I haven’t really used many Ottobre patterns recently, nowhere near as many as I used to use anyway. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve become lazy over the years or because I’ve lost some faith in my sewing skills but I find that I gravitate towards quick and easy projects rather than the multi-pieced fiddly ones that Ottobre tends to have (plus I have to trace them too which adds even more time to the project). I do think a large part of it is that I just don’t have as much time to sew as I used to which means that it’s nicer to sew something quick and fast in one or two sessions than to have something drag on and on over a week or more.
Anyway, coming off my pride and confidence having done the french seams I pulled out this tunic project from Ottobre Woman, it’s issue 5/09 #3.
The fabric for this was from Abakhan and it’s a strange thinnish knit. It does have mainly cotton in it as it ironed well and didn’t melt but it also has that drape of synthetic. I have to admit that I was worried about working with it which is another reason I’d put this one off for so long, but once I got going both the pattern and the fabric were easy to work with and it went quite quickly. I had thought that maybe this would need french seams but it didn’t require them.
The pockets have elastic through the top for the gathering. I was worried that the pockets were going to give me trouble and figured if they turned out to be a pain I’d just leave them off. However, when I overlocked the edge of them it sort of pulled the fabric inwards which made it really easy to iron down the seam allowance around the outside and I love the way they turned out. My other worry with them was that the elastic would be too heavy for this fabric and pull it down but it doesn’t.
The neckline also has elastic in a casing through it. I did the casing before I put the sleeves in and did the side seams rather than where the pattern suggested as I figured it would be a lot easier while I could still have it flat. I stitched in the ditch on the shoulder seams to keep the gathering at the front where it belongs.
I’ll have to wear something underneath this but it does fit me and I’m looking forward to wearing it.
Next up were the last item on the list for Piggle.
These are Ottobre 2/05 #14. The pattern is actually intended for girls and is supposed to be made from linen and have smocking on the back of the legs and drawstrings at the bottom of the legs. I liked the shape of the trousers though and at some point in the past had traced it off in what is now Piggle’s size. I really can’t remember if I made these for Jim or not. Hey look, I DID make them for him with the same changes as I made this time in June 2006, that search feature on the sidebar does come in handy!
Anway, this is PRR light twill which I dyed some shade of blue from the Dylon range (I must make notes of the dye colours I use, I never remember…). I used bright yellow thread for the stitching and topstitching on these and a twin needle.
Each front leg is made up of 4 pieces and the back leg is made up of 2, you piece them all together and topstitch which means threading and unthreading and changing the needle quite a few times. I used to do this all the time when making stuff for Jim when he was small but now it just seems like such a faff, although today I didn’t mind it so maybe I will use some more of the Ottobre patterns I have traced already at some point.
The back pockets are supposed to be gathered like the tunic ones are but I didn’t bother with that and just sewed them on flat. Piggle said it would be good to keep a hanky in the pocket and that he really liked the shorts and that they had cars on them.
Ottobre’s elastic fitting instructions say to sew the elastic in a circle and then fold it into the top of the trousers and sew through all layers. In theory that is great but I actually broke my sewing machine (the one I still use) trying to do it in the past and it had to spend a week being fixed (luckily under guarantee) so I have never tried it again and add extra to the top of the pattern pieces so I can make a casing instead.
So that was my Saturday spent sewing whilst it poured with rain outside and the boys had a pajama day watching tv and playing. Now that they are both old enough to climb the stairs safely if they want me and the house is small enough that I can hear if they’re getting up to mischief it means that I can spend more time sewing when they’re here rather than leaving it all to the weekends they’re not. I doubt I will have as much sewing time as I used to until I’m retired now, but I need to make sure I stop shying away from ‘difficult’ things, especially when they aren’t!