Sunday, 7 June 2009

Ottobre sewing

Let's get this out of the way:

I have quite a few Ottobre magazines, which I purchase through the fantastic Crafty Mamas shop. The clothes in them are just beautiful, not your usual run of the mill stuff you buy in department stores. But the patterns are so scary!

They print all the patterns in the magazine on a couple of huge pieces of paper, all one on top of the other, and when I first saw a pattern sheet I shut the magazine firmly and put it back on my shelf. But still my collection of Otto mags grew and grew, and I realised that it was rather silly not to actually make something from them. I've only ever made a couple of items of clothing, very basic things with, at most, 4 or so pattern pieces to fit together. So basically my garment sewing skills are somewhat lacking. And what did I choose to make from the Otto magazine with those complicated patterns and the rather technical sewing instructions? A lined jacket of course!

Oh my goodness what a series of dramas that was! I cut out the lining from pink flannelette and the shell from corduroy. I was doing really well up until I had to join the shell and the lining together. Well, I just had no idea what the instructions were saying, it was like they were in a different language. I did what I thought they meant and sewed and turned it right side out, and then thought that the seam was really bulky so I'd better cut away the excess... oh yes you did just read that! I hacked away happily with my scissors, and then after a while I realised that something just wasn't right. I had to unpick a whole section I'd just sewn, and sure enough when I put it together the way it should have gone, there were four large holes in the front of it where I'd cut it. I did consider shoving it under the bed and pretending it never existed, but in the end I patched the holes up with interfacing and scraps of fabric. Seriously, every single seam I sewed I ended up having to unpick for some reason or other, is there anything sadder than spending ages unpicking something that took you ages to sew? And finally, the buttonholes. I did those tonight, and first of all the automatic buttonhole foot objected to the corduroy and wanted to continue to sew on the spot instead of moving down to make the buttonhole. And then when I was cutting out the holes with the stitch ripper, I got bored of putting the pin in to stop myself cutting beyond the stitching, so of course I cut beyond the stitching. Anyway it's done.

Although I must say that for a perfectionist like myself, it's a travesty of sewing sitting there on the chair staring at me hatefully. And the sad part is, I'm not sure that I actually learned anything useful, other than knowing that I'll never do that horrible coat again.
But Miss M likes it, and it keeps her warm at school in the cold mornings.

The next bit of Ottobre sewing that I did was to have a go at making some long sleeved t-shirts for Miss M. These were very simple - there are 5 pieces of fabric that you have to sew together, not too difficult even for me! The challenge for me here was sewing knit fabric for the first time, although I did prepare myself beforehand by purchasing a walking foot. I have made 5 tops now, 4 with nice knit fabric from Crafty Mamas, and one with fabric from Spotlight called something like 'snuggle knit'. It certainly is soft and snuggly, but rather a bugger to sew (pardon my french!). It slipped and slid all over the place, and had a tendency to want to hide down underneath the plate thingo that the bobbin sits under, and where fabric is not supposed to enter. And then when Miss M had been wearing it for a while I noticed that it had red stripes all down the sleeves, although this turned out to be due to the fact that she decided for some reason known only to herself to decorate the sleeves with her red lollypop.


Kayscha's Quilting Corner said...

Well done you. Those patterns look scary. The jacket...and the model - simply stunning!

Ruth said...

For all you said about the jacket I was expecting a disaster. It looks great. It hangs well and you wouldn't know you had so much trouble. The long sleeve T's are perfect for her too. Stop being so hard on yourself!

Cascade Lily said...

LOL now you know why I pick the easy, unlined patterns that use 100% cotton!!

Good on you for a) having a go and b) not giving up! It looks great. And I do recognise that cord. I have some calling my name as well for a coat for Romily (unlined in all likelihood!!!).

Just saw some divine looking Russian peasant tops on the Ottobre blog from the forthcoming mag. :)

joanie said...

Louise I'm so impressed! What a star you are making such a gorgeous little jacket. Your daughter must love it. And t-shirts too? I love that you'll try anything!