I found the original sticker from FabricMart, and I had purchased a 2.5 yard length, not a 3-yard length, as I'd originally thought/written. If you have a 3-yard length of fabric, you should be fine for this pattern.
  • To compensate for running out of fabric, I am either eliminating the bottom hem band or will be doing the bottom hem band out of a contrast fabric. I'll try pinning it both ways and see what I think looks better.  I also had to piece the front underlay piece, figuring that the pieced seam won't show, to squeeze everything in.
  • There is a Center Back (CB) seam to this top, although that seam offers no shaping. Because I didn't pay enough attention to the line drawing, I actually cut the back piece on the fold. I am sure that this didn't help my fabric shortage issues. Obviously, because I printed out a pattern with seam allowances, I now have an extra 1.25" at my CB, but I can easily add that CB seam back in with my serger.
I am in the process of finishing up another Mr. HP Nice & Easy T for my husband right now, but as soon as I am finished with that, I will be diving in to the construction of my Lekala tunic.


  1. Wow - good luck - that looks lovely and I can't wait to see it done.

  2. Thank you for documenting your work on this top. It has been on my list of tops to make.

  3. I bought this pattern and have downloaded it (not printed yet). Mine has darts too, and I used a standard size. They might put darts in the upper end of the size range. Or maybe they left them off the drawing because they're covered by the drape over.