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Ottobre Sewing Magazine – November TSNEM

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Ottobre TSNEM

It’s the first Monday of November, so I’m sharing another Try Something New Every Month (TSNEM) project! You can see more about the year-long adventure and what else I’ve tried in this post. I bought an Ottobre Design Magazine a long time ago after reading rave reviews about their patterns in a Facebook sewing group. It then sat on my bookshelf, for months and months. Seeing Dana post on Instagram about #OttobreOctober gave me the final boost I needed to pull it off the shelf and try it!

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ottobre pattern sheet

Ottobre is a magazine, it comes packed with over 40 patterns in each issue and hails from Europe. I bought a back issue off eBay, Amazon also has some* and allegedly Barnes & Nobles stocks them. All the patterns are printed on top of one another – so a sheet looks like the above (baby book for scale). It is INTIMIDATING to trace – I initially tried Terri’s method of using a crayon & iron (thanks to Sarah, for sharing the link) but found the crayon I was using didn’t transfer 100% to my freezer paper and wasn’t willing to buy special pattern paper. I switched to regular tracing for the main pieces, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought once I got started – granted it was only 3 pattern pieces.

ottobre fail 2

I was trying to sew a kimono style onesie, but unfortunately it didn’t go around my big baby’s thighs! Fortunately I hadn’t gotten too far in before I realized, and abandoned the project. It would be pretty easy to chop the top and turn it into a top, or mash together a larger size, but she doesn’t actually need a onesie so I’m just chalking it up as an experiment.

kimono bodysuit

I didn’t mind the lack of pictures or detailed steps, but I didn’t like adding a seam allowance. Mostly because I’m not used to – it would probably get easier with practice! I tried using one of these flexible rulers*, but on the tiny curves it was easier to just eye-ball it.

I’m going to write a full review with more pictures of the magazine and what’s inside, but it’s safe to say I prefer printing & taping over squinting & tracing. As cool as Ottobre designs are, I don’t think it’s a fit for me! I spent the whole afternoon frustrated that I’d “wasted” the morning I had – but trying new things can be that way. Not everything can be a success!

See what other bloggers tried!

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Friday 6th of November 2015

So glad you tried it!! I about cried the first time I tried an Ottobre pattern. But, then picked it back up with something that was familiar to me and slowly worked from there. I've definitely grown in my confidence with Ottobre, although I do tend to tweak the instructions to fit my sewing style better (fewer fancy hem lines, etc.)

Sherry Kelly

Friday 6th of November 2015

I have not given up on adding the seam allowance yet! My thoughts are, why not just trace the sewing line, cut a little bigger and sew on the line? OR, I think there's a device with 2 pencils that traces 2 lines at once, but I think I'm going to give the first idea a shot, I don't know why it wouldn't work!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 6th of November 2015

The tricky part is, for me at least, that SA didn't have to be added everywhere. So it took more reading & thinking than I'm used to at that stage of sewing :) You can tape two pencils together though, it works pretty well!

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