Lekala 4002 shirt with bows

Lekala 4002 shirt with bows
Krisztian Bodis Photography
Krisztian Bodis Photography

I find it quite extreme that I haven’t encountered Lekala patterns earlier. They are AMAZING!

Lekala is a Russian pattern company which offers plenty of sewing patterns which have custom measurements! Basically you type your data: full bust, waist, underbust, hip, full hip and if you wish, neck width, arm width AND you can check some additional settings, e.g. if you have a slightly smaller back or you are shortwaisted, or longwaisted, or your breast width is wider so on.. so on. And within a half hour they send you the pattern PDF – and they cost only $2.99.

If you wish, for additional price you can get SA included (but I’m used to Burda patterns so it’s not a big deal for me) and yep, you gotta tape your own patter pieces, but again, no big deal for me to trace a pattern (hello again Burda pattern mazes!).

I know it’s hard to tell whether you have a small back or not – compared to what? There is no magic formula for that. But let’s see my case. 

So on Burdastyle I saw a featured member project and then reading the pattern, I had to check the Lekala site. As I can guess (according to some blog posts), Lekala made an international-friendly website and webshop recently, because I’ve read years ago people advised to check and buy from the original Russian site – it had more options, patterns back then. Now I find the English site user-friendly, cheap, and awesomethe patterns are purely awesome! /okay, the searching system is not very detailed/

I know some people had no luck with custom made measurement, but let me tell you something..

So far the Burda and the one Butterick patterns never fitted me good enough. And as a beginner, a novice, most of the cases you have no idea how could it go so wrong… And I’m speaking as someone who had never problems with RTW sizing, never! And it is really frustrating when in the name of sustainability and slow life you spend hours and hours with sewing and what you get doesn’t fit. And in my case I found my sizes in one column, so my fb and waist and hip regularly are in one size – and still had no luck. So after al the struggle…

Ladies and gentlemen, I think I find my favourite pattern company!

And the reason is not only the custom-made measurement, BUT the style. As a European, living in the Middle of Europe and having a lot of slavic influence, I fu***ing love the styles of the pattern, almost all of them! Can you believe? They are fitted, they are truly feminine, and have sometimes couture designs but not in a very twisted/weird way, just some draping, some interesting details. I gotta tell you, a lot of indie (and Burda, too) patterns are baggy – for my taste. Shapeless, not fitted at all – and I really don’t get what is the purpose of those shapeless designs. Sorry!

I find very refreshing to see Lekala.

Okay, my first choice was a shirt, a basic shirt with lovely bows on the sleeves – called Lekala 4002. I haven’t asked for any modifications, just typed my data and quickly received the pattern.

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I haven’t followed the instructions, because I luckily knew some things about shirt making. I bought floral cotton fabric earlier, it was discounted and I found it suitable for this project.

I wanted a wardrobe staple and I’m short on the shirt-list – I have 3-4 wearable ones only. Lekala 4002 is not that fitted (which may sound funny after I mentioned I adore fitted garments). You can see on the model that near the waist there is some extra fabric which I didn’t mind and of course at first I wanted to see how the pattern fits me without alterations.

I gotta say, I love it! It fits me with a small note : I noticed that with Burda and Butterick I felt that my back is not wide enough, I ended up always with 2-3 cms extra fabric on my back. I don’t feel it too much on the yoke, but for a more fitted result (or for the original design) I might check next time the “back width – decreased”. On bust front – it’s all good, not tight so I won’t want an increased breast width in exchange. I hope with this minor alteration I’ll get the most suitable patterns. So far I’m really satisfied with the results.

This shirt was ready within 2 afternoons/evenings, and I really liked the pretty bows on the sleeves.

Yesterday we had a big event in Budapest, called ‘I bike BP’ – which is a regular event every year to make important the issues of bycicle routes and the bike-friendly city. When the weather is nice, I always ride bike to get to work, it takes me 40 minutes through our lovely park and I always enjoy it – it’s sport for me (I don’t work out regularly, only some yoga). It’s 2*40 minutes a day, which makes me quite satisfied (and currently we’re preparing for a big journey from Prague to Dresden – a bycicle route from the Czech capital city to the German Dresden in May along the river Elba).

So at the event there was a 10 km long route in the city – all important roads were closed for the cars and there were 10 000 riders – young, old, children, everybody – some poeple on skateboards or rollers too. I wore my brand new shirt on the event, so I’ll show you some action photos!

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With my Hubby

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7 thoughts on “Lekala 4002 shirt with bows”

  • I just discovered this website yesterday when I was searching for a oven bolero pattern – have printed out and cut out ready to sew from a burn-out velvet. Very cheap patterns, limited instructions so probably not ideal for beginners but we’ll see how the fit works out 😄

    • Good luck with it! I usually check some YT videos or other tutorials to collect the ‘knowledge’ and seems to be enough to make it 🙂 i hope your bolero will turn out to be nice!!

  • Hi Réka, thanks so much for sharing about Lekala patterns – I’ve just been perusing their site and I think I’m going to be hooked!!

    I also agree with you about a lot of indie patterns being on the baggy side. I have a smaller frame and so the more baggy styles can be plain unflattering on me…! So it’s nice to see patterns that are more feminine and fitted.

    • Hi Chrissa!

      I’m happy to hear that you found it useful 🙂 I strongly suggest you the Lekala patterns – I’ve just finished a wrap dress yesterday, also using Lekala pattern and it is gorgeous, the fit is so on point . I didn’t have to make any modification!! So I wish you the same luck for it!

  • I love Lekala patterns too! I have some fabric that I wanted to make a cute blouse from too and I think this would be perfect. Think I will go and buy now!!

    • Good luck for the blouse, I finished a dress on the weekend and now I’ll try another dress soon 🙂 Lekala is sooo good!!!

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