Lekala 4279 or Madame Butterfly

Since my last ordeal with the Burda maxi dress, I didn’t just look at the technical drawing before making this Lekala 4279 dress with a flounce, I also looked up examples from bloggers.

4719-kimonodress

I only found one, but a good one. This cool lady made this lovely version of it:

4188_4400

No major incidents during the project, apart from an unclear front neck line: they say to make a ‘slight’ ruffle, no indication of width. If I align it with the given bias length to use it’s so tight it makes a V-neck. If I allow the extra 5cm of bias to cut, it’s so wide it’s gaping and hanging outwards. So I settled for 2,5 cm of the extra bias and it looks kind of like on the tech drawing.

Then I started pinning a teeny tiny rolled hem on that flounce, after about 10cm and 99 pins I thought there has to be a better way. I tried the hemming foot from my old Elna machine. It was very difficult to get right, if I held the ‘feeding’ fabric 1mm too far to the left, it left an extra frayed layer under the rolled hem, and if I held the fabric 1mm too far to the right, the hem wouldn’t roll on itself, it just hemmed. But where it worked it’s beautiful! Look at that!

IMG_2742

In the end the dress looks too bombastic to my liking, the FLOUNCE is too big: I feel like Madame Butterfly! My fabric is probably not as fluid as it should have been… though it’s a very pleasant viscose with a washed silk look-and-feel. Also I found the size/shape quite wide (and this cannot be a sizing issue, since Lekala make a bespoke pattern to your exact measurements). It looks like a maternity dress somehow. Also the giant Flounce folds back over itself towards the front.

front-side

I unpicked the skirt, made it a narrower A-line skirt, which works better I find. I also top stitched the Flounce to restrain it to the sides.Β front-side2

back-side

It’s now OK, I have to get used to the Flounce though, I just don’t have the courage to unpick and resew the flounce narrower, not yet, maybe next summer… Or just get used to a bit more extravagance… or learn how to fly.

6 comments

  1. I think this is a good statement dress for going out. The skirt is definitely better in the second version!

  2. The skirt is much better your way! As for the flounce, I agree it rather makes you look like a moth. 😲 You wouldn’t have to unpick it though to fix: you can just cut off excess width and make a rolled hem, either with an overlocker or similarly with zig-zag on a sewing machine. A rolled hem foot that you used with straight stitch only works on straight pieces of fabric, which the flounce isn’t. I tried to make it work so many times… I think those feet are cursed and I hate them. 😏 But I did have one good experience where I followed the manual to the letter: https://vintagesewingmachinesblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/know-your-snails-from-your-sea-shells-the-narrow-hem-feet/

    • Haha, yes, a moth, it’s too dark for a butterfly. I considered cutting off the excess, and re-hemming, but what with the effort that went into that pretty rolled hem, I can’t get myself to cutting it off… Also I don’t have an overlocker 😦 Does a zig-zag rolled hem show the zig-zag on the underside? If not I’ll try it elsewhere πŸ™‚ I’ll look it up anyway! I’ve used that rolled hem foot on another project since, and I’m getting the hang of it slowly, thanks for the link too.

      • Zig-zag rolled hem actually looks the same as an overlocked rolled hem – in both cases the stitches are put very close together creating a rope-like finish.

  3. OK thank you, I will try.

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