April 7, 2016

Announcement: Lekala 4456, Cap Sleeve Blouse Sew-Along

Hello, friends! I'm working on something new: an illustrated sew-along for Lekala 4456. This pattern is a cap-sleeve blouse that features a lined yoke in front and back, as well as welts over faux pockets in front.

In a recent review of Lekala 4456, I mentioned that the instructions were a little sparse. Like me, you may be accustomed to the illustrated, hand-holding, multi-page instruction sheets of Big 4 (Simplicity, McCall's, Butterick, Vogue) and some indie patterns. Any intermediate or advanced sewist should certainly be able to put together this shirt, following Lekala's curt but accurate instructions. But the beginners ... maybe not?

I love this pattern. So much, in fact, that I started making a second version immediately. It's still in progress. And I'm photographing each step along the way.

These efforts will culminate in a six-part series that walks you through construction and details, with gobs and gobs of helpful photos. It's intended to help beginners figure out this thing, but everybody is welcome.

If you enjoyed my BurdaStyle Girl's Smocked Dress Sew-Along, you'll like this five-part series on Lekala 4456, too.

Wanna come along? While waiting for the first installment, gather your supplies:

  • Pattern: Lekala 4456, with your custom measurements.
  • Fabric: 1 1/2 to 2 yards (60" wide) - or - 2 to 3 yards (45" wide). The exact amount depends on the dimensions of your custom pattern, which you won't know until you print it and tape it together. In my version, the yokes and sleeves are lined, so be sure to include extra fabric to double or quadruple those pieces. For someone who usually cuts a size 12 in Big 4 patterns, 1 1/2 yards (60" wide) is plenty. 
  • Interfacing: 1/2 yard (no grain) - or - 1 yard (if the interfacing's grain matters)
  • Tracing paper and tracing wheel: We need these for marking the darts - or - use the marking method of your choice (water-soluble pen, tailor's chalk, washable markers, etc.). Lekala gives the option to include 1cm seam allowances, and this sew-along takes advantage of that shortcut, so we won't be tracing seam lines. 
  • Buttons: 7 blouse buttons of your choice. Standard button-down shirts use 3/8" buttons, but I like 1/2" buttons for blouses. At the store, place the buttons on your fabric, and imagine a row of them going down the front. Visualizing really makes a difference.
  • Rayon seam binding (optional): As you already know, I like to encase raw fabric edges in rayon seam binding. This sew-along will reflect that. If you prefer some other way to finish your seams, go for it!
  • The usual: matching thread, steam iron, sharp scissors, pins ... you know. Stuff to sew stuff with.

I can't wait to show you the process, and we'll have a big ol' party when the final garment is revealed. Stay tuned!

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