Self Care Sewing: an Ottobre top

Sewing for Women: Ottobre topI’ve been eyeing up Ottobre magazines for almost 2 years now. My lovely mother, and blogging partner, gifted me a subscription for my birthday this past December. The first magazine to arrive was the womens’ Autumn/Winter 5/2013. I would like to get a collection of basic well fitting patterns for me, so this was a great starting point. I chose the Autumn Mood shirt.

I knew that the pattern sheets in these could be intimidating before my first copy arrived, but I was still having trouble getting started. So I did what every blogger does when they get stuck. I proclaimed my intent via social media. How about some Instagram to keep me accountable?

ottobre pattern

I started off intentionally easy. A pattern I knew I could put together without directions if I had to. And one that I could easily identify all the pieces of. I even included the pocket- which I have habit of omitting.

ottobre patternOverall I’m pretty happy with the top. For some reason my stripes match up with the underside of the armhole and back of the shirt, but not right at the front shoulder…can’t win ’em all. The side seams and sleeve seams match up nicely so I will take it!

I even like the pocket! Even though I eyeballed it on, and probably would actually mark where it goes next time.

ottobre patternAnd this is what I will look like most of the time I’m wearing it. Hellooooo coffee. 

I did make one adjustment. The sleeve on this shirt is somewhere around a 3/4. Once I had it sewn up I decided that would really limit how often I wore the top, at least until March or April. So I added the “cuff” of gray to the bottom. It worked out nicely. The gray is a heavier fabric so it helps the sleeve sit nicer around my wrist.

ottobre patternNow the part I never do- adjustments. The top is totally wearable as is. However to make it really ideal for me I think I could pull a little out of the shoulder width and bring it in near the waist a little. I think I will also draft an extended sleeve so I can easily choose full or 3/4. I’m going to aim to make an adjusted top next month. Doable right?

Have you sewn from Ottobre before? What are your thoughts?

Happy Sewing,


PS Have you read the great post from Pattern Revolution on eliminating the term Selfish sewing for Self Care sewing. It’s good stuff. Find it HERE.


New Release one day sale (2/6) over at Peek-a-Boo patterns! Grab the new Boardwalk pattern released today for 15% off with the coupon code “boardwalk15”. Grab it HERE (affiliate) 


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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Lightning McStitch February 6, 2014, 5:25 am

    Looks great. I kind of like your extra long cuff, but then I would have liked it 3/4 length too. you just can’t go wrong with a stripey knit top!
    I’ve only tried one Ottobre pattern and it was a bit of a sizing disaster. Unsure who’s fault that was, probably either me, or the fabric I chose….

  • Teresa February 6, 2014, 5:32 am

    I love it! And I really like the added cuff to the sleeve! Would you say the subscription to Ottobre is worth is? I have been wanting to get my hands on their patterns for a long time, but for some reason I’m dragging my feet!
    Teresa recently posted..Boardwalk Hoodie and HenleyMy Profile

  • Pam February 6, 2014, 6:26 am

    Fits you well and looks great, Rachel. I’m guessing you’ll use this pattern a lot. I’ve never sewn with Ottobre. I always want to know what’s inside before I buy, which means I probably miss out on a great resource.
    Pam recently posted..Cowl Neck Sheer Top…My Profile

  • Maryanne February 6, 2014, 6:57 am

    Love it. I use their children patterns for grand kids The secret is measuring. I believe their conversion is a little off going from centimeter to inches. I now check measurement of pattern pieces
    I usually use Burda fir the adult patterns. The pattern sheets can be daunting but once you have measurements secure I think the patterns work better than the Americans ones. Usually less pieces but you utilize the fabrics better Guess you can tell I’m sold on these pattern!!
    Also find them to be about two years ahead of American style!!!

  • SUzanne Winter February 6, 2014, 7:36 am

    I love this top – the long cuffs just look so cool, and the fit is perfect on you! Thank you so much for linking up at!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Autum February 6, 2014, 7:53 am

    Really like the cuff! I’ve been eyeing Ottobre for awhile but I still consider myself a beginner sewer and it scares me a bit.

  • Kara February 6, 2014, 8:02 am

    So cute!

  • Chelsea February 6, 2014, 8:37 am

    LOVE IT! I have a thing for stripes. I think you will see that over the next couple of weeks. I should totally get the ottobre magazine. But alas, probably won’t happen soon.
    Chelsea recently posted..Janey Jump Around DressMy Profile

  • Amy mayen February 6, 2014, 10:55 am

    I love it too! This is a great wardrobe staple. I guess once you trace it off in your size it’s not so bad…you can re-use this one forever. If I were going to use an tote re pattern, it would have to be for me. Kids grow too fast:)
    Amy mayen recently posted..Betsey Johnson Dress Refashion For DollsMy Profile

  • Cindy February 6, 2014, 11:23 am

    *applause* I’d say your first Ottobre Design project was a success!
    Cindy recently posted..Winter GearMy Profile

  • Jennifer Lachman February 6, 2014, 11:55 am

    Looks so cozy. I have never sewn with Ottobre yet, but I did once purchase a copy with every intention of sewing something. Then I put it off to the side a quickly forgot about it. Unfortunately I didn’t think of social media at the time.
    Jennifer Lachman recently posted..DisconnectionMy Profile

  • Stephanie February 8, 2014, 3:20 pm

    Super cute, and I love the cuff you added. I have my first Ottobre for my son – but maybe I need to check out the women’s issues too!
    Stephanie recently posted..Friday Favorites 2.7.14My Profile

  • Gingi Edmonds Freeman February 9, 2014, 10:09 pm

    Hello! I saw your linky on Think Pink Sundays at the Flamingo Toes blog, and thought I’d stop by to say hi! LOVE your blog! That top is CUTE. I love to sew (you can see my work on my blog) but they are all COSTUMES! I feel scared at the thought of, ya know, sewing real clothes.. haha! Anyway, love the top!

    Gingi at

  • Ajaire February 13, 2014, 5:07 pm

    This is so pretty. I love seeing things you make for yourself. I was given ottobre for Christmas this year and I’m so excited about it. What has been your experience about the sizing for the children’s patterns or have you not had a chance to sewn one yet? I’ve been holding off because it’s hard to tell with my girl’s measurements what size she’d be. Any tips?
    Ajaire recently posted..Floor Cushion – Outer Removable CushionsMy Profile

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