Lekala 5954 Waistcoat

Good morning – the incredibly lazy Coco here. I think this is the longest time I’ve gone without writing. Blame it on the weather, growing out my hair, and having more wadders than ever in my sewing career! I’ve tossed more than I’ve kept and at times wondered if I can sew at all 🙂

However, after 6 weeks, something I really like. Waistcoats are ‘in’ this season, and I really like the look over a relaxed shirt. I’ve sewn 3 Olya shirts this summer, so this will be fun. It took me a while to settle on this Lekala pattern. I looked at the Thread Theory Belvedere, and actually bought and printed Lekala 6063, which is its twin. Both are drafted for men, however, and I did not relish all the fitting that implied. Working with a women’s pattern just made more sense.

I have to throw this in, inspiration in multiple ways!

The original pattern is a ‘traditional’ waistcoat, meant to be worn over a tucked shirt. If I had intended to wear it that way, I probably would not have changed anything. It’s beautifully drafted and was a great starting place for my changes..

Yes, I did a muslin from remnants of fabric. I like to write all over a muslin, it’s rather fun and cathartic. The changes I made were all pretty easy – removing the bust dart was the most challenging. BTW, I use a nice tutorial for this task (I could never remember the steps otherwise):

A few sewing notes:

  • My main fabric is 6.5oz Kaufman washed denim. The lining is 3.4 oz Keepsake Calico. I mention the weights because they matter. E.g., I didn’t face the neckline and fronts in the denim because the result would have been very heavy for it’s purpose (it needs to float over my shirt!).
  • I find it daunting to do horizontal buttonholes. I used lots of basting aids and chalk pencil to keep them straight and parallel. Please, please don’t use Frixion pens to mark any visible part of a garment – they will absolutely gift you with a stain. Great for marking hidden parts, however. I use Quilter white pencils and simple No.2 pencils, they both wash out.
  • I didn’t do the welt pockets or back band, just personal choice.

Lekala rates this as a ‘difficult’ project, and I agree it can be challenging. But it is surely interesting. I’ve ordered two prints for future versions and look forward to sewing them. Hopefully I’ll actually get them onto a blog post!

Parting note: I received many very welcome thoughts during Hurricane Ian. Thank you so much for the encouragement and companionship, not just for me and mine, but for all the folks impacted by the storm.

Bye for now – Coco

Lekala 4162 jacket – street style

That magic moment – inspiration, pattern, and fabric…

Cruising Pinterest one day, I happened on this pic, and I knew I wanted to go for it. What a terrific look for Florida, jeans, and a little attitude.

My pattern search led me to Lekala 4162 ( I love Lekala patterns),

And my fabric search led me to Kaufman Balboa linen (design by Erin dollar) at Fabric.com.

Ready, set, go!

About Lekala patterns – You can enter your own measurements (recommended) or choose from a standard size range. They are very inexpensive (about $3.49 for this one) and for $.50 more, they include a 3/8″ seam allowance! This jacket fits me perfectly, even the sleeve length, with no changes at all.

About the fabric – Kaufman Essex linens, the substrate for the Balboa line, are my favorites for pants, shorts, jackets, Yari jumpsuits, and Alder shirtdresses. My choice for this jacket is a white print on white Essex, which had a big influence on how I constructed the jacket.

While the pattern has instructions and pieces for a lining, I did not want facing or lining ‘show-through’. I was after a consistent appearance. So I cut out two complete sets of the pattern, the outside in linen, the inside in linen with poly/cotton broadcloth sleeves (easy on/off entry to the sleeve).

And I used the front facing pattern piece to cut out woven sew-in interfacing (Pellon SF785), attached to the lining.

Once both components were constructed, I just sewed them together, all but cuffs, and turned them through a sleeve.

I’m in love with this jacket! It’s totally wash and wear, and it adds a little juice to my wardrobe 🙂

Parting note: I want to thank all of you, my friends, for the caring and supportive messages you’ve left me. You make me float, and I’ll remember your words every day. From the heart, Coco

Lekala 5712 Faux Fur Jacket


This has been a really fun and time-consuming journey! A faux fur jacket…Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 1.44.32 PM

First step: I purchased several yards of walnut sherpa knit from Fabric Mart. Then I had to do some research: Sherpa is the term for faux shearling, and the foundation is the Sherpa region of Nepal. I felt really brave ordering this fabric, but it’s wonderful. It’s polyester (as are many faux furs), and it has a full tuft on a pretty jersey knit backing.

Then I spent at least a couple days just browsing fur and jacket patterns. There are so many examples of the ‘teddy bear’ coats online, as well as sherpa coats, but I wanted a short jacket, something I can throw on to go to the grocery. I’m so cold in stores!

Finally, I came upon this pattern by Lekala. It was unexpected, as I’ve never sewn a Lekala pattern, but this one is designed for faux fur. An interesting feature, Lekala patterns are based on customized sizing. I decided to go for it!

lekala 5712

We need another pic here…


Sewing notes:

  • I submitted my sizing as: 34 bust, 32 underbust, 30 waist, 38 high hip, 39 full hip. Normal shoulder, sleeve, etc. The pattern was $2.99, and for $.50 more I got 5/8″ seam allowances and 1 3/4″ hem allowances.
  • I love how dense the pattern is on the PDF! I get really frustrated by PDFs that have 1″ margins (Grainline, I’m talking to you) and just waste my paper and make me crazy with tape and scissors. This one does not.
  • The pattern has a 2-piece bodice, front and back, to allow for the bust. Actually, I didn’t want and don’t need this, so I flattened my pattern pieces to have a 1-piece front and back.
  • I wasn’t sure of the lengths of the arms and jacket, so I added 2″ to both. Absolutely not needed, and I ended up trimming this extra allowance off both.
  • The pattern includes instructions for cutting and sewing a lining, which I didn’t use.

The construction is straight-forward. Shoulder, collar, facing, sleeves, side seams, and hems

  • I love the collar and cut-on facing. Everything fits beautifully to the jacket.

inside 1

  • As I wasn’t using a lining, I drafted a back neckline facing.

inside 2

More pics…






I love this! Ciao! Coco