I’m sure the word is well spread by now: Ottobre Design is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary and 15 (it had to be, right?) Portuguese bloggers decided to throw a party: A Bloggers Sewing Tour!
Ottobre Design is a pattern magazine for kid’s (from 62 to 170 cm) from Finland, published 4 times/year. They also publish a women’s edition, twice a year, and occasional men’s and crafts projects.
I must confess that I had a valid Ottobre Design for Kids until very recently. I cancelled it, in a vain attempt to sew more from the issues I already had (and trust me, these are quite a lot. Each issue includes an average of 40 designs!). My subscription started in 2009, so obviously I have a lot to choose from!
Until very recently it was not possible to find Ottobre magazines in Portugal (I ordered directly from their website), but, and that’s yet another recently to celebrate, you can now find Ottobre Design in several newsstands (Spanish edition). Great, right?
Nevertheless, a sewing tour means there has to be some sewing involved, so me and my girl went straight to work! I selected the patterns and she choose the fabrics.
I’m currently filling some gaps in her fall/winter wardrobe (do bear in mind that we have mild winters): Blouses and shorts, are on top of my list.
Ottobre Design is filled with lovely patterns for sewing with knits (just check the previous posts from this Tour. You’ll be amazed!), but I usually sew with wovens and let me assure you that there’s no shortage of great patterns in this department as well. So, if you favor a more classical style you won’t be disappointed.
The shorts pattern is from Ottobre 6/2011 (winter edition) and the blouse is a bit more recent, from Ottobre 6/2013. For both patterns I choose the 128 cm length (could it be a size 8?). Pocket sneak-peek, anyone?
Honest opinion? I’m not quite sure about my girl’s pick for the blouse (70’s vibe?), but she couldn’t be more pleased about it. The fabric is a lovely Liberty print that would, obviously, be more suitable for other pattern (or maybe just an accent).
Usually it takes me a lot of persuasion (and some bribery) to get some pictures, but this time she actually volunteer herself (and found a matching cake form. Seriously, I can’t wait to see what she will pick next. Love this girl).
Nevertheless, for the next version, I will remember to pick a less-busy print, and reduce the collar a bit- I prefer it a bit smaller. Obviously, from her huge smile and photo-readiness, she wouldn’t change a thing 🙂
The shorts are made from a soft corduroy from my stash and feature a front fly-zipper (my first attempt with one).
Ottobre Design instructions are known for their lack of illustrations, but I must said that there’s actually illustrations provided for specific sewing techniques like installing a front fly-zipper or adding a stand-up collar. I follow their instructions, but failed (i.e. forgot) at making the alteration for the girl’s version. It’s not a huge mistake and no one but me will actually notice it.
Over the years I’ve been sewing a lot from Ottobre, either for my kids or as gifts. And if I like a pattern, I will sew it over and over again. Ottobre Design is a great source for basic patterns: pants, shirts, tees, jackets and pinafores (Ottobre 6/2012, might be my all-time favorite for great winter basics/classics), like the one I sew last summer (from Ottobre 4/2014) and decided to sew again for this tour (I wasn’t convince by the blouse print…).
Nevertheless, and before I show it to you, here’s what you need to know:
Fact nº. 1, this pinafore is a great basic pattern and one that my girl will wear a lot,
Fact nº 2, my girl didn’t like the fact that I sew a second “pattern” for this tour.
Hence, despite some “bribery” (picking necklaces from my drawer) …
She wasn’t convinced (at all) …
A couple of final tips on Ottobre Design:
- You have to select sizes in accordance to your kid measurements. Don’t skip this step and you will get great results.
- Like most European patterns, you will need to add allowances to seams and hems. It’s actually easier than it looks, as long as you don’t forget to do it (I forget about it all the time…).
- Ottobre instructions are quite accurate and professional (almost no illustrations involved, but not at all impossible to tackle) and will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment.
- When picking a design, look at the technical drawings (you can even download a pdf version for each issue from their webpage). You’ll be surprised with how much you will love most of the designs – even the ones that didn’t catch your eye at first.
- Save some time, to read the Editor’s note at the beginning of each issue. I never miss it and get back to these every time I pick an issue. A must-read if you love sewing with a purpose.
And don’t forget there’s an amazing giveaway* for this tour! Ottobre Design provided some amazing prizes! Seven lucky readers from all of the participants blogs will win the following:
- five one-year subscriptions for Ottobre magazine (kids+women’s issues)
- one gift card of 50 euros to Ottobre’s fabric shop on Etsy
- one gift card of 30 euros to Maças d’Amor fabric shop (prize provided by all the Portuguese bloggers participating on this tour)
The giveaway will be open from October 15th to October 29th (there are still a few days left). Click on the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win!
Happy 15th birthday Ottobre Design ❤
And happy sewing to you!!
* Open internationally. You must have +18 years old to enter. Void where prohibited by law.