Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ottobre Fleece finally finished?

This is style number 19 from Ottobre design magazine Autumn/Winter 5/2012. It was a long project. I had to sew in 10 or 15 minute snatches due to demands in other areas of life (work is getting in the way of sewing!!).

Here is the front view ably modeled by my trusted body double, Gloria:

The zip truly isn't wider at the top and the sleeves are the same length. I am just not good at taking photos!

I made this out of fleece made from recycled plastic and plastic bottles, supplied by Fabricuk.com. They have super speedy delivery for both swatches and fabric so I was very pleased with their service. You do need a swatch though, as the colours on the monitor are misleadingly garish. (In real life this fleece is a greener teal rather than the blue it appears).

Using Ottobre design magazine - tracing was pretty straightforward. The pattern sheets are alphabetically coded, then the designs are colour coded on each sheet. My only real issue was difficulty finding the grainlines which were finer than on envelope patterns, with a very small arrowhead. I used a double-edged tracing wheel to add seam allowances directly to the fabric. I added 5/8 inch rather than the 1cm suggested as I knew I would automatically use 5/8 inch and end up with a too small a garment otherwise. The jury is out on Ottobre sizing for me as I have an hourglass figure and I choose the size according to my bust. (There was no way I was going to attempt an FBA on an asymmetric jacket making up the pattern with no toile). I could nip in the side seams but I probably won't. I made this garment for comfort and function so a perfect fit is not essential. I did have to redraft the sleeve head area, but am unsure whether this was due to fabric choice or the fact that my shoulders are quite narrow compared to my bust size (now I look at the shoulders  they could have been a little higher still).

Making up the coat - I spent as much time thinking about the construction as I did sewing! There are fairly brief written instructions in the magazine, however it turned out I am more of a diagram person. I pretty much abandoned the instructions and pinned everything to my tailors dummy, sewing in what I thought was a logical order. To be fair it was mostly my own fault as I wanted an unlined jacket that could be worn across the seasons and the instructions were for a lined coat in an entirely different type of material. If I had been lining the coat, I would have used the instructions much more. I made facings for a neat finish, so that when the coat is unzipped and falls open everything looks smooth. Other than the issues I have already mentioned, which I tend to attribute to my shape, the drafting was excellent. Every notch matched beautifully.

Snuggly and warm in my new coat. It was 9c this weekend so I expect  it  to get  quite a bit of use !
I love the look of the collar from the back

However, there is just one little problem...

Remind you of anything? A gnome perhaps?! I am seriously considering rounding off the hood. It would be a shame because the symmetry of the point looks good down and matches perfectly with the centre back seam. But let's be honest, wouldn't most people find this look hilarious?!

New guise aside, I will sew from Ottobre design magazine again, as I have discovered I am patient enough to do the tracing. There are some more original looking designs in it I would like to try (all easier than this coat!). If I make up several items, it will have been very good value for money indeed.

Next up on my blog & hopefully hundreds of others! Me-Made-May 2013!

Happy sewing, 'til next time!


  1. I think the hood looks great! I love a nice, dramatic hood (they remind me of those divine hooded evening capes/cloaks from the 30s and early 40s), and see any gnome-ish similarities as being a wholly positive thing (gnomes being the super cute little lawn dwellers that they are). Wonderful job on this cozy creation!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  2. Thank you so much for commenting. When I was sewing the hood, all I could think of was, this is completely wasted on a fleece, it should be on a beautiful dramatic cape!! However, I have decided not to change it, enough work went into this garment considering it is going to be used for dog walking ;) and I have tried tucking the hood into a round shape, it just throws the whole thing off balance. I really want to sew something pretty and extravagant now, but since I am taking part in a Me-Made challenge, all indulgent sewing must wait!

  3. Ooh, I really like this one. This issue of Ottobre is my favorite woman's issue thus far, but I did't seriously consider making the coat because I'd be unlikely to search out such an unusual fabric as they show. However, seeing yours made up in a regular fleece is inspiring. The asymmetry is very fun and I actually quite like the dramatic hood.

    1. I have to say the whole thing has grown on me. It is sooo comfortable, rather like going out dressed in a blanket! I am wearing it often to walk my dogs and I am very glad I made it. I will be making more from this issue, it just seems to contain so many clothes I would wear daily!

  4. Oohhh, want! And the woven t shirt top too. But bearing in mind it's december and I've misplaced my winter coat I mainly want this!