Monday, December 23, 2013

Macaw applique PJ's

When we went to the UAE ........... last year? We were given Pj's on the Virgin flight, there and back, so we ended up with 4 new sets of Pj's. The sizes were so weird - super wide - that in reality, Tigerboy ended up with 3 new sets of Pj's and I ended up with one pair that was huge (as opposed to one huge pair and one ginormous pair). Great! Now I could convince him to get rid of the pair of winter Pj's he'd had for 20 years that were literally falling apart and I'd never have to put new elastic in them again.

I'd been wanting to try an applique, so I decided that one of those pair of jammies was prime for victimisation experimentation. Lo and behold, the macaw applique.

One recurring problem I have when I'm experimenting is that I don't do a proper job, I just cobble it together - because it's just an experiment, right? But it's not a proper experiment because the lack of effort shows which means that I'm still not quite sure if it will work when/if I use the right techniques. And often, the winging it takes more time than if I'd done it correctly the first time. I don't think I'll ever learn though.

I must have used at least five different fusibles, some just in strips, other pieces fully fused, some parts stitched - you get the picture - I really wasn't sure it'd hold up to washing. Another thing, my drawing ability is shockingly pathetic, so in this case, I wasn't sure that the few lines I had to draw for the face would work.

Tigerboy was overjoyed because ........... well, it's a parrot, and it just doesn't get any better in his book. After they'd made it through the wash I expressed surprise that it hadn't all fallen apart. He told me quite seriously that he'd put the top in a lingerie bag to wash it so that it didn't get wrecked (because he knows that I wouldn't get around to making another one for him for at least a decade). He'd be horrified to know that I just toss it in the wash willy nilly and hope for the best but they've survived several months (since August) being treated that way ......... next year might be a different story.

And a blurry pic (I thought I had more but this seems to be it).

Friday, December 20, 2013

Deciphering the Lekala ordering process, emails & errors

I was nearly going to make it a neat year since I'd been on the blog but, thought I may as well write this up. I have been sewing but I've also been moving house, working, gardening and basically anything but blogging - I'll get around to posting my makes at some stage.

Ok, I've bought some Lekala patterns from the US website but not only do they not have exactly the same patterns as the Russian site, the Russian site also allows a bit more fine tuning fitwise. So, I really wanted to try using the Russian site but it's not as easy to use as the US site. (Also, the US site has been redone and my old registration no longer works.)

UPDATE: Apparently, the US Lekala site does now offer the fine tuning that the Russian site offers but I don't know whether they send you the comprehensive list of measurements that you can check against your own (which the Russian site does do).

A few tutorials have been written already - the Lekala site even has links to them - but one of the problems I had was deciphering the emails from them.

Existing tutorials:
Fehrtrade - things have changed a bit since this was written but a lot of it is more or less the same
steppenpuppy - goes into more detail regarding the measurements and fine tuning
sewingtidbits - some more info for you

So, there are a few different things you need to do:
Pay for the patterns
Sort out your measurements
Order your patterns
Decipher the emails


Paying for the patterns

There seems to be a few ways of buying the patterns but the way I did it (and the other bloggers that have written tutorials) is to buy credits via a 3rd party which you can then use on the Russian site. 1 credit = 1 pattern (unless you want seam allowances on your pattern, in which case, it'll cost you 2 credits).

1. Go to the site Russian Lekala site.

2. Click the "Where to buy" link at the top of the page.
You've got 3 choices on what to buy - 10, 30 or 50 credits - I chose 10
You've got two choices when it comes to where you'll buy from - I chose Softkey
(NB. the prices are not what is shown on the Lekala site on both Softkey and Digital River)

3. Here's the softkey page - choose "Buy now"

4. Confirm your order and then pay for it - I used Paypal but from memory, they take credit cards. (They'll automatically generate a userid and password for you)

5. Now, wait for the right email from softkey - I got four but the one with the info you really need is this one:

This email has the two keys you'll need to activate at lekala. Follow the link provided in the email.

6. Back at Lekala it's time to activate your keys.
Enter your email address, and the two keys that Softkey sent you and hit "Send the request".
Now wait for your email from Lekala.

7. The email you recieve from Lekala will have your 4-digit PIN which is what you use to order the patterns.

Now you've got two choices - choose some patterns and work out the m'ments while you're going through the procedure of ordering or sort out you're m'ments first - I decided to sort out my m'ments first.

Sorting out your m'ments

1. You need to hit this button:
If you're on a page that doesn't have it, press the "Order" button and then you should see it on the new page.....
......... and you'll get to this page:

Hit the "Get STRING-ORDER" link.

2. Now you're on this page where you enter your measurements - overwrite what's there - and make any adjustments - big arms, wide back etc.  (You could also go straight to the link you can see in my browser)

 3. When you've finished, enter your email and hit the "Send the requiring" button.

4. You'll get a confirmation page - notice that it says not to use gmail, hotmail etc. I've used both gmail and hotmail and they both work fine (except I had to get my hotmail to register the lekala emails as "Not junk").

5. Now you wait for an email from Lekala (again).

6. This email is full of numbers - the string that they've generated which is a code for all of your particular m'ments as well as the m'ments used. You'll see three columns, the first number is the number of the m'ment (you can look at this page), the second column seems to be the measurements used to make the pattern, taking adjustments into consideration and the third column is the standard? for want of a better word.

I made different adjustments and requested strings to compare m'ments used and finally settled on what I thought was best - that's the string I then used when I ordered.

Ordering your patterns.

Now that you've paid and got the measurements sorted out, it's time to choose the patterns.

1. Browse the patterns and depending what sort of page you're on, either hit the "Order" button for one that you want if this button isn't available
for it (it should then take you to a page where it is available) or just hit that button - it's the one you want.

2. Now you'll be back at this page - difference is, now you put that big long string code for your m'ments in the top box.
- Choose the file format, paper size and seam allowance (or not).
- Enter your email NB. It's important that you use the same email you activated your keys with. Even though (again) it says not to use hotmail, that's what I use and it gets to me.
- Hit "Proceed with the order..."

3. Now you choose your payment method, in this case, go with the 3rd option:

4. Now you get to use the PIN Lekala sent you.

5. You'll now be sent to a confirmation page - unfortunately, at this stage there doesn't seem to be anything to let you know whether it's gone well or not. One option is to use the link on the confirmation page and you'll be redirected to an execution stats page that you can keep updating

The codes in the third column? All I know is 'stat' means an email with your credit status has been sent, 'err' is an error and 'ok' is ok.

6. What you're waiting for is an email like this, with the pattern pdf in the subject line and contained in the email.

Your email will contain a 3D scan of your body (according to the m'ments), the pattern pdf and an html file with the instructions in Russian - you can use Google translate but honestly, you're better off winging it.

It even tells you how many units you've got left.

The other emails you'll be sent:

1. You might get one of these for a pattern you've ordered. It doesn't have the pdf (or the body pic), just the instructions. In my case, it was because I didn't use the same email addie to order the pattern as I'd used to activate my keys and get my PIN.

You can see that it's telling me there's an error (and sending me offsite to try to solve it).

2. There are also these status credit emails. (In this case, it was a heads up that the 4 orders I thought I'd put in hadn't gone through because I hadn't used any credits.)

Reading this, it seems like you're waiting around for emails the whole time but don't worry, they come through really quickly.

I'm sure I've left things out but hopefully this makes enough sense to help someone (like me, when my 10 credits run out and I have to go through it all again).