Ottobre 5/2013 has landed

It’s always fun to flip through the latest Ottobre pattern magazine when it arrives. This issue is no exception.
Ottobre Woman Winter 2013

This coat is done up in wool, but I’d like to give it a try in a heavy Polartec fleece.
Ottobre Wool Coat

There are a couple tops that are also extended as dresses. I like this raglan. The fabric choice in the dress gives it a different look, too.
woman's raglan top or dress pattern

There are a couple blouse patterns and some dressy office clothes that I don’t see myself wearing, but they are nice looking if I were in need of such a thing. This wrap dress as cute and not too dressy. I just don’t know where I would wear it!
woman's wrap dress pattern

Did you get this issue? What are you planning to sew?

Happy Sewing!

Ottobre Sewing Pattern Organization – take 2

I’ve warned you about my love of organizing things, right?
pattern binders
I haven’t been sewing much since I went to quilt class, but I did a bit of organizing.

At some point, we were discussing organizing magazines and Bobolots (her forum name) said these were great for magazines. I checked them out and they are great! More on that in a moment. Check these out!

When they first arrive, six of them are stuck together:
pattern binders 1

So you pull them apart:
pattern binders 2

pattern binders 3

Then you take out the middle piece – this is where the magazine pages will slide through.
pattern binders 4

And then you need to poke out the little holes for the binder rings to go through. You can stack a couple of these together and push them out.
pattern binders 5

I put mine over a couple of my pattern weights because it’s easy to push through the holes that way and the little plastic pieces don’t go flying all over.
pattern binders 6

For the children’s issues, I use two binder holders because it just seemed like it needed the extra strength. I’m not sure it was necessary, but I had enough, so I just went with it. :)
pattern binders 7

You can just slide them over one corner a bit…
pattern binders 8

And then all the way to the middle of the magazine:
pattern binders 9

Hopefully you slid it through with the holes on the outside:
pattern binders 10

And then the holes just go in the binder rings!
pattern binders 11

Stick them all in binders and you’re set. So pretty….
pattern binders 12

I highly recommend the seller named rvbookseller listed in the “new from” link, especially if you want to get a whole bunch. That seller also offers them in a pack that contains 120 of them for a very reasonable price. When you buy them individually, the shipping is killer. The seller shipped quickly and answered my questions with lightning speed as well. The link is a Sewing Mamas affiliate link, but I’d recommend the seller even without it. :)

You didn’t notice that my Ottobre changed to three different issues along the way, did you? No, you’re too nice to mention it, thank you! ;)

Happy Organizing!

Burda Style USA?

A Burda Style just for North America?

The latest press release from Burda seems to indicate a new focus for the Burda Style brand.

From the April 11, 2013 press release:

Immediate initiatives for Burda Style USA include:
· Creation of a Burda Style USA publishing program; encompassing the Burda Style magazine, various e-mags, books and e-books, as well as themed PDF pattern collections, using interactive content and the extensive library of patterns and instruction programs
· Developing and launching direct-to-consumer online products and services – including extensive online education programs, a pattern release program with upwards of 20 new projects per month, as well as transactions in sewing related products
· Growing the US online audience through comprehensive SEO/SEM campaigns, email list optimization, social media activities, editorial promotion
· Creating exclusive Burda Style USA sewing kits and VIP programs

You can find the full release here.

What do you think? What would you like to see?


$5 pattern sale at You Can Make This!

Download Sewing Patterns from!

Here’s a link to get you directly to the $5 section. Some of the patterns are as much as 75% off!

Plus, you get two FREE patterns – the brand new Kimberbell “Karlee” quilt and pillow set and the She Loves Me, She Loves Me Knot handbag patterns, with your purchase of $25 or more. Woohoo – freebies!

This sale runs through March 12, 2013.

Happy Sewing!

This post contains affiliate links, clicking them when you go to purchase helps keep our site running, thanks for your help!

Ottobre Spring 2013 (01/2013) in review

When the previews for the Spring 2013 issue of Ottobre first popped up, I heard some complaints of the lack of patterns in the bigger sizes. Ottobre patterns have a huge range, from 50 to 170 cm, which is approximately equivalent to sizing for a newborn through a 15 year old. Since each issue typically includes 40 patterns, this means attempting to provide a variety of patterns for 21 sizes with 40 patterns. Quite a task!

Due to the way patterns are typically made, it’s common to see the largest number of choices in the middle sizes. This issue is no exception, with the most options being in size 116. However, I was surprised to discover that there were almost as many patterns in sizes 134, 140 and 146. Check the bottom of this post for a quick size summary!

Let’s start at the beginning with cute clothing for wee ones. toddler clothes

In the smaller sizes, there is a cute voile blouse and pants for girls. There’s a bodysuit, romper and cute hooded bunting that will work for boys or girls. The bodysuit pattern includes a ruffle that can be omitted for boys. The tiger sweatshirt and sweatpants is designed for boys, but leaving off the tiger embellishments lets it work for girls as well. There’s also a dinosaur bunting and girl’s jacket.

For toddlers and preschoolers, there’s a long sleeve t-shirt, overalls, and lined jacket that are suitable for boys or girls. There’s a cute dress done in gingham with a jumper made using many of the pattern pieces from the dress.

shirtdress and mock v-neck
For school-aged children, there are several patterns that span from size 92 to 146cm. These include a tank top, boxer briefs, leggings, tunic top and a pair of casual pants. At the lower end of the sizing, from 92cm to 128 cm, there’s a long sleeve t-shirt, leggings, and a Batman style sweatshirt. Sizes 104-146 include a long sleeve t-shirt with a mock v-neck, a girl’s tank top and bloomers and shirt dress. For fun play, there’s a chef’s jacket and hat and apron in sizes 104-146 cm.

baseball jacket and corduroy pantsFor girls in sizes 110-146 cm there’s a girl’s blouse, a button closure trenchcoat and a pair of casual pants. For boys in sizes 134 to 170 cm, there’s a hoodie, long sleeve t-shirt, baseball style jacket and corduroy pants. The hoodie could easily work for girls as well.

The leggings pattern that’s made for sizes 92 through 170 is shown for both boys and girls, though, at least here in the Midwestern US, it’s not something boys would typically wear. There are also patterns for a tunic top, hooded jacket and pants with cargo side pockets, all for girls in sizes 134 – 170cm.

I see some good possibilities for both my first grade son and my third grade daughter in this issue. You can see the whole issue (and buy it if you’re not already a subscriber!) on the Ottobre website.

Ottobre Spring 2013 by the numbers
Patterns in this issue: 40
Patterns for boys: 24
Patterns for girls: 33
Some patterns will work for both boys and girls, either as is or with some modification, usually by leaving out an embellishment.

Most options:
If you are sewing for little girls in size 116, you have 19 options in this issue. There are 18 options for girls in sizes 110, 134, 140, and 146.
You’ll find 13 patterns for little boys in size 116, and twelve patterns for boys in sizes 92, 104, 110, 134, 140 and 146.

Happy Sewing!

Pattern Organization

At the end of each year, retailers leap to provide us with more containers and shelves, binders and bins to hold our great plans of a more organized space. And honestly? I LOVE them all!

I can lose hours of time rearranging and organizing things. New magazine holders to store my pattern magazines? Yes, please! More shelves? More cute cups for my seam rippers, crochet hooks and scissors? Yes, yes!

Today I’m going to share my system for organizing my sewing patterns. My pattern collection and fabric stash seem to be having a contest to see which can multiply faster. It has become obvious that I have been cheering on both sides for a long, long time.

I keep my pattern envelopes separate from the actual patterns. The envelopes go into a sheet protector in a binder.

If the pattern doesn’t come in an envelope, I either make a copy of the front or print the first page of the pdf that goes with it, like this Farbenmix pattern:

Here’s another:

There are binders for different categories of patterns, for example, kids’ clothes, craft patterns, women’s clothes, and so on. I like this method of sorting because when I’m trying to decide which pattern to use, they are all together. It’s also helpful because I can let my daughter flip through and decide what she wants. Once a decision is made, the yardage and notion requirements are right there, so I can either write it down or just grab the envelope and take it to the store if there’s something I need.

The patterns that came in the envelopes go into a 6×9 manila envelope, which just happens to fit perfectly in these dvd storage boxes I picked up from the craft store some years back. (Caution: not all dvd storage boxes are big enough to fit this size envelope, so check dimensions before purchasing.)IMG_6541

The boxes are categorized by pattern manufacturer, though another option would be to match the categories of the binders. I have a box for Kwik Sew, a box for independent designers, a box for all my Butterick/McCall’s/Vogue, and so on.

Depending on the size and number of pieces in the pattern, I’ll either put the tracings in with the original pattern, or use a different envelope for each size tracing. Here’s a Kwik Sew pattern where you can see the original and then the size tracing stored in the envelope behind it.

Here’s one where you can see my notes from when I used this pattern.

For pattern magazines like Ottobre, I have these magazine holders from IKEA. It’s making me all twitchy to see those mismatched containers, and I’ll have to remedy that later.

If you like organizing things and haven’t done your pattern collection yet, this should get you off to a good start. If you don’t like organizing but realize that you’ve now bought the same pattern multiple times because you couldn’t find your copy, dig in and do a little at a time. You can do a lot in just 15 minutes. Organize for 15 minutes and then reward yourself with sewing time!

How’s your pattern collection look?

Happy Organizing!

Stretch & Sew 1250 – girl’s swimsuit pattern

The copyright on this pattern is 1967, 1975, and I think that’s part of what I love about it. This pattern has modest leg openings – read as: child’s butt is not sticking out.

After looking at the pattern measurements, I decided to completely ignore them and make a size 7. I probably could have made a size 6x, possibly a 6, but this one is pretty good and will hopefully still fit at the end of summer when the girl is half a foot taller. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how fast this child is growing.

I used foldover elastic (FOE) on this, shiny side out. As far as I know, it makes no difference if the shiny side is out, but that’s how Zoe likes it. Cuts were 12″ FOE for the leg openings, 13.5″ for the arm holes, and 28.25″ around the neck and back.

I really enjoyed seam ripping the elastic on one of the arm holes after I didn’t catch the suit fabric in it. Particularly annoying since that was a section where no stretching of the elastic is needed and it should have been a very easy application. Note: while it may seem like a good idea to attach the FOE in one fell swoop, resist the urge. The additional time needed to pick out the three step zigzag stitches negates any time saved.

This swimsuit fabric is one I pulled out of the sale bin and thought it would be good to practice on. It turned out to be one of Zoe’s favorites and this is the second year she has a suit from it.

Stretch & Sew pattern #1250

Otto 3/2009, swimsuit #38

I made this in size 122, with 13 5/8″ of 1/4″ elastic in the legs. If there are actually markings for the placement of the straps, I have no idea where they are.

Zoe is just in this size, so I’m hoping it will fit her for a while. This suit has good coverage. The only thing I’m not crazy about are the tie straps. Well, that and I don’t like the fabric print, but we always make a tester when it comes to swimsuits.


Kwik Sew 3349, take 2

Same pattern as the t-shirt from a couple weeks ago, but this time I made the capri pants. I used a butterfly camo twill for these, I think if I make them again I’ll go with something a little lighter. I wonder how they would be in seersucker. I didn’t put the drawstring in them because they just felt too stiff and I didn’t think it would play well. I’m just going to hem the bottoms. They call for elastic in the bottom, but they just seem too stiff for that to work well with this material.

These are a size 6. I’d never done pockets like this before and was nervous about it. As it happens, things actually do go quite well with sufficient pressing and reading the directions can sometimes be quite helpful. I took the hem up 3″ from where they were marked for capris and blindstitched them there, hoping to either have enough length to let them down completely to work as pants in the fall or adjust as needed for capri length next year if Zoe can still wear them in the waist.


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