Ottobre “Cable Knit”

Otto Cable Knit 1This is pattern #10 from the 5/2019 issue of Ottobre Woman. The pattern is designed to be made up with knits in contrasting textures: the body and sleeve are in a cable knit, and the front/neckband and an insert running down the shoulder seam and sleeve is made with coordinating ribbing. 3/4 sleeves to show off layering. Side vents. I really like their sample.

The way I made it up, it’s just a simple cardigan with dropped shoulders. I got a wild hair about sewing up a really bulky piece of fabric that had been taking up space on my stash shelf for a long time. It was probably the oldest piece in there. Fiber content is pretty much a mystery, but I’m guessing it’s a poly/acrylic with a curly lamb kind of texture.

The contrast insert wasn’t going to show at all with this fabric, so I modified the pattern by measuring the width of the insert (a simple rectangle), and adding half to the front at the shoulder and half to the back. I also added the total width down the center of the sleeve and made the sleeve one piece instead of two. This is the kind of stuff that is so much easier to do when you are working with a pattern that doesn’t include seam allowances.

Otto Cable Knit 2The photo was taken with a long sleeved tshirt underneath to give an idea of the sleeve length.

It was very quick and simple to put together, and it feels great to have finally sewed that old fabric. It also feels good to sew something from a current magazine issue. This will be a great topper for the fall; it tones right in with denim, and will look good with any narrow pants or leggings in black or gray as well.

Pendleton 1949 Jacket

Pendleton Woolen Mills has issued a sewing pattern based on their iconic “49’er” jacket.

55919049_10157193337818343_5398445038311047168_nThis is the description from the back of the envelope: The Pendleton 1949 Jacket is based on the original Pendleton ’49er. It is an unstructured, unlined jacket with a straight hem. Button front has a French Placket and peaked lapels. Flanged shoulders allow ease of movement. Long sleeves are finished with single-button rounded cuffs. Two open patch pockets can be cut on the bias, matched to grain or omitted.

In the past, I’ve used camp-style shirt patterns to try to replicate this style, just doing my best to copy that shoulder flange that is one of the key features.

This was a very nostalgic project for me, because I have very clear memories of my mother wearing a jacket like this. Hers was a muted pale green, and was probably a knock-off. I wasn’t too keen on mother/daughter outfits back in the day, but now I’m happy that I can wear something like she did.

Pendleton 1949aMine is a screaming purple, though, because I have had this wool crepe in the stash for a long, long time. I ordered it because I knew that it was the good stuff…and was surprised when it arrived and was such a vivid color. I was never going to make it into anything else, so it became the fabric for a test version of this pattern.

I’m really happy to have this pattern and don’t want to be overly critical. After all, Pendleton is a fabric mill, not a pattern company. But I do want to mention a few things that were lacking in the pattern as a heads up for others that might want to make it.

Fabric layouts – the back of the envelope reminds you that you need extra to match plaids. I was surprised, though, that the layout diagrams for 60″ fabric has the sleeve cut out crossways. If your plaid is uneven, I don’t think that would work.

That instructions for that important shoulder flange were not very clear, and even though I can’t figure out a different way to make them, I’m still not sure that I got it right. The tissue has edgestitching marked for the edge of the flange, but it doesn’t seem to be complete or meet up where it should. I am curious to find out if others see this same omission. It could very well be that I just missed some vital info somewhere.

Pendleton 1949bSome other markings or instructions seem to be missing and would be helpful. There was no match point on the sleeve cap for the shoulder seam, for instance. And there was some topstitching indicated in the diagrams that was never mentioned in the instructions. The diagram showing the topstitching on the lapel looked wrong, to me. Button size was not given. Since some people will be sewing to replicate the real thing, button size would be nice to know.

However, this was not difficult at all to sew, except for wondering about the construction of the shoulder flange. And they gave separate pattern pieces for interfacing, which is a nice touch.

My fabric was a touch too beefy for the continuous lap on the sleeve placket, especially where the placket and cuff come together. So my greatest sewing challenge was due to selecting the wrong fabric. I do love the very heavy drape of the crepe, though.

Alterations: I increased the width of the back by making the uptake of the pleats larger. (the back is pleated into a yoke at each shoulder blade) I also shortened the sleeves 1″, and could have made them even a little shorter. Next time I will narrow the shoulders a little and think that will help set the flange. It gapes a little if I don’t maintain good posture. Meanwhile, some shoulder pads will help and there is plenty of time to put them in before cold weather gets here.

I followed the instructions and am glad I did. I would have done a burrito assembly for the yoke. Their method, although it required a little hand stitching, prevents any boo-boos around the neck edge and I was glad to have that come out perfect. I sneaked in some understitching that was not called for, but makes for a nicer finish around the back of the collar and at the front edges. I also did the topstitching on the lapel and collar the way I thought it should be, not the way they showed in the diagram.

Pendleton 1949cI ended up loving the color made up in this style, and think I will wear it a lot once the weather is right. It’s still nearly 100 in the afternoons here, but cooler temperatures will come. Eventually I’d like to buy the correct fabric from Pendleton in a lovely plaid and make another one.

The sleeve looks twisted in this photo but that’s just the result of taking an awkward mirror selfie.

My pattern came with a fun booklet highlighting styles of the 1900s by decade. If you’re interested in the pattern, here’s a link: 1949 Jacket Pattern

 

Ottobre Buttondown

Origin story: After the ikat jacket (previous post), I pulled out this cotton voile because it matched the thread that was still on the machine. There is something about having to wind a bobbin that will stop my momentum every time. Bet I’m not alone in this. Anyway, there was enough thread left on the bobbin to complete this project, so it is obvious that the Force was with me on this one.

So, having pulled the fabric, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Internet to the rescue! I went to the Nieman Marcus site, did a search on “cotton voile”, and scrolled through the pictures until I saw something that made me think, “I’d like that”. I didn’t do a full on knock-off, but did consult the picture for topstitching and other details.

Otto ButtondownThis pattern, “Buttondown”, is from the 2-2013 issue of Ottobre Woman; it is style #3. A tunic-length sleeveless shirt, it is very similar to Jalie’s Rose pattern, but has a cute  yoke which is angled on the front and curves up in the back,. It also has a bit larger collar than the Rose, more like my designer inspiration.

Designer used two breast pockets (Otto shows it with just one), and I also used two in order to have an extra layer of coverage there. Even in this fairly deep color, voile is pretty transparent. The Otto pattern has darts, collar on stand, shirt tail hem and narrow bias armhole facing.

Notes for the future: Next time, make the armholes a little less deep. They are just verging on being too large as drafted. I think I’d also like to modify this body to take a sleeve. The fit on the shoulders is really nice. I added a pleat at center back in order to have more room at the rear and will need to do that on any future versions, too.

I’m already nearly finished with another project, a 49er jacket made from Pendleton’s new pattern. All that remains are to complete the cuffs, set in the sleeves, and do buttons and buttonholes. Shopping for ginormous buttons today!

Ottobre Crispy Texture

Otto Crispy Texture 1On an Ottobre kick. My MO for this project was to pick a stash fabric that I really wanted to make up – in this case a coarsely woven ikat – and pick a pattern that would make the best use of it.

For the ikat, I was reaching for my usual minimalist-type jacket design, Anything But Ordinary. And while I have made that pattern many times and certainly appreciate the aesthetic, I’ve been wanting a little more refinement in the fit of the shoulders. This pattern from the 2-2019 issue had the bones to test as a substitute. The original in the magazine is a longer zip-front linen jacket with patch pockets and a drawstring split hem in the back, but it looked like it would be easy to adapt to a button-front, and shorten up.

Attractive features that made me want to try it as an ABO substitute: shoulder slope that is a closer match to my own, shoulder darts for additional fit, and an armscye and sleeve cap that differ from back to front.

This should have all been easy-peasy, but I have been really, really easy to confuse lately and got the center front mixed up with the front fold. At least I thought I did. I might have been confused about that, too.

Anyway, in order to fix my mistake, I added an extra strip of the fabric border on both sides of the front and took the opportunity to make in-seam buttonholes.

Otto Crispy Texture 2Not crazy about the buttons. JoAnns used to have a pretty good selection, but not any more. For shirts, that’s no problem. I go to the thrift store and for $1 buy a shirt with buttons I like. It’s not so easy with jacket buttons. So I bought some plain white ones at JA, even though they were shiny. Before sewing them on, I scuffed them up with sandpaper to remove the shine, because it just didn’t go well with the rustic weave. They are still too white, and one day when I have a better button selection I will replace them.

Other details about the construction…the ikat is a little loosely woven and I stabilized it by underlining with cotton batiste. The jacket still has a nice soft feel, but just a little more structure than it would have had with out the extra support. Narrowed the sleeve at the wrist.

Next time I will get the ABO out to copy the center front and neck opening onto this pattern, so I can get the front right and also copy the very cute collar it has. The Otto original was sized to be outerwear, so I might also size it down just a little still keeping it loose.

All in all I’m really pleased. I like the fit so much better and am really pleased to be able to refine a style that I use so much.

This will work just fine with a white top and my blue jeans or natural linen pants. The color is a little strong for me, but it won’t be a total wardrobe outlier.

Ottobre Elaine

“Elaine” is from the 2-2018 issue of Ottobre Woman, model #7.

This simple pattern has gotten me on an Ottobre kick. Otto tops fit me really, really well. The only adjustments I need to make are length (they are very long) and depending on the style, I add width at the hip. Some people find the fit in the shoulder and around the armholes wonky, but as always, one person’s wonky is another person’s perfect.

Otto Elaine 1I’m so pleased with this easy basic. The neckline is just right. The shoulders are just right and they stay put so that the loose tee can hang nicely without sliding all over the place. One of the reasons that I’m so happy with it is probably because I just came off a more complicated project very dissatisfied with the pattern. Enough that I’ve sworn off that pattern company, cute as their designs are. It would make a lot of sense for me to forget about messing with any other pattern companies and just transfer details I see in them to a similar Otto design, except for really unusual cuts. Those I probably wouldn’t be up to adapting.

Anyway, this pattern is for a drop shoulder knit top, meant to be made in linen knit. I used a hemp knit and really love the feel of the fabric. It has very little stretch, but this pattern doesn’t need much stretch. The top has a high/low hem with angled vents that are finished with a binding.

I didn’t make the top up exactly as designed. I left off the long sleeves and extended the shoulder and underarm seams of the front and back to lengthen the dolman part about two inches. Also, the binding on the vents looked a little sticky-outy to me, so I just cut a wider seam allowance there and constructed them like you would for a woven top. This is the method I used for the neck binding: sewaholic dunbar.

Otto Elaine 2Here’s how those angled vents open up.

After this I went on to another Otto project. Their spring issue this year was a very good one, IMO. It’s full of things that were right up my alley, and I hadn’t made any of them. Now one is almost finished, and another is being traced out. I’ll be blogging and reviewing them when they are complete.

Happy sewing!

Cutting Line Designs – Relax A Little

CLD RALNot long ago Fabricmart had some cottons that they listed as “Hawaiian Designer” goods. I bought a piece to make a shirt for the spouse and when it came, I was so impressed with the quality of the fabric that I bought three other prints – another one for him and two for me.

I sewed his shirt first (no picture) and the material was such a joy to work with. Lightweight, smooth, and cool, he has enjoyed wearing it this summer. It was incredibly selfless of me to make his first. At last, here is a shirt for me from the same material, different print.

The pattern is one I made once before, the little boxy shirt from Cutting Line Design’s Relax A Little pattern. The pattern also includes a skirt, something I am never likely to make.

I enjoyed making the previous version, and always meant to make it again. I like it in the Hawaiian print, even though the design details and topstitching really don’t show. This time I decided I also wanted it a little bigger. Previous version did fit, but I wanted it a little roomier this time, so I made a new tracing between the medium and large size. In this pattern, there is a big difference between the sizes.

The top as drafted is really, really short. I needed to lengthen it just to get it to cover my waistbands. This one I lengthened a total of 2-3/4 inches so that it is more of a high hip length. Other than leaving off the pockets, which are nowhere near the size they are shown on the envelope illustration, I made no other changes to the pattern.

This top sits nice and securely on my shoulders, with the neckband snug up to the back of my neck. it doesn’t seem to pull or ride backwards.

I might make another one of these in a solid fabric while these cut-on sleeves are still in style. A solid would show off the deep yoke and pockets, as well as all the top and edge stitching.

Vogue 8089

The endless chain is progressing. After two tops and a cardigan, I bought a pair of jeans. I ended up getting mom jeans from Lee because I do like a really relaxed fit.

The next item is a topper from V 8089, an old out of print Sandra Betzina pattern from Vogue. I found it at Half Price Books years ago and it has been in the “make soon” pile ever since. The fabric is a double gauze ticked with tiny squares: light blue on dark on one side, dark on light on the other. This is the second thing I’ve made with double gauze, and it is both nice to sew and to wear. It rumples up in a charming way when washed.

V8089

The artwork on the front of the Vogue pattern is really uninspiring. What was attractive to me is that there was one of those diagonal “French” bust darts incorporated into a kimono-ish type style. The pattern description makes reference to a unique lining technique that I did not use, but may try on another simple jacket sometime. What I don’t see in the photo, line drawing, or description is that there are pattern pieces and instructions for some nifty trapezoidal double welt pockets in the pattern. Hidden treasures.

There are the aforementioned bust darts plus a couple of back vertical darts that keep this boxy shape from being really, really boxy. The sleeve cap was unexpectedly high, so there is the potential there for a fitted, not extended, shoulder. Shoulder pads were called for but I left them out and the result is not too sloppy. I flat felled all the seams except the armscye. The sleeve hem is faced, so the contrast side shows when they are turned up.

This will be a great little casual air-conditioner fighter in a few months, but I doubt I will make it up exactly this way again. Instead, I plan on turning the body with those diagonal darts into a button front top, and will probably size down when I do. I also want to use the cool welt pocket sometime, as well as the lining technique.

endless chain 2

Here’s the state of the endless chain so far. Next item TBA! The new Ottobre Woman has arrived, and there are several things in it I want to make. Now to consider what would work under this little jacket.