Ottobre basic T

Now that I am not going to the office every day, the things I make are pretty simple and basic. Those are just the styles I tend to like the most, and it also makes combining different garments and accessorizing easier. More things go together when they aren’t all statement pieces. That’s all to explain why I have made another plain top, and here it is: #1 from Ottobre Woman 5/2017. They called this style “Weekday”.


I am using this pattern for my new T-shirt block. It has a wide neckline (good for balancing hips) and a loose and easy fit. Otto sleeve heads are never the same front and back, so thumbs up for that. The neckline is supposed to be a topstitched facing, but I bound it instead, turning and handstitching the underside. I also shortened it a lot. Otto tops usually run long on me, sleeves too, and I am on the tall side. I used a banded hem and have included a step by step pictorial on that below, in case any reader has not done one before.

Changes I need to make to perfect the block: Otto tops generally fit me really well. The only thing I will do to this pattern is narrow the shoulders. After all, it is unfitted. There is just a hint of waist shaping.

The fabric is a beautiful wool jersey that I got from Michael’s AGES ago. It was one of those pieces that I was saving for something special. That makes even less sense now than it ever did. I ran it through the washer and dryer to see if it would felt up, but it came through feeling just like new. Good stuff! I’ll dry it flat from now on, but will feel confident about washing. Good thing, because I have two dogs that are champion shedders…I have to be able to wash everything.

The banded hem

This is a nice trick that gives a nice finish, especially for a plain solid fabric where every boo boo shows. The hem is nice and stretchy, and you don’t need a coverstitch machine. The examples were done with a piece of scrap fabric.




I keep the hem on the top because that means I will have the soft wooly nylon next to my skin. If you have regular thread in all your loopers, then I don’t think it matters which side is up.

I run the edge just beside the cutting blade, so that nothing is really cut. No worries if you do slice some fabric off, though, because the edge is serged.


Give it a little press, directing the seam allowance up.

Of course, you could cut an actual band strip and attach it with the serger if you wanted, either with self or contrasting fabric.

Back to the 5/2017 issue of Ottobre Woman. I thought it was a really good one. In addition to four knit tops, there is a knit cardigan, two short jackets, a coat, two blouses (one more shirt like than the other), jeans, two trousers, loose knit pants, and two dresses. There is a skirt, too. You could sew for a long time and make a whole wardrobe from this one issue. I made one of the blouses and will blog it later. I plan to make the second shirt/blouse, too.

It is approaching 15 degrees F as I type. Folks, I live in the sun belt and this is so unusual! A wool T shirt (it is soft enough to wear with bare skin) sounds really good.

Happy sewing, everyone!

1/18/18 update – here are a couple of closeups of the hem outside and inside, complete with the dog hair I mentioned.


8 thoughts on “Ottobre basic T

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