All of the outfits made in this collage were sewn from Ottobre Design magazine. This is a European sewing magazine that is put out 6 times per year--4 kid issues and 2 women issues. Each issue contains several sewing patterns that cover a wide variety of sizes. These patterns are done so professionally, and that helped my sewing skills really rocket to more advanced levels. They also helped me to step way outside my sewing comfort zone. I began sewing with knit fabrics because of these patterns, and along the way I learned correct ways to insert zippers and different finishing techniques. You can see many more of the Ottobre projects that I made on my Flickr page.
The patterns all come printed on a few pattern sheets that are then inserted in the magazine. Each design marked is in a different color with sizes marked by dotted lines. The seamstress (sewer?) then traces out the correct size for the item needing to be made and adds seam allowances. At first this was very challenging to me, but really it helped me to see how patterns were drafted and why certain marking were placed in specific spots. My typical method for adding seam allowances was really simple. I taped 2 pencils together and traced along the original line, then used the second pencil marking as my cut line, which added a quarter inch seam allowance to my pattern pieces.
Some steps are illustrated in the magazine sewing instructions, but for the great majority of the patterns, the instructions are simply written out for you to follow step by step. This is another component of Ottobre patterns that really helped me to visualize the sewing process in my head while reading the instructions. I was also able to quickly familiarize myself with correct sewing terminology.
If you haven't given Ottobre sewing patterns a try, you can preview all of the past and current issues online at the Ottobre Design website where you can also conveniently order a subscription or a single issue. There are also several patterns that you can print for free, which will give you an idea of what the magazine instructions and patterns are like. The Wooly Thread is an American supplier for Ottobre Design, so if you don't want to wait for an overseas shipment, you can also order through them.
I'd love to hear about your experience with sewing any of these patterns!
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