Thursday, February 26, 2015

Notes on a muslin - Lekala 5054

This is what it's supposed to look like
The Sewing Lawyer is adventurous, but cautious.  Lekala is a new experience so careful testing of Lekala 5054 is needed before she cuts into her precious precious precious Prada wool suiting.

So here's the muslin. FYI I've inserted small shoulder pads for these photos.  

There's good and bad in this.  One good thing is that the pieces went together quite easily despite the almost complete lack of markings.
Even though Lekala drafts to your specified measurements, the fit isn't perfect. And I didn't expect it to be. However, it is manageable with tweaks that are not too alien in my experience. I need a small wedge taken out of the CF above my bust, the front shoulder is a bit too broad, and I need some more shaping in the princess seams. Also, the darts are a bit too high.  Finally, the hip curve is too extreme.  

The CB is dead straight, which I knew would not work for me.  I've pinched out about 2cm at the waist through the CB seam.  Although the upper back appears too wide in this photo I will leave this as is.  It can always be adjusted in the sewing, and I need a bit of room there.

Style-wise, the pattern doesn't match the so-called "technical" drawing, which to me is more of a sketch.

I have cut off the seam allowances at CF, and on the collar and lapels.  The buttons are placed lower on the pattern and the lapels and collar are both bigger and rounder than I would have liked.  I don't think it will be too difficult to make the adjustments I want.

The proportions of the peplum are also different - I have not cut off the hem allowance but to me, the unhemmed length is about right.

The sleeves seem too wide to me.  I'll remove width from the front seam on both the upper and under sleeve sleeves.  This will also add a nice curve - as drafted this seam is pretty straight on both pieces.

You can't see it in these photos, but the curved opening at the back sleeve seam is differently-shaped on the upper and under sleeve pieces.  I think they should be the same.

It's interesting that the sleeves are the right length for me since I have short arms and  usually have to shorten sleeves by about 2.5cm.  I made the mistake of telling this to Lekala the only other time I ordered one of their patterns, and the sleeves were ridiculously short (you can't specify how much shorter than average your arms are).  This time I let them think I had arms of average length.

I already pointed out that there are few markings on this pattern.  This didn't bother me except in relation to the sleeves.  There is some ease in the back sleeve seam and you have to know where to put it (in the elbow area).  Setting the sleeve in was more of a problem. There is only one mark - to show where the sleeve cap sits relative to the shoulder seam.  When, after a couple of tries, I got it properly set in, I realized that the sleeve cap has very little ease and all of it is in the front shoulder. I'm going to take note of the point where the under sleeve intersects with the side seam and add another mark there.

I'm inclined to proceed.  Comments?


  1. The muslin front doesn't match the drawing. Where are the waist seams and bust darts?

    I'd suggest (but you are welcome to ignore) shaving a bit off the shoulder width or getting bigger shoulder pads and sleeve heads. Would adjusting the F waist shaping lower remove the drag line on the LF?

  2. It really is different from the pattern sketch. I agree with everything you've said about the changes. The only thing that is hard to see, do the sleeve seams match the princess seam?

  3. Personally if I wanted a jacket like the sketch I would not continue with the jacket as it bears very little likeness to it in reality. As badmomgoodmom says the waist seam and bust darts are missing - both design features in the sketch, also the princess seams are further toward the centre of the bust on the sketch. . The collar too is very different than the original. You could obviously make a nice jacket out of your muslin but will need a lot of work on your part to recreate the sketch. I would feel a bit disappointed with the pattern personally as it seems to be just a basic princess line jacket and not one to specifically recreate the pattern illustration (which one would expect).

  4. Overall, with your planned adjustments, I think it will be a lovely jacket for you. I do agree with your comments about proportions (e.g., collar and lapel width). In addition to those, at first glance, the shoulders seem quite wide (long?), and IMO that makes it look dated. Unless, of course, that style of shoulder is on its way back in which case, you're ahead of the next trend. May we please see a photo of the Prada wool suiting?