Sew the look : Lekala 4420 Blouse

Remember those rust pants from a previous post that I was trying to find tops for?  Well here is the second instalment : a casual summer blouse using Lekala 4420

 

Fabric :

A rayon print in a Jacobean style print.  The red is a little brighter than the colour of the pants but blends well.  Colours also include denim blue, black, sage on a cream background.  Should also be able to pair this with jeans, cream linen pants and khaki green pants.

Inspiration:

The idea for the project came from this RTW top.  Long sleeves rolled up, centre front seam, gathered neckline with long ties, loose fit, shaped hem.

 

Chosen pattern:

Lekala 4420.  It had most of the features of the inspiration top but with the bonus of  pleats at the neckline rather than gathers.  I had original bought this pattern to make in a sand-washed silk but, as always, feared messing it up.  This was a good chance to make a test garment before committing the silk.

Lekala 4420 Tech Drawing (source: Lekala.co)

Construction:

Lekala pattern instructions are fairly limited but it was fairly easy to put together.  There is a facing for the front slit which is applied after the centre front seam.  I cut a double yoke and used the burrito method to sew it to the front and back pieces.

For the ties, I extended the length of the bias strip for the collar and attached tassels to the tie endings.  I could only get black or white tassels locally, so I’ve made my own using a weaving cotton thread which was a closest match to the red in the fabric that I had on hand.

 

Fitting:

The fit is a little on the big side though the shoulder and neckline, even though I used the same custom measurements that I usually do.  The shoulder seam drops off the shoulder a bit too much and will need to be adjusted for the silk version.

I love the positioning of the back tucks at the yoke – there are two each side, set wide apart.  It gives the shirt a very nice fall.  The back hem is quite long and I’ve been tossing up whether I like it or not.  It covers the bum nicely, but cuts me in half from the back view.  What do you think – should I shorten it?

 

Another area of concern was the front neckline tucks.  The outer one points to the armhole notch and just pools fabric there.  I’ve unpicked the neckline ( fun 😦 )  and changed that tuck to face the other way, ie the upper edge is facing the shoulder rather than the CF, and it sits much better.

 

Final thoughts:

For a casual summer top, I think this is OK.  I was wearing it around the house during a couple of 30-35oC days at it was quite comfortable.  For the silk version, I’ll need to  adjust the width of the neckline and shoulders for a better fit.  And adjust the back length so it can be tucked in.

 


At a Glance:

Pattern: Lekala 4420
Fabric: Rayon woven print
Rating: 3/5 It’s OK but would need some more modifications
Difficulty: 2/5 Fairly simple to put together. Bias binding on neckline.
Cost: $15
30 wears: Possibly
Quality: Medium
Durability: Medium
Fad factor: Medium
Flexibility: Medium( 3-5 outfits)
Expected life: 4-5 years
  1. Very nice! I love this type of print, and I think the top will be comfortable for summer. And it matches your pants! What do you consider to come up with your “30 wears” calculation? Just curious. I think I wear my casual clothes more than 30 times before I give up on them, but maybe I need to pay better attention.

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    1. Thanks Becky. The “30 wears” is more of a gut feel about how often I will really wear it.

      I’m not sure about this top because it isn’t my usual style and the neckline is a bit wide for my liking. I suspect that I’ll wear it because I want to wear the pants, but would tend pass it over over another top with anything else. So if I have it for 5 years say… will I wear it 6 times each year? It’s possible, but I couldn’t say for sure. I’m trying to be honest with my answer.

      Since the start of the year, I’ve kept a tally sheet to see how often I do wear things. It’s very simple, and I try to update it after I do my weekly wash. Jeans, lingerie and ‘favourites’ tend to rack up wears very quickly, as does my “paddock” clothes. Other things can be a bit more sporadic depending on whims and weather.

      I hope that makes sense?

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      1. I was wondering about that number too. I have a relatively small wardrobe and I can’t think of any seperates in my closet that only get 6 wears in a year. Maybe I’m wrong and I should make a tally sheet as well!

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      2. You probably also have more of an idea of what works for you too. While I’m getting better, I still make things that don’t quite suit me or is not quite right; experiments gone wrong etc. It is interesting that the handwoven top I made earlier in the year has only been worn 3 times so far, mainly because I’m to afraid or ruining it by spilling food on it. Silly really.

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      3. Yes, that makes perfect sense. I was misinterpreting your rationale. I think keeping a tally sheet is a great idea! It would certainly establish a record of what I actually do wear as opposed to what I think I wear.

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  2. Lovely blouse and I like the back length. I don’t think it is cutting you in half. Perhaps it would with a straight hem, but the gentle curve is distracting the eye in a good way!

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    1. Thanks Marianne, that is good feedback. I need all the distraction at the back hemline that I can get 🙂

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  3. I like the shirt tail as it is, but if you are looking for a dressier silk blouse then I would remove some length. Love the shape as it sits now. Nice print, too. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Chris. I was a bit unsure of the back length so it is great to get your opinion on it.

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  4. Beautiful fabric and the blouse looks very smart and even the back length is flattering as it is shaped.

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