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Ottobre Design – Magazine Review

What is an Ottobre Magazine? I'm reviewing what it contains, and what the patterns look like.

If you spend much time reading sewing blogs or in sewing Facebook groups, you will quickly run across recommendations for Ottobre. When I first started sewing clothes, I had their patterns suggested to me several times, leading me to buy an issue. Once I opened it and realized the maze I’d have to trace from, I put it on the shelf and took another year or two to actually try it (my annual project, Try Something New Every Month motivated me!).

I finally did try it, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t love it. I absolutely adore the style and lines of their patterns, but I just don’t think it is worth it to do all that extra tracing, seam allowance adding, etc. for kids clothes when my kids grow out of sizes before a season is out! I know I am in the minority though, and many bloggers swear by them, but I wanted to at least share a sneak peek inside the magazine so you knew what you were getting, if you decide to try!

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Ottobre Magazine

Each issue has over 40 patterns- this is the kid’s edition but they also have a women’s line. They put out 4 kid issues each year, and 2 women’s issues. Sizing goes from 56cm-170cm, roughly 6m-14y.

Ottobre Sewing Magazine

There is a page describing each pattern, with cute and simple styling.

Ottobre pattern sheet

There are several fold-out pattern pages – I put the board book to give you a sense of scale!

ottobre tracing method

kimono bodysuit

I tried a kimono bodysuit, but as you can see, stopped halfway through.

Ottobre fail

My daughter is very tall and stout, it didn’t go around her thigh! So I gave up. She didn’t actually need it, so it got tossed in the scrap pile.

Ottobre sewing magazine pattern pages

You can see each issue’s patterns on their website, on the bottom scrolling through the seasons. Deanna at Sew McCool ran a sew along for Ottobre style patterns, so it is a great resource if you’re new to them!


  • Patterns for a wide range of sizes, for both boys & girls.
  • Fresh, modern styles. They have a nice range of “basics” to unique shapes and styles.


  • Pricey! The cost per pattern is very low, but the initial spend is high. A year subscription is about $59 US dollars. You can buy individual issues on Amazon*, Ebay, & Etsy (don’t forget to use ebates when shopping Etsy and Ebay!). Individual issues seem to run in the range of $15-$20. I’ve also heard some Barnes & Nobles stock them, but mine doesn’t.
  • Seam allowances isn’t added (some people prefer this! I don’t mind it that much, I think this little ruler* makes it easy)
  • You have to trace out the patterns, from a very dense page.


Here is a shot of the technical illustration & pattern page to give you an idea of what those look like!

ottobre directions

See all my other book reviews listed here.

Have you sewn from Ottobre? What do you think of them?

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Thursday 7th of January 2016

Yes I know and have used Ottobre. I think it's a nice magazine. I don't think the pattern pages are more dense than those in other pattern magazines. In The Netherlands I pay around €9,50 (a little over $10,00) per issue and I can just buy it in stores. It is in fact the most expensive magazine I know but I guess that's because it has to be imported?

Something to keep in mind while sewing an Ottobre pattern is that it usually comes out bigger than the size you picker out. Don't know why that is...

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 7th of January 2016

No worries, I fixed the typos for ya :) Thanks for reading and chiming in Anne-Marie!

Paige @ Quilted Blooms

Saturday 2nd of January 2016

The bodysuit would have been so cute, too bad on the sizing. The color was beautiful!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 3rd of January 2016

I love all shades of teal and turquoise :) Thanks for reading, Paige!


Thursday 24th of December 2015

I bought one at our used book store that carries a huge craft and sewing section of books as well as stamps, sizzix, beads and jewelry making material, thread, buttons, anything your heart desires for scrapbooking. It's a great place to trade from one passion to another. But back to the magazine. I've sewn for 44 years, so I'm not a beginner. I measured the child, to be sure, understood the tracing which I thought was a bit confusing, but ok. I added the standard 5/8 seam allowance, and it did not fit when it was done. So I question their sizing. It's a great product if you can figure out the sizing.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 28th of December 2015

I had sizing issues too! I have heard lots of people say sizing was spot on for them - but I guess that can't be true for everyone :)


Tuesday 22nd of December 2015

I love my Ottobres but I can see your points as to why some people might not. The tracing isn't a big thing for me, in fact I find Ottos faster than pdfs because I trace everything anyway so it cuts out the printing and taping step. As for adding seam allowance I do that by eye as I cut so it doesn't take any longer than cutting to a pattern. I am also very lucky in that my in-laws gift me a sub as my christmas present each year (best in-laws ever!). Each to their own though, makes the world a fun place to be :-)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 22nd of December 2015

I know lots of people love them! Definitely don't want to put anyone on the defensive :) Glad you all are chiming in the comments though, to provide some balance to my opinion!

Marsha Lawrence

Tuesday 22nd of December 2015

One look at all the lines on that pattern and my eyes crossed over to the opposite ears. Kudos for making it all the way to the thigh seams!

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