I saw a dress on Crafster that had been made using a pattern site called Lekala that makes custom print-out patterns. This seemed too good to be true so I thought I should test it. I found this awesome military dress on the site, put in my measurements and printed it.
You have the option to pay $1 extra for seam allowances; as that was another 25% on the price I decided not to do that and that was not the correct decision: you already want to retrace the pattern once you've printed it and stuck it together adding seam allowances is a bit of a faff.
I was worried that the pattern wouldn't fit and while I was making it, it felt a little small; so I unpicked it and made the seams smaller only to have to put them all back in because it fit perfectly! I did have to take some of the seams in but only because I have a long waist and short body and I'd have to do that anyway. I'll certainly be using the site again so that I don't have to worry too much about editing pattern pieces!
The dress is made from 3m of navy linen garbedine mix so it's quite thick and sturdy. It has a large lapel, a side zip, belt and 10 pretend buttons on the front. I decided to choose some RAF gold buttons but they do stick out a little so using flatter buttons might be better next time.
I was given a fantastic Christmas present of an assortment of exciting thread and buttons so I used some of it to edge stitch the lapels in gold and make them look a little more snazzy.
The epilets are also quite snazzy...
It's held together by a bright gold zipper and an inside button. I've added a couple of inches to the dress and to the facing so that it can be walked in without flapping open.
Overall, a good experiment! The site, in this statistically significant sample of one, produces patterns of the size required. The dress itself is smart and fun.
I tried this pattern last year when I made the owl bag but this frog is sew much better!
This is the prefect hand luggage. It's made from beautiful shiny turquoize butterfly fabric, royal blue suade and fake leather.
There are lots of pockets, one on each side about the right size or a small mobile or change and a larger pocket in the back, big enough for a passport but not, it turns out, an ipad.
The strap is held on by a lobster clip. It's a single strap, long enough to go across the body. Sewing the leather was so much easier on the new sewing machine and using a number 16 needle.
There's a front pocket big enough for a wallet.
And really cute dangly arms!
I love the leather mouth! A much more awesome alternative to a handbag and I'm sure Ernest's future aunts in law would agree!
You rip what you sew!