Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lekala 8001 Tunic - A successful top

Following on from my last post, I have managed to make a successful tunic top using the free Lekala 8001 pattern from here

I was very optimistic about the pattern, as I had to provide my measurements for bust, underbust, waist, full hip, with options to add in hip, neck and upper arm.  I chose to add in upper arm as I thought that might be important, and then made further adjustments regarding bust and back, where I could pick a description which fitted me best.

In the end, I chose lower than normal protruding bust points (what a description), narrow back and wide bust.  It would be helpful if Lekala provided some sort of guidance as to what they think normal is, and also a guide to their terminology, as I was unsure about a couple of the optional measurements.

You can choose to have seam allowances included for $0.50 (about 32p in the UK), which I did, but they didn't charge me, something that also happened today when I ordered more patterns.

In less than a couple of hours, my pattern was emailed to me and I printed it out.  I have only pieced together a couple of other PDF patterns, and this one was the worst I have tried.  There are no helpful marks on the corners to make sure you have everything lined up, and it took me a few attempts to get it all sorted.

Making the tunic is easy.  You sew two back darts, then the two back panels together before attaching the front panel, then the facings.  The instructions are minimalistic, but give you enough to go on, and google is always there to help with any unfamiliar terms.

In total, I probably spent about 8 hours making the top, including cutting out, and this could have been reduced had I chosen not to top stitch the facings.
This is the front view of my tunic, I do still have to put buttons on the planket, but it is wearable without.  I have a couple of puckers at the shoulders where I think the armholes stretched, next time I will staystitch.

The casing for the tie is too high, I hate to think where it would have been if I'd said I had a normal bust height!!

The back is slightly less flattering, but I plan to take in the darts a bit as they are very narrow, and see what happens.  I'm also not sure how I feel about the back seam, it might not bother me in a darker colour, but it seems quite obvious here.

The fabric is this cotton shirting from Croft Mill, and was lovely to sew, although a little prone to fraying.  It's a good thickness and washes brilliantly.

What was the first successful top you made?


  1. Love it... very flattering.. I might have to make a top like that soon ... :)

    1. It's a really easy top to make, and you could adart it to your personal style farily easily. Plus, as it's free, it is a great introduction to the Lekala patterns. Let me know if you make one x

  2. Cute detail - You could add a little colour down that panel. I have a clipping of some Mexican embroidery on my ideas board, and when I see that detail I can't help but think that might work... :)