A lot of customers comment that they would really like to start using Ottobre Design mag, but lack the confidence to start. If you have only ever sewn from full-size, ready made commercial patterns before, it may be a little confusing. But this tute is going to put all that behind you...you'll be pumping out those Otto projects in no time!
A little disclaimer: " I am not a professional dressmaker" I am just a mum who loves to sew. Some of my methods are a bit home-grown, on the kitchen table kinda thing.. but hey, they work for me. Jump in!
This tute looks at finding and tracing your pattern. As I add the seam allowance when I go to cut out- I'll chat about seam allowances in the next tute!
What will we need to trace off our Otto pattern?
1. An Ottobre Design mag, of course! You possibly subscribe or if not, you can get yourself a sub or some back issues in my shop Crafty Mamas.
I am tracing from Summer 3/2011.
2. A ruler, a highlighter, and something to trace onto. I use either our Kwik Trace or Swedish Tracing Paper. You can , of course, use plain old baking paper..but it annoys me and I like to keep my patterns to use over and over again. So I prefer our products. And you will need some scissors.
3. Select a pattern you want to make...I like this colour blocked dress...
..let's check out the details...sizes 134cm -170cm. That will work for me. How do I decide what size I need? If you turn to the beginning of the pattern section, you will find the line drawings of all patterns in this issue. I find this really good to look over, instead of just the colour pics of the garment made up.
4. Measuring up. Ottobre Design give excellent measuring instructions in each mag.
Once you have followed the diagram and plotted your child's measurements, you can see which size your child falls into best. Here you can see Lil is all over the place, so I am going to trace size 152cm, and make an increase over the waist measurement.
The measurements in the chart is of the actual child, not the garment. The patterns have built in allowance for ease of movement.
5. So now we know what size we are tracing...let's go read our pattern a bit more.
-65-cm of pale coloured fabric
-35-cm of medium coloured fabric
-40cm of dark coloured fabric.
Ok, but what TYPE of fabric? This pattern suggests a knit of (CV/EL) with a stretch recovery of 30%.
To work out the stretch-factor of your fabric:
Take a 10cm piece of your fabric, cut across the the grain ( so in the direction of selvage to selvage), then stretch. If it stretches to 12cm, it has 25% stretch; if it stretches to 15cm, it has 50% stretch; and so on.
What is (CV/EL)? There is a handy International Textile sheet here!
Most European fabrics are 140-150cm wide, so keep this in mind too, if your patterns does not state width ( most do).
I also need about 80cm of clear elastic. I use swimwear elastic ( as I have a 100m roll to use!).
6. So now I have my fabric sorted, what pattern sheet do I need? I mean there's a few in here!
My pattern has little scissors next to pieces 1 and 2. This tells me, these pieces - once traced- are then cut into 3 sections each to become 1a. 1b, 1c and 2a, 2b, 2c. Be sure and look for any marking like this one your pattern sheet. Another symbol you may see is a small pencil. This tells us once we have traced off that piece, we will need to trace a section of it off again separately.
I need to find ( in BLUE) pieces # 1, 2, and 3.
If you look at the bottom of your pattern sheet, you will see a helpful guide. See the "1" and "3"?
If I run my finger up from here, it will lead us to the corresponding pattern piece/colour.
7. It always handy to scope out the diagram of the pattern pieces so you know what you are looking for. Pay attention to any details on each piece too.I find an aerial view is great to help me spot them all.
8. Tracing. Now I have found all my pieces, I take my highlighter and trace over the correct size. I do this for all pieces. ( note about highlighter. I like to use a different colour highlighter for each size. Having kids x 4, I often reuse patterns..and it is easier to find the sizes on the sheet if they are different colour).
Be sure and note your centre front and back lines..these will be indicated on the sheet, also any gathers ( indicated with arrow) , hems, etc.
When you have hunted down all your pieces, grab your tracing material and trace!
9. Now you need to transfer over any markings from your pattern sheet to your traced pieces.
So now you have your pattern pieces, go dig out your fabric! Got a query? lisaATcraftymamas.com.au