Welcome to our Ottobre sew-a-long! Today we’re going to learn about reading an Ottobre pattern. If you’d like to sew the project we’re working on, you can first check out the post introducing the Euro-Style/Ottobre sew-a-long.
I know these patterns can look scary. I was intimidated the first time I wanted to sew one. But with a little sleuthing and a size conversion chart, you’ll find out that reading an Ottobre pattern isn’t too tricky.
First, you’ll need to decide which size you’ll sew! The different sizes for this project are shown in the first photo collage below.
European sizes are determined by the height of the child in centimeters. The pattern starts at 92cm and goes through 134cm, which I show using the first red arrow below. Using the conversion chart I’ve provided on this page (you can click to the second part of the table), you can see that this means the smallest size is a 2-3 in U.S. sizing, and the largest is a size 10 U.S. We’ll measure our children in a bit – and it’s very important to measure – but knowing the general size is important when ordering your fabric!
The amount of fabric needed for the size you’ll sew is shown under the “Materials” section (second arrow, above). This project is based on wider fabric, 54-60in wide. You’ll need 35 cm of this fabric for the bodice smallest size, which means you’ll need 14in – or about 3/8yd. For the largest size, you’ll need 70cm (28in) of bodice fabric. This equates to at least 7/8yd.
But let’s face it – knits shrink, fabric stores don’t always cut accurately, and you might have a fabric design that requires more yardage, so always purchase a little more than needed!
As you read through the materials list, you’ll see that we need fabric for the bodice and fabric for the skirt. Ottobre is suggesting single jersey with 30% stretch. This means that you will not need a 4-way stretch fabric with Lycra/Spandex for the bodice…a “regular” jersey will do.
For the skirt, the pattern indicates that you’ll need either another “regular” jersey for the skirt in Design A, or a printed cotton fabric for Design B. Because “printed cotton fabric” doesn’t include the phrase “jersey” or “stretch,” this means that you can use a regular woven fabric. Whoot!
You’ll also see that you need ribbing – which is a knit fabric. Notions include fusible stay tape and clear elastic.
Confused about fusible tape? I discuss it in my free download about sewing seams in knit fabrics.
You can also learn more about clear elastic my earlier post about gathering with this type of elastic.
Childrens’ clothing size international conversion chart – Euro, U.S., U.K, Australia
|European size||U.S. size||U.K. size||Australian size|
|50cm or less||Newborn||Newborn||00000|
|50-56cm||0-3 months||0-3 months||0000|
|56-62cm||3-6 months||3-6 months||000|
|68-74cm||6-9 months||6-9 months||000|
|74-80cm||9-12 months||9-12 months||00|
|80cm||12 months||12 months||0|
|80-85cm||12-18 months||12-18 months||1|
|86-92cm||2T (or 24 months)||18-24 months||2|
|152-160||14 (up to 164cm)||12-13||13|
All good so far?
Now that you know which supplies to purchase or raid from your stash, read through the section of Ottobre that provides general instructions about how to use their patterns, as well as how to measure your child to determine the exact size you’ll need to sew. In this edition, 1/2014, these are on pages 12-13. As with any pattern, it’s best not to assume anything. Reading an Ottobre pattern is no different…and sizing is different for all pattern companies.
So….measure your child and sew the size recommended!
If you need more help making the conversion from metric to U.S. measurements, just type “cm to inches conversion” into your Google search bar, and a handy tool will show up first on the results page.
…I’ve come to love that little conversion box!
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to remove all the pattern sheets from the inside of your magazine.
Look at the pattern instructions we’re working on…Number 25, Funny Faces, on p. 31. Focus now on the “Pattern Pieces” section for the Funny Faces pattern. At the bottom of that section, it says, “Pattern Sheet C, blue.”
Find Pattern Sheet C in your pattern bundle, and open it up. Note all the blue lines and blue pattern numbers. For our sew-a-long, we need blue pattern pieces 6, (bodice front and back) as well as pieces 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10. There are plenty of other blue pattern pieces on that sheet – but don’t worry! They’re for another pattern. If you look at Pattern 24, Organic Star, you’ll see that it also uses Pattern Sheet C in blue, but has completely different pattern piece numbers (second arrow, below).
We’ll learn how to trace and cut out our pattern pieces from Kathy of Handmade Dress Haven on Thursday, but for now you can look at the sheet and find one of the pattern pieces you’ll need…just to get the “lay of the land.” I’m showing Blue Pattern Piece 7 below, which is the sleeve pattern for View B of this project.
So…that wasn’t so bad, was it? Learning the first step in this journey, reading an Ottobre pattern, should make you feel a little more comfortable with the way their system works. As I mentioned before, Kathy of Handmade Dress Haven will show you how to to trace out this pattern, including what materials to use, which lines to trace and cut, and what some of those little symbols on the pattern mean! Follow me on BlogLovin’ (the button in the right sidebar) so you don’t miss it!
I’m so excited that you’ll be joining us!