Susan Sews a Polka Dot Chambray Blouse , A Lekala Pattern

At my favorite aIs it a blouse or is it a shirt? Since it it chambray, I tend to say shirt, even when I am  making a blouse.

What’s the difference? Well for one, a blouse is usually a garment for  girls and women. A shirt originally designed for men, is a style worn by women and girls as well.

A shirt is less fitted. It has a collar, and usually a collar stand and a front button band. A blouse can be any style. Usually fitted, and with all kinds of varying details. This is  definitely a blouse.

If you have been following me on Facebook, you know that I have been unable to buy new Lekala patterns. They are an online pattern company based in Russia. They are a small, woman-owned business.There is an embargo against  Russian businesses. I tried to buy their patterns and was received a message from PayPal saying the  transaction could not go through. I was able at other times during this embargo to  buy from Lekala. PayPal must have been caught by the gov.  It turns out that the embargo is the reason and PayPal must oblige Uncle Sam. Just like our ridiculous decades long embargo on Cuba, this hurts the little people  in a nation.

I have a Russian colleague here in La Paz that said that she cannot even send a letter to family in Russia.

This is beyond stupid. Governments are a bunch of  battling brats.

Lekala has an interesting system. You enter your measurements on their site. Then you choose from thousands of designs. Add your pattern choices to your cart and pay. Their prices are  unbelievably low: $2.99 U.S. and if you want them to add seam allowances then add $0.50. Yep fifty cents. Compare their price for a cutom made pattern to the very expensive Big 4 pattern companies, and most of the Indie pattern companies that sell patterns that still need a lot of  slicing and dicing to make them fit.

Within minutes a PDF of your pattern is in your inbox.  Next you print it, tape it together, and cut it out. Voila! You have a custom-fit pattern. Until Uncle Sam got involved.

So I went back to this TNT (Tried and True or Tried and Tested pattern). I have made four other blouses from this pattern.

Lekala princess blous fashion illustration

I like the elements of the pattern,

  • Manhattan or flyaway collar
  • Princess seams
  • Cuffed sleeves
  • Color blocking opportunities with the side panels.

Since I like to add embellishments to my garments. The princess seams are a place where I can add piping. In this case, flat piping. I used a contrast fabric for the collar and lapels and button tab on the sleeve.

On the hanger this blouse looks beautiful, and the white collar and lapels look, you guessed it, crisp.

As you know, I have used this fabric previously. It was a Lutterloh pattern for fuller figures. I had to cut ut down to my size. I though that I had cut it too  much because it was too tight. I am now thinking their is something weird with this fabric. My Beloved was ironing the other blouse for me, while I showered. He brought it to me and said

” This fabric is difficult to work with. I could not iron it well.”

I feel a little constricted in the blouse even though there is plenty of room. And there is that weird pulling on the front. Most people would not notice it if I did not  point it out. It bothers me.

Suz, my lazy, pesty, Guardian Angel with the messy hair and dented halo was nowhere to be seen or heard. What good is she? She could have maybe  suggested in her unpleasant and bossy way that the fabric was not all that it  represented itself to be.

So this blouse is finished. I used white covered buttons that were in my “inheritance” from Sheryl, the woman that also gave me this fabric. The buttons nicely echo the polka dots. I love polka dots. I love the look of this fabric. Working with it, not so much.

Lekala chambray blouse composite 2

No funny stories today. Just a straight forward blog post.

Here is one more photo of me

Lekala chambray shirt2

Thanks for visiting. I promise the next post will be more interesting!

evening looking across at La Paz

Looking back at La Paz from Big Ruby’s Cantina in El Centenario.

1 Comment

  • pam

    Reply Reply June 17, 2016

    Nice work. I really hate hearing about the embargo. I love the Lekala site and have gotten a number of patterns from them.

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