This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years, Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.
Many of you have heard me gush about Ottobre before, but I’m always happy to spread the European-fashion love. Ottobre—if you don’t know already—is a Finnish fashion design magazine that includes about 40 complete patterns per children’s issue. The designs are amazing! They’re modern, playful, functional, well-designed and creative. My heart skips a beat every time one shows up in the mail, and my kids love to slowly peruse each issue, making special orders for what they want me to make (especially Twinkle). They have become my go-to source for kid’s clothes patterns, especially for their wide range of basics, and well-designed , professional collection of jeans, pants and jackets. Each issue is loaded with patterns for both knits and wovens, and the project’s difficulty range from beginner to advanced. I absolutely love my Ottobre subscription!
Each Ottobre issue prints 40 patterns onto the front and back of four 3’ X 2’ sheets. There are probably around 5 patterns on each side, and each are color-coded for you to trace onto separate paper (love my exam-table paper!). Most of the time it’s not bad, but sometimes with patterns that have a lot of pieces it can get confusing. I suggest lots of good lighting, reading the instructions completely through before cutting out, and referring often to the diagram of cut pattern pieces diagram.
Everything thing I’ve ever made from Ottobre patterns has fit really well, been very well-designed, and turned out so professional-looking. The construction techniques are logical and extremely well-written (I’ve always been so impressed with whoever is translating them! It is important to note though, that there are no step-by-step diagrams, only written instructions. This means that you do have to be familiar with basic sewing techniques and terms beforehand. I wouldn’t suggest Ottobre to most beginners, but that being said, you don’t have to know everything to have success. I would say if you have a good foundation then you’ll do well, and you’ll certainly learn a lot as you go, I know I have. The sizing takes a bit of a learning curve as well, because it’s all done in centimeters. When determining what size to make, in my experience it’s best to base it on your child’s height rather than their chest and tummy measurement.
For Stretch Yourself, I decided to highlight the Harem pant pattern (#2 and #11) from the Spring 2011 issue, as it has become a real favorite around here. I have made this pattern FIVE times (they have a baby size as well), and my daughter is STILL asking for more. It is so simple, so unique, and so comfortable, which is why we both love this design so much. She calls them her “genie pants”, and she has even gotten requests from her friends for some (not happening!) I actually would love to sport some of these myself! (hint hint for the women’s issue!)
I seriously can’t say how much I love Ottobre! You get a ton of bang for your buck, and even one year’s subscription would give you an amazing collection of patterns. To me it’s just so exciting to have patterns for such modern and playful European designs, and to be able to produce such professional looking clothing! Here are some of my favorite knitwear Ottobre designs that I’ve made in the past! Merritt’s Grandpa Sweater, baby leggings, the Frenchie Stripes Tee, Birthday Flounce, and a cardigan and tee. In the pictures below Twinkle is also sporting a basic puffed sleeved tee from Ottobre that I’ve made close to 10 times (1/2011 #24)!
Pattern: #2 and #11 from Ottobre’s Spring 2011 issue. Child’s size 110.
Fabric: a slinky rayon knit I got for $2 a yard.
For your own chance to win a one year’s subscription (!!!) to Ottobre Design magazine (children’s AND women’s editions!), simply enter a comment below before January 25, 6 pm MST! PS that’s like a MILLION patterns!**closed**