JAM #10

Ottobre Woman 2/2006 #17

The Ottobre jacket is completed, and a very nice jacket it is. I wrote a bit about it while it was in progress a couple of posts back, when the body was completed but I had yet to do the sleeves. At that point, I was so happy with the fit of the jacket that I knew I didn’t want it to be a throw-away muslin. I wanted it to be wearable. But setting in the sleeves was a concern because this fabric (the iron/cotton blend that got an extended Coke soak) was not going to ease.

Here is where the story gets really happy, because the sleeves didn’t NEED to ease. They fit right in, no muss no fuss. That was such a relief. All that remained was to sew on the facings, insert the shoulder pads, turn up hems and topstitch.

A bonus now that this jacket is all together and I like it and its nice easy fit – this same pattern has four different looks in the same magazine, mostly due to pocket stylings. It’s all ready for me to do some changeups…and one of them should be for the fall 6PAK which I am so behind on.

A slight design change – when I’m doing an unlined jacket, I usually redraft the facings so that they extend all the way to the armseye, as shown in the photo. This accomplishes several things: facings don’t flip out, it gives the shoulder and upper chest a little extra oomph, and conceals shoulder pads so they don’t need covering.

I’m glad I finally made this jacket up. Another TNT in a classic style, and this one will also give me a great set of measurements to use in refining other jackets. I’ve really liked the Nancy Ericson 1945 jacket, and have made it several times, but the shoulder was always too broad and I didn’t have the confidence to just whack it down. This Ottobre will be a good pattern benchmark for comparison.

Nice things about the Ottobre jacket:

  1. Did not need extensive alterations for me. When extensive pattern surgery is required, I’m always afraid I’m doing more harm than good. Alterations for this jacket: cut one size smaller at the shoulder, and then shaved off another quarter inch; sewed the vertical darts about 1/8 inch narrower than marked, just for insurance. That’s it.
  2. I like the way the pieces for the two-piece sleeve work. Many two-piece sleeves have the underarm seam meet the side seam – extra bulk and you have to take care to match the seams. This sleeve is cut so that there is no seam where it meets the side seam of the body. Less bulk and easier to sew that way.
  3. Plenty of “driving room” across the shoulders & back. Don’t know why, but this is often a problem with other patterns.
  4. Lots of fitting opportunities with the darts, and one could always leave some of them out for a boxier fit. Stitching the darts just a bit looser like I did makes for a nice shape: trim but relaxed.

Things I’ll change for next time:

  1. Needs a forward shoulder adjustment of about ½ inch.
  2. Cut deeper hems. Ottobre included hem allowances, but they seem skimpy to me. An extra half inch would do.
  3. Next time I’ll draft the lining. Ottobre intended it to be lined, but this was a trial garment and will be worn as a substitute for a jean jacket so I skipped it.

Things to just be aware of:

  1. The armseye is very high. Works great with a tank or sleeveless shell underneath, or could be worn buttoned up with just a cami, but anything with sleeves might choke up.
  2. Sleeve width is OK to accommodate a lightweight blouse, but anything heavier will require an adjustment. If you have slender upper arms this won’t apply to you.

 My TNT basic T shirt is Ottobre. My TNT basic blouse is Ottobre. Now this basic jacket is a winner. Ottobre pants take more fitting work for this body, but I have had success with them, too. The latest issue has some styles that I probably won’t adopt fully, but when you know something is going to basically fit, it’s no big deal to do a little adapting.

A nice surprise for me….one day I came home to holes in the sewing room ceiling with little wires sticking out, courtesy of The Spouse. The little wires were to be connected to several banks of track lights so I will be able to see what I’m working on! In fact, the lights are now totally installed, and when I clean up my space I’ll post pictures so you all can see.  What a difference!


4 thoughts on “JAM #10

    • Julie, most of their patterns are current, but not super-stylish and they’re not heavy on details, so you can add your own. The latest issue is more trendy, but many of the older issues are still available. They don’t do petite or tall sizes, just regular and plus. I hope you enjoy them if you give them a try.

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