Knit crossover top from Lekala patterns

Has anyone out there ever bought a pattern from Lekala patterns?  Nicole Lekala has a range of 386 patterns on her Craftsy page at the time of writing and is often adding more.  But what makes Lekala patterns unique is the promise to draft you a completely personalised pattern based on your own measurements.  This was too good an offer to pass up on so I thought I would give it a try.

Image courtesy of Lekala Patterns

Image courtesy of Lekala Patterns

I picked this pattern to try out – obviously because it was free so there was nothing to lose!  Its a cross-over front top with long sleeves designed for knit fabrics.  So how would it fit?  I sent in my measurements and the pattern came back quickly in PDF to print and piece together.


What do you get?

Lekala patterns include a line drawing of the design, and an illustration of a model wearing the finished garment, but there are no photos of the blouse to see how it might really fit on an actual person.  I don't know if Nicole ever sews any of her own patterns because I have never seen a photo of any finished items.  There are also basic written instructions on how to sew your pattern, but there are no illustrations.  English is also not her native language so some of the wording is a little unusual and confusing, but if you have a simple pattern you should be fine.  How things would go with a more complicated sew using just the basic written instructions, I'm not sure.


How did it fit?

I made this up twice to give it a fair review.  I made the pattern straight from the pieces supplied with no alterations because it was supposed to be a personally designed and fitted pattern so I wanted to review how it fitted.

I made the top first in a linen blend jersey knit with a two way moderate stretch.  Sadly it really was unwearable.

Lekala patterns review

The arms and the arm holes were SO tight I could only really get it on by wiggling the fabric bit by bit.  And you can see how badly the fabric is pulling above from the arms to the shoulders where it is far too small.  It made the top gape badly and I am wearing an unpadded bra to minimise my bust where it was too small around the high bust area too.  Even with the stretch in the fabric, I couldn't really move my arms.

It appears to fit Ok from the back, although I think you can probably see just how tight it is that it is actually cutting in under my arms quite painfully…

Lekala patterns review

I did give this pattern another try using a different fabric – a much more stretchy knit with a 4-way stretch.  But although there was a lot more stretch in the fabric and I could move my arms around a little, the fit was just the same and I won't even waste time and space by posting the photos of the second attempt.

So would I recommend Lekala patterns?  Hmm, not sure.  Obviously one failure does not mean the concept doesn't work and it would be great to look through some of those wonderful designs and think that I could have a pattern that is automatically graded if my bust, waist and hips don't fit in the usual one size range.  It would certainly mean a lot less alterations would be needed during the sewing process, and you may never need to make a muslin again – just sew, fit and finish.

But it is of some concern that none of the patterns have any comments, star ratings or finished projects posted by the Craftsy members.

If you have some knit fabric and fancy this pattern, it is free to download, so why not get your own personalised pattern and see how you get on.  There are some really great looking designs to choose from and at only $2.49 a pattern, its very reasonably priced.

If you have ever used a Lekala pattern – how did you get on?
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy

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23 Responses to Knit crossover top from Lekala patterns

  1. Krista says:

    I wish I had come across your blog earlier! I have purchased one of Lekala’s blouse patterns (number 4123). It arrived in my inbox quite fast (about 1.52 hrs after sending in my measurements). I will hopefully sew it this weekend, but reading the posts here I will be sure to tissuefit it before I actually start cutting. Worst case, I lost 2.5 dollars and my fabric will still be in tact 😉

    • Deby Coles says:

      Yes, it would be difficult to get a custom fit pattern just with a bust, waist and hip measurement. There is a lot more to it than that, so do still be prepared to test first before cutting your fabric. I hope it works out for you – would you leave a comment and let us know how you got on?

      • Krista says:

        I sure will! I hope to have time today and later this week, so if all goes well I will let you know after that! And supernice to see your reply, thank you! 🙂

        • Krista says:

          Quite a bit later than I had planned, but it is finished. There were a few times I nearly decided not to go through with it, because of the instructions and because I made a bad fabric choice. But in the end I did manage to finish it. The armholes were snug, so I had to expand them, and since this top is sleeveless that was the only change I had to make. I am not sure if I will ever buy a Lekala pattern again though!

          • Deby Coles says:

            Oh dear, sorry the project was a bit of a chore. I try to never give up and leave anything unfinished, but sometimes when things aren’t going right it can be a bit of an effort to find the motivation. Well done for keeping at it.

  2. Becky R says:

    I tried a sleeveless dress from Lekala, $1.79, and I finally got around to trying it out. The bottom part I’ve had to take in several inches and it’s still too big (I’m not thin). The darts were above my armpits, nowhere near where they needed to be. I took those out and put some in lower, still not really in the right spot but much better. (I’m not a sewing whiz.) The arm pits were going to be too tight but I checked that before I sewed up the side seams and corrected that, maybe too much. I’ve had to put away my sewing for a few days but I’m hoping it’s somewhat wearable when I’m finally done. I also could not understand some of the directions, like the piping around the neck and arms. I just sewed it on like regular bias tape. It was a great concept but I wouldn’t order from her again.

    • Deby Coles says:

      Oh dear, sorry to hear that. I suspect that the endless parade of new patterns is purely created on the computer and not tested in real garments on real people. So the pattern looks professionally finished, the illustrations look good, but the finished garments aren’t always as expected. It’s a real shame because the concept is a really good one of having a pattern pre-sized to your measurements.

  3. lyndle says:

    Shame about the top!
    If you look on the Russian site, ( I think) or, below each pattern pic is a series of little icons. Click on the camera icon. For new patterns this will just show you views of the pattern drawings, but if someone has made it and sent in a photo, it will appear below the pattern drawings. The other place to check for made up pics and reviews is obviously
    I’ve just bought a few patterns. I’ll be sure to do some flat-pattern measurements as I sure don’t want to have your problem with the arm fit – it looks really uncomfortable! It’s a real shame as your fabric looks nice.

  4. To bad it didn’t fit, because it’s actually a cute blouse. Thank you so much for sharing this with Saturday Spotlight. Hope to see you at this weeks party!

    Angels Homestead

  5. To bad the shirt didn’t fit, because it’s actually pretty cute.
    Angels Homestead

  6. Good to know! Thank you so much for letting us know. I almost never use a pattern when I sew for just this reason…I HATE it when I’ve paid for both a pattern and fabric and it ends up being a failure. I’d rather just buy a pre-made shirt and alter it. I was looking at this pattern and now I know that if you have any extra anything in your arms not to buy it!

  7. titicrafty says:

    Nice review, I think we all can experience this even in stores, not always we fit into the clothes, I have big butt and wide hips (I don’t know if I say it right, my English is not perfect) with thin waist so it get very difficult for me to find the perfect fit. I don’t sew but I’ve sen my mom doing it and she always has to make changes on patterns =S. Thanks for sharing this and Thank you so much for stopping by and linking this up at Bewitch Me & Titi! Hope to have you there next Sunday with a new awesome creation!

    Hope you are having a lovely day

    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  8. Dree says:

    It actually looks really good on you–though I can’t tolerate tight arms either! Too bad. Maybe with some adjusting it would fit right?

    I could never sew something like this, I have symmetry issues. My arms would never be the same length LOL.

  9. lulu says:

    Patterns can be so frustrating. Some fit really well while the same size in another brand comes no where close. As it sounds like you learned, fabric selection can also make a huge difference.

  10. carriehurst says:

    Good try! The color is pretty, at least ;). Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

  11. Sorry about the fit, it actually looks really cute on you!

  12. Rosey says:

    Her patterns aren’t back up yet but I’ll be sure to check later. Visiting you today from Sincerely Paula’s No Rules Weekend Blog Party.

  13. Amy Mayen says:

    I’ve never heard of them! The concept sounds great, but I’m not sure about fit issues. I’m curious I’d there are any other reviews out there…I’ll google it later. I’m visiting from Diana Rambles!

  14. MammaNene (@mamma_nene) says:

    The pattern is no more available 🙁

    • Deby Coles says:

      Oh Wow – I just looked on Craftsy and ALL the patterns from Lekala have been taken down. Oops, I think perhaps I sent too much traffic all at once and the poor girl has fainted trying to keep up with all the pattern orders.

      Do keep trying- hopefully once things calm down a little she will put her patterns back up again and you can give this one a try. Maybe I should have let her know in advance – I didn’t give it a thought that it might be so popular. Lesson learned.

  15. Zoe says:

    I’ve heard from a few people that they add a few cm to the measurements they give to Lekala as a safeguard. If there’s any extra, they just take it in. I’ve personally never purchased any but that’s what I’ve heard.

  16. Andrea @ Mouse in My Pocket says:

    I’ve downloaded a couple of her skirt patterns, but I haven’t tried them yet – been too busy with other projects (like making undies). I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out when I get them done.

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