Dresses, dressing up costumes
Comments 40

Lekala 8000 – A Tale Of Two Frocks

Well it’s one frock really, but due to it being far too tight and having giant ric-rac on the hem it was in need of attention before I could wear it publicly.

Remember the Mexican party we went to? It was over the back holiday weekend in August which now seems ages ago.  I needed a Mexican outfit.  After much deliberation and with a hangover I began cutting out the Lekala #8000 – a free pattern that is made to measure my size (or yours)!  It was 4pm and we were going out at 7:30pm so I didn’t have time for fitting issues!

I decided to use the raspberry stretch denim in my stash.  As you can see from the photo below it came very close to being another pair of culottes!  And it’s also what I used in my last post to make the personalised peg bag.

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The dress went together really easily.  I had it finished before 7pm but I did cut a few corners.

I added a big red flower from my trip to Bombay Stores the previous day with Amanda & Neela:

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The neck and arm edges were left unfinished.  I just used a fancy stitch so it didn’t look too untidy.  Think it was about £2.

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After I hemmed it I added a length of chucky ric-rac:

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A red and green scarf (also from Bombay Stores) was fastened around my waist and together with a borrowed sombrero I was ready to go!

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It wasn’t the best fitting garment I’ve ever made and I was surprised it was so tight.  The pattern calls for a woven and this was a stretch denim so I thought it would have plenty of ease, but alas no.   I did feel a bit self conscious as first, but once the margaritas began to flow everyone had their beer goggles on it didn’t matter.  (I was driving by the way and could really not face any alcohol due to excess consumption the previous evening).


For Hubby’s outfit I cut a hole in a big scarf I bought from, yes you guessed, Bombay Stores, and added some tri-coloured ric-rac to the edges.

The night was brilliant. There was even a trio of Mexican singers who kept us entertained all evening.  Though they did surprise us at the end of the night when we heard their Cockney accents!


A few days later I was going out and needed a new frock.  I dug out the mexican and made a few alterations.  The dress that is, not the singer!

First up I let out the side seams as much as possible.  This gave me almost an extra inch of breathing space.

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I did nothing to the zip but have to show you as it went in beautifully first time (when I made the dress originally).

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Instead of unpicking the fancy stitching I just trimmed the edges enough to make them disappear.

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reshaped the neckline.  Sorry for the miserable face.  Maybe I should’ve cropped this out!

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Once happy with the shape I stay stitched the neckline.

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And added bias tape to finish off the neck and arm holes.

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Very pretty!  I almost want to wear it inside out!

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I unpicked the hem and lengthened it as much as I could.

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And here we are – a lightly better fitting frock!

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And the back – a sway back adjustment is a necessity if and when I make this again.

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I’ve not had chance to wear this again, but really must try it on and see how it fits now I’ve lost a few pounds!  I think it’s a definite improvement without the ric-rac and with the new neckline, don’t you!

If you’re not tempted to have a go with Lekala custom fit patterns, and I’d be surprised if this attempt would entice you, head over to Nee’s blog – Sew Fusion.  This is one of her go to patterns and she’s made some stunning versions, all with just 1 metre of fabric!  She even called her latest one after me – The Autumn Ali!!  For this one she’s using the body of Lekala 8000 and the petal skirt (another free pattern) from Itch to Stitch.  It really is stunning!

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I don’t think I’ll be wearing it in the near future with bare legs, but with tights, long black boots and my black Julia cardigan I think it will come in useful!


  1. The dress is stunning (nr 2 that is , I couldn’t even believe that 2 came from the starting point of 1!) You look great in it – Neela will be proud of you! 🙂

    • Thanks Chris – glad you said number 2! And glad I was able to salvage it as it’s lovely fabric and would have been wasted on a one night wonder! 🙂

    • Thanks Robyn! Yes the party was fab, just a shame I was delicate from the night before. 2 50th birthday parties in 2 nights is just too much for me! 🙂

    • It wasn’t so bad really – I’d not gone to town on the finishing touches for the dress the first time. It just felt like I’d gone out in a half finished dress that needing sorting out. 🙂

  2. A great save indeed–looks super on you and will be a useful addition to your wardrobe, I bet!

    • Thank you! Need to dig out my long boots and wooly tights i think now it’s getting cooler here and I’m sure it will too 🙂

  3. Frabjus re-working of an appropriate party original!
    I’d wondered when/if we were gonna see the quicky dress. 😉
    (Love the new neckline.)

  4. Awww! You look fabulous!! Love the Mexican night photos…..it looked great fun! Impressive alterations on it to wear again too. X

    • Thanks Amanda! it was a great night and I felt glad I’d made an effort. the singers were amazing – they took requests and sang any song mexican style – they were so funny! Wish I’d have videoed them 🙂

  5. Wow what a great dress! I love the ricrac for the Mexican version. And the neckline and binding is lovely on the 2nd one 🙂

    • Thanks Beth! I’ve taken the ric rac off carefully so I might be able to re use it. It was left over from H’s nursery 13 years ago! 🙂

  6. Looks fab. Am impressed by your patience (and skill) at turning what was essentially last minute fancy dress into something so lovely and wearable.

    • Thanks! I think I got lucky with the fabric ending up suiting the style of the dress so well so that made me want to finish it. And if I go to my friends and wear it I’ll match her peg bag as it’s the same fabric! 🙂

  7. Well what can I say Ali. The dress transformation is just gorgeous. Love the neckline too. The Mexican outfits are fab! Have I converted you to Lekala 8000? Nee 🐝 xxx

    • Almost!! I like it but not love it. The waist seam line is about 2 inches above my natural waist, which feels a bit wrong. Is it me an odd shape do you think? I’d have to adjust the pattern if I ever wanted to wear a proper belt with it. 🙂

  8. The Mexican party looked great and the dress was perfect for that. You made a good job of transforming it to the later version. I hope you get lots of opportunities to wear it.
    How’s the Couch to 5k plan going? I’m on week 5 now!

    • Well done! Wow that’s brilliant! It does get easier doesn’t it, which really surprised me as running for 2 minutes at the beginning made my lungs want to explode!! I’ve had a week and half off but been back on it this week. I thought I’d damaged my achilles tendons, they were really sore. I’ve gone back to week 4 so taking it easier at the minute as I don’t want any major set backs.

      • I hope you get on OK again. I am starting to quite enjoy myself – although I may not feel that way when I start this weeks third run. 20 minutes sounds like a very long time. Wish me luck 😱

  9. That dress looks lovely and the Mexican evening looked like a lot of fun. Will try out those pattern makers – anything that avoids the constant refining is a godsend. great post.

    • Yea definitely worth a try. You might have to do the odd bit of tweaking but not much. There’s a few free patterns to choose from but even the paid ones are less than 3 dollars. Good luck! 🙂

  10. corrineappleby says

    I’m so impressed you went back and transformed the dress. I’ve got so many clothes that, if I altered them in some small way, would get a lot more wear! It looks great!

  11. Fab rescue job! Looks really flattering on you, the lower neckline really suits you. So satisfying to put something ‘right’, loving the colour on you too 🙂

  12. Just as well you said the Mexican trio had cockney accents otherwise I was pretty sure I’d spotted Billy Connelly’s new way to earn a crust 😉

  13. Marvelous job, there! I thought the rickrack and sash made the original look so fun….but you’ve made some very impressive changes (not to mention losing a few pounds which I’m failing so far to do) and the “new” dress is a very nice and professional version. Love it and the pretty backdrop.

    • Thanks Jen! It’s nice to be able to breathe out without bursting my seams open! Looks a bit figure hugging in the first version! 😃

  14. Pingback: Vogue 8805 | T H I M B E R L I N A

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