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!