Tracing Ottobre patterns.
Are you a little intimidated?
I will be honest with you….The first time I saw an Ottobre pattern sheet, I was not quite sure what to make of it!
This is Kathy from Handmade Dress Haven and I’m going to take the mystery out of tracing Ottobre patterns.
They look very confusing with all the lines overlapping and all the different colors. But, I quickly figured out they are not hard at all to use, depending on which materials you use for tracing.
If you’re following our sew-along, we’re sewing the Funny Faces pattern in Ottobre 1/2014, found on p. 37. You’ll want to start with the first post in the series, about how to read Ottobre patterns, before you begin tracing.
Below are the supplies I use to trace patterns: Pattern, scissors, pattern weights, variety of rulers, several pencils (two rubber banded together), and tracing medium.
There are a number of choices for tracing media:
* Swedish Tracing Paper. This is my choice for tracing medium. It is sewable, durable, 100% polyester tracing material. I love it because it can be folded, pinned, ironed, sewn, drawn on and it will not rip or fall apart. It can be found online at many stores, including WAWAK, Ebay and Amazon (a sewmccool affiliate). I buy several rolls at a time and find it an economical and highly useful choice. You can even use it as your muslin!
* Medical exam table paper. This is a large roll of the same paper that drapes the exam table at your doc’s office. This is an inexpensive option for tracing Ottobre patterns, and can be found at medical supply stores.
* Butcher paper. It’s similar to exam table paper and can be found at stores that sell school supplies.
* Pellon tracing paper. It’s is similar to Swedish Tracing Paper and can be found at Amazon (a sewmccool affiliate) and at fabric stores, in the same area interfacing is stored. It is not quite as durable as STP but very similar.
* Freezer paper. This can be found in your grocery store. It has a light film on one side. When you iron it, film side down, to your fabric, it will temporarily adhere and you can then cut out your fabric without the pattern wiggling around. This is great for slippery fabrics.
Before you start tracing, find the outfit you plan to make and look at which pattern pieces and which map you will be using. We will be using pattern sheet C and pieces 6, 8, 9 and either 3 or 7 & 10. Our pattern pieces will be in blue. This is discussed in more detail in our first post of the series.
As a refresher, look at the bottom of the “map” and find the blue pattern numbers we will be using. This will help you locate those pieces on the map.
...Before we get too far…there does seem to be a mistake in this pattern sheet.
A random blue 3 is shown on a square piece that we don’t seem to need (below). Who knows how that happened, other than the Ottobre folks are human? Let’s ignore it.
An important difference to know when sewing with European patterns: They do NOT include seam allowances! We’ll talk about this more again, but notice in the pattern instructions (below left) that we need to add 8mm seam allowances everywhere except the neckline in View A and the neckline and bottom edge of sleeves in View B.
But let’s take at look again at pattern sheet C and notice a few details. On the left side of the sheet, there is a list of pattern symbols. While you’re tracing, make sure you find the fitting and stitching lines, grainlines, and other fitting symbols and draw them on your pattern. American paper patterns typically use triangles to indicate notches and other fitting symbols. Ottobre uses lines and dashes. Also, you’ll notice there’s not a rectangle to indicate where you place the pattern on the fold. There is, instead, a dashed line.
And there are other differences.
For instance, notice the pencil icon in the pattern symbol key (below left). This is shown in Pattern Piece 6, which serves as both the front and back bodice. On our pattern, the pencil points to where you will trace the neckline for the front bodice. The lines for the back bodice are shown above the group of lines for the front bodice.
Now it’s time to start tracing!
Lay the pattern sheet out and find all the pattern pieces you will be using. You should already have chosen your size, discussed in the first post of the series. I will be cutting out size 122.
I start by laying out the Swedish Tracing Paper over the whole sheet and use the pattern weights to keep it all flat. If you do not have pattern weights, any small, weighted object will do. I like to trace one or two pieces at a time, cut them out roughly, and set them aside. I do it this way because – remember – Ottobre patterns do not include seam allowances. You will need to add those yourself. You can add them to the fabric or to the pattern. I prefer to add them to the pattern AFTER I trace it. Thus, I trace each and then cut out roughly (aka wider all the way around, leaving lots of room for seam allowance to be added).
When tracing Ottobre patterns, I like to trace in pencil and I go slow, to make sure I am following the correct lines. Inevitably, I make a mistake!
…but that’s okay. I can erase and redraw.
I have several rulers I use while tracing, just to help me draw the lines. These are not necessary but can be helpful. Pattern pieces are layered, so you will need to move your tracing medium around as you trace. That’s why I cut the pieces out as I go.
Below you can see what pattern piece #6 looks like, before I added seam allowances. Notice the fitting symbols I added? Also, instead of cutting this out twice, once for back and once for front, I just cut it out once. I did, however, draw in both front and back neckline. I will cut out the back piece of fabric and then set it aside and cut out the front. When I cut out the front, the neck line will be lower, as indicated on the pattern.
Of course, you can trace two pattern pieces if you like.
You can also see here how I label my patterns. I include the pattern piece, name, size, which number it is in the book, and issue number. This way, I can save my pieces for future use.
Now it’s time to add the seam allowances, which isn’t as hard as it might seam.
...(notice my pun teehee) .
As mentioned earlier, you will not need a seam allowance on the neckline in both views, or at the bottom edge of the sleeves in View B. You should add an 8mm seam allowance to all the other edges. The easiest way to do this is to rubber-band two pencils together. If you use a standard-size pencil, the two points will be about 8mm apart!
Simply trace over the first line with one pencil, shown below, and the second pencil will draw the seam allowance line for you! Easy peasy.
(Once you’ve done this enough, you can eyeball it.)
After you draw in all the seam allowances, cut out your pattern pieces, and store until you’re ready to place them on the fabric!
See, tracing Ottobre patterns isn’t so hard! So that you don’t miss a post, please follow along on BlogLovin’ (the button is in the right sidebar). And please visit the blog of today’s author, Kathy, at Handmade Dress Haven.
Next Thursday we’ll lay out and cut our pattern pieces from the fabric!