Ikatee is a new-to-me French pattern line, designed by Stéphanie Godefroy. I stumbled upon her business when I saw this Bohemian style that reminded me of the most comfortable dress I owned in the ‘seventies:
I wasn’t familiar with the designer….turns out she has extensive background in the children’s apparel business. Stephanie offers a free pattern for all new customers, and since I’ve been disappointed so many times by indie patterns, I requested and downloaded the free pattern before buying one. You have a choice of girls/boys/infant/child patterns: I chose the infant’s top, a simple “pillowcase” style that I could draft myself….but it let me see that the drafting and grading are good. And so I purchased Sakura.
As with every pattern, I see little things that could be adjusted to make life easier, but I am happy to say that overall I am very pleased with the Sakura pattern.
Comments on the PATTERN PIECES:
- The pattern does print in layers, but I always print the nested version first to check the grading….and this dress/top is beautifully graded:
- I added notches to the bodice and sleeves, because the sleeve pattern is a trapezoid and it’s easy to confuse which end is the armscye and which end is the hem:
- I trued the back neckline. The neckline shape meets at a fairly sharp angle at the shoulder-seam:
I curved the back bodice piece slightly at the neckline, scooping the back neck depth 3/8″ lower:
This is the difference in fabric (left = before adjustment, right = after adjustment):
- I also trued the sleeve hem, otherwise the hem would buckle when pressed under. The long sleeve version IS trued at the hem but the shorter elbow-length sleeve is not. Since the shorter sleeve is wide, the angle of the seam going towards the cuff is not very deep and having a trued hem isn’t crucial….but I like to true everything:
9/7/17 Update: I received a comment that this step is not clear, so I’ll add close-ups. Here’s the sleeve pattern piece, elbow length (left) and long sleeve (right):
See the angle on the hem of the long sleeve version? The slim tapered long sleeve hem (right)has been trued; the fuller shorter sleeve version (left)has not been trued:
So when the hem is pressed, the shorter sleeve hem will buckle (left) while the long sleeve (right) won’t:
That’s the reason that I trued the shorter sleeve pattern piece. I trued the entire size range before tracing the individual sizes, but here is how you would do a single size. Tape on a scrap of paper:
Using a straight-edge, mirror the angle of the sleeve into the hem area and draw a new cutting line:
Extend the hemline edge cutting line:
Now you have the little “tab” :
…that lets you fold up and press the hem without it buckling:
If that’s not clear, please let me know, thanks. Again, if you have a tiny hem or are finishing by adding on trim (as I did) it’s not critical for the sleeve hem to be trued. But if you do plan on folding back a deeper hem, it makes pressing and stitching easier.
Comments about the INSTRUCTIONS/CONSTRUCTION:
- The instructions print out in a compact booklet which is handy if you don’t have a computer nearby when sewing. The photos are in grey-scale. It would be easier to see what’s going on if they were in color:
- Construction itself is straightforward. I made a (cropped) muslin, and it went together beautifully. I would change the sequence-of-stitching in a few places, because it’s always easier to stitch “flat”:
- Press on placket interfacing before stitching bodice facing to bodice
- Overlock bodice facing edges before stitching bodice facing to bodice
- Overlock sleeve hem edges before stitching sleeves to bodice
- Stitch CB bodice buttonholes before attaching bodice to skirt
Comments on the FINISHED PRODUCT:
- Fitting: Sakura is an “easy-fit” style, in true Boho manner. Like many kid’s styles, the back does not include a placket going into the skirt. This means the chest seam measurements must be at least as wide as the “over the head” child’s measurement (typically 2 to 3 inches larger than the chest):
The Size 3 that I sampled has a finished chest measurement of 25″, for a body chest measurement of 21 1/2″, so that should be easy to slip on.
- The pattern includes a body-size chart , but not a finished-garment chart. It’s not critical for an unfitted style, but it would have been nice to have.
So we have here an easy-to-make, easy-to-fit tunic or dress.
- Sakura is an ageless style: this is a good choice for your “no more ruffles” or “no puffed sleeves” girls.
- The style-lines make it a natural for mixing fabrics ….whether for fun or stash-busting, or up-cycling vintage linens
- Sleeves! So many girls pdf patterns are sleeveless….Sakura originally was designed with kimono-style elbow-length sleeves, but the update includes wrist-length tapered sleeves as well. And for beginning sewists who avoid fitted set-in sleeves, this is an easy style to make.
- So comfortable….I love an unfitted smock-style dress or tunic!
Have you tried any patterns from the Ikatee line?
Happy Sewing! Best regards, Janet