Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frilled Neckline and “Love” Embroidery

A girly version of the basic T-shirt

The T-shirt is a great invention from the early 20th century. A T-shirt is usually a jersey shirt with no collar or buttons that is put on by pulling it over the head. A T-shirt has short or long sleeves. Its neckline is round or V-shaped.

Originally worn as underwear, the T-shirt is today a popular garment among people of all ages and sizes. Since 2000, we have published various T-shirt patterns for children and women in our magazines. We have even included a couple of patterns for men’s T-shirts (Ottobre design issues 3/2005 and 4/2005).

The basic pattern for a T-shirt is relatively timeless, with the fit varying from snug to loose depending on the fashion trends. The length of the T-shirt as well as the width of its sleeves may also vary. In order to save space on the pattern sheets in the magazine for entirely new designs, we decided in 2006 to publish the best basic T-shirt patterns for children and women as two separate Creative Workshop pattern sheets.


The Creative Workshop 301 package includes patterns for children’s T-shirts in sizes 92–170 cm. The girls’ design is slightly fitted whereas the boys’ design is straight-cut. The best tops for women can be found on the Creative Workshop 303 pattern sheet. The women’s patterns are in sizes 34–52 (US 4–22 / UK 6–24). You can order both pattern packages on our website at https://www.ottobredesign.com/subscription/other.php?lang=en

Frilled neckline for T-shirt

We modified the CW 301 T-shirt pattern into two new and fresh girly versions for issue 4/2010. The lovely old-rose-pink viscose jersey T-shirt is detailed with a frilled neckline and a keyhole slit at the back neckline.

Download Frilled Neckline for T-Shirt in PDF format (512kb)

"Love" appliqué for T-shirt

The striped T-shirt is generously long and its front is embellished with the embroidered word “Love”. It has contrast-color coverstitching at the neckline, bottom hem and sleeve edges. You can use the same instructions for modifying the basic women’s T-shirt pattern.

Download "Love" Appliqué for T-Shirt in PDF format (1.1Mb)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Soft Bunnies and Letters

Cute baby toys

Soft toys are easy to make and you can usually find suitable materials for them at home. Babies are attracted by bright colors and interesting shapes such as familiar animals or letters that make up the baby’s name.

In issue 4/2010 we promised to provide the patterns and instructions for soft bunnies as well as for soft letters that can be hung across the front of a baby carriage hood. Use safe, clean and colorfast materials for the toys because they often end up in the baby’s mouth.

You can use various scraps of fabric that have been left over from other sewing projects for these toys. Before starting, it’s worth preshrinking the fabrics by washing them.

Download and print out the instructions for the SOFT BUNNIES and for the SOFT LETTERS (edit: Added the missing link) from the links below. Note that you only need to print out the section of the instructions document that is in your desired language (Dutch, English, Finnish, German or Swedish) plus the pattern sheet. 

Download Soft Bunnies in PDF format (780kb)

Download Soft Letters in PDF format (308kb)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ottilia Sews! Hooded Sweat Jacket Tutorial

As another installment of "Ottilia Sews!" series for novice sewers, we created this photo tutorial to supplement the cutting layout and especially detailed instructions for "Montparnasse" Hooded Sweat Jacket.

You will find the patterns for this hooded sweat jacket in our autumn issue 4/2010 in sizes 116-122-128-134-140-146 cm. Take a look at pages 14-15, 60-61 and 39 for detailed instructions!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

OTTOBRE Sewing Stories: Katja M

OTTOBRE Sewing Stories is a new series introducing our readers from around the world to each other.  We aim to give you interesting ideas and insights about sewing, fashion and everyday life. Be inspired by others and inspire your fellow readers.


Our second storyteller is Katja M, who is 30 years old, was born in Minnesota and lives in Washington state. She is a stay-at-home mother of three boys, aged 7, 4 and 2. She sews for her whole family: herself, her sons and occasionally for her husband.

 Bat T-shirt, Summer short sweatpants and Turtle romper from OTTOBRE design 3/2008

"Also, we make most of our birthday and Christmas gifts and items for around the house. I love to make something special for a child that they may not have otherwise, a wool coat in their favorite color with a dragon lining or a Luke Skywalker costume in black linen for a boy who wanted a very 'authentic' costume."

Early projects

Katja started her career in sewing by cross-stitching when she was just 4 years old. As many of our readers she was taught by her mother, who first of all let her take pins out while sewing. She also has scars from her first sewing projects.

"I remember ironing doll clothes on a chair because I couldn't reach the ironing board, and I still have a burn across my fingers from spreading out dolly dress pleats to iron them flat!"

Also Katja's mother remembers well their moments together, while her little girl was sitting on her lap testing a sewing machine for the first time.

"My mother said I made a little soft heart pillow for my new baby brother when I was five that said 'I love you' in embroidery stitches. She thinks that was my first finished project."

Her mother used to be also a very keen sewer, who even entered competitions with self-made garments.

"My favorite was the 'Little House on the Prairie' set my mother made for me at nine with calico dress, white pantaloons and apron. I wore it constantly and by the time she entered it in the county fair, I had almost worn out the seams. She won the Grand Prize purple ribbon that year! Later as a teenager I also entered a dress I had made for myself at the county fair and won a red ribbon for finishing the seams using French seams."

Casual coat from OTTOBRE woman 2/2007 – now a raincoat, made with cotton laminate and lined with green stretch poplin!

Time to sew!

Katja is kept very busy by her three sons. In her everyday life there are special things she wants to share with other sewers.

"Today my oldest son received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. He is very high functioning and I think knowing what's behind the behavior will help us get the help he needs both in school and the world. But it is tough to hear it, instead of just wondering. On the other hand summer break just started for my first born and I am looking forward to a summer of laidback days and no hustle and bustle! Plenty of time for all of us to craft and play and read!"

Like other busy mothers, she tries to find at least a little time for sewing almost every day.

"It gives me something to look forward to each day in the small snippets of time that I carve out for sewing. I like waking up each morning, thinking: What will I sew today?"

What will she sew?

Katja often user our more basic patterns as she is a relatively new OTTOBRE reader.

"I found OTTOBRE a year ago and I especially like patterns which use the same basic pattern pieces to make different styles. You could make a little boy a whole set of school pants with just one pattern set. Even though I love tracing patterns, I only choose ones which I can use at least twice. This saves me time and money."

 Ottobre tank top (free pattern, pdf), 
shorts and hat from OTTOBRE design 3/2009 

These days Katja sews almost all of the garments in her household.

"I love that I haven't had to go to the shopping mall for over 1 year. 'We only go for shoes' my husband says!"


Katja's favorite blogs and sites:


Katja's favorite fabric shops:


All photos used in this article are ©violetvata (aka Katja M), all rights reserved. Used with permission. You can view more of Katja's OTTOBRE projects on her Flickr set:


This series is written by our long-term editorial assistant, Anni Kokko. If you feel like you or someone you know could inspire fellow readers, please send an e-mail to ottobre@ottobre.fi and include links to your recent work. Our storytellers will be rewarded!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Like Real Princesses - DIY Crown Kits Available for Order

I recall happy childhood memories of lovely summer days when we were frolicking in meadows in our princess outfits. We wore lacy underskirts and chiffon scarves borrowed from mom’s wardrobe and toy crowns that our auntie had brought us as souvenirs from Sweden. Sweden has a real royal family, and we found the thought of princes and princesses really fascinating.

Role play promotes children’s development in various ways

Role play has throughout the ages been one of the most popular forms of children’s play. Role play involves a lot of talking, fantasy and creativity. It offers the child the opportunity to explore various emotions and adopt any imaginary role. Role play is highly interactive and takes more and more intricate forms as the child grows. At its best, role play is great fun with plenty of humor.

Adults can help the child to build a world of play, just as they help the child in daily life. An adult not only acquires the playthings but plays a central role as a storyteller and initiator of play. Children love to play, especially when the topic of play is interesting, exciting and perhaps even a little mysterious. An adult is not only a playmate but an enhancer of play as well as a communicator who gently guides the play in a sensible direction. It is also important to allow for spontaneity, to immerse oneself in play and to detach oneself from one’s role as an adult.

Let’s create a world of play together

When children and adults play together, it often also involves making things together, and this is something children are usually very keen on. During the summer holidays it’s possible to find time for this. Princess play can easily be initiated by making princess crowns together with the children.

Order craft kits for princess crowns

To save you time in running from store to store, we promised in our summer issue to put together craft kits for princess crowns. We have finally received all the lovely materials for the prious crowns from our supplier: silver-plated metal wire, French wire, various seed beads and beautifully shiny glass beads.

The kit includes all materials for TWO PRINCESS CROWNS plus the instructions in Dutch, English, Finnish, German and Swedish. You can choose a kit for two pink or two turquoise crowns or a kit for two crowns, one in each color.
The price of the kit is 11.50 euros, including postage anywhere in the world. You can order the kit online at https://www.ottobredesign.com/subscription/other.php.

Enjoy rewarding role play!

P.S. Don’t forget your little princes and courageous knights! You’ll find the patterns and instructions for a prince’s or knight’s cape, a prince’s crown, a knight’s shield and many other role-play costumes in issue 4/2004. You can browse through the issue online.  You can also order a copy of the issue.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Readers' Creations: Nicole from Australia

We got mail from one of our readers. Nicole is a mom and a photographer from Australia and this is what she wrote to us:

"Just wanted to share with you, my first Ottobre Woman creation!

This is Journal tunic and dress from Issue 2/2010, page 26.  I've used a light stretch cotton for the dress and the tunic is a heavy stretch.  It's so lovely to wear.

I love it's flattering shape and people ask me where I got my outfit everywhere I go. Thanks for such a great magazine, I only discovered it 2 issues ago through a friend and I love it!"

Thank you Nicole for sharing your stunning creation with all our readers. It is wonderful to see how people around the world use our patterns.

Nicole's blog: http://www.nicolefinlayson.typepad.com/

You can submit your photos to ottobre@ottobre.fi. Please let us know if we are allowed to publish them on the blog.