A Little Linen Lekala Blouse for Summer

Summer dressing; it is not easy to look stylish,and  crisp and remain cool in summer. And here in Southern Baja, where the searing summer sun cooks you as you walk, and you can see the heat waves shimmering above the sidewalk in front of you, the thought of clothing, sounds like torture.
I have a standard to uphold. I cannot go out in public half dressed. While some tourists traipse around in barely-there bikini tops and sheer pareos. I cannot, will not dress like that.

Then there are the tourists and some other Gringos that have let all standards fall, or never had them. They look like they slept in their clothes since 1968, and their hair and feet look worse. These same slobs try to do business with government agencies looking like they slept in an alley.

Here I am after driving for 20 minutes and creased up by the seatbelt.

 And this year I am on a mission to be more put together in summer gear.
 It is so easy to fall into the easy, resort wear of t-shirts and capris, or the ubiquitous open blouse over coordinating tank top. I won’t do it! 

My fitted blouse solution
I was also on a quest to find a nice, fitted, button up blouse that I could make in a myriad of colors and perhaps add some detail, like piping and color blocking.
And I have found a blouse that I like  a lot.
It fits right out of the “box”.

 This is a Lekala pattern Lekala website
Lekala is a Russian pattern company, founded and owned by Natasha Lekala.
 She has hit on  an innovative  way to purchase patterns.  
You  input your measurements, and you can save them for future orders. Within minutes a PDF arrives in your email inbox. All you have to do is print the pages, follow the diagram, tape them together and you have a pattern custom drafted to fit YOU. And the patternsFIT> EVERYTIME. The pattern pieces fit together, no altering required. No slice and dice, no Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) no sway back or short waist adjustments. 
And the price? $2.99 US, and if you are a registered user, you get a 10% discount.  Browse the site. Choose your designs. Pay via PayPal and in minutes you are printing your pattern.

Forget about sewing directions, they are in RussoEnglish, supposedly translated by a native English speaker, hard to believe.Even if they were comprhensible, the instructions are minimal. I have been sewing without instructions for years. so this is not an issue for me. 
 I love the styling, the fit, and the instant gratification of ordering and receiving a custom pattern in minutes. 

The pattern sketch:

This blouse is exactly what I wanted, basic, nice lines, clean. Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided to emphasize the lovely princess lines with flat piping. Flat piping  is using a folded piece of fabric without cording. I used scraps of the floral print I use for my gorgeous fluted neck blouse.the floral funnel neck blouse
Piping front and back views:

 What does not show up in these photos is that this is a tissue linen with a silver thread shot through. It sparkles in the sun.

And here I am still in the grocery store, still looking a touch crumpled. The pants are last year’s from Chico’s and they are too big now.

The tabs on the sleeves are also made from the scraps of that floral blouse.

 Up next?
I am working on a zebra print top, but the side panels are black linene, and with the added pop of red corded piping.
Here is a sneak peak:

And here is a sultry early morning photo of my front yard:



  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply May 14, 2014

    Nice….I like the princess seams. You look sool and comfortable. Delia

  • catspec

    Reply Reply May 14, 2014

    Such a nice blouse Susan…….lovely color and thanks for giving the Lekala buying details! 🙂

  • Cheryl's in Monterrey

    Reply Reply May 20, 2014

    I also love PDF patterns.. I don't have to make a run for the border or wait to visit our kids to have a new project. Where do you buy your fabric in La Paz?

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