Monday, March 23, 2009

Orvokki = Pansy

Finally! Pictures of Emily wearing her new top! From the 1/2009 issue of Ottobre, this pattern is called the "Orvokki" jersey blouse. After searching online I found that "orvokki" is Finnish for pansy or violet. :)

The pattern in the magazine calls for double sleeves--long sleeves under the short sleeves--but I chose to leave off the long sleeves. After all, warmer weather is right around the corner, right?

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was the first time I used elastic thread for shirring. This will definitely not be the last time; I love the finished effect of the shirring.

Fabric: The shirt is made of cotton knit jersey from Hobby Lobby. I've had the striped fabric for about 6 months (remnant clearance), but I just recently bought the polka-dot fabric, not realizing when I bought it that the two fabrics would coordinate so well.

Size: I made a size 104 with the length cut to size 116. The longer length is great, but the tunic is too big through the shoulders. Emily will not stop growing, so it's fine that the top is too big.

The instructions were typical Ottobre, a bit short. I did not have any problems constructing the garment, but I'll point out a few ommissions in the instructions for any beginners.

**The instructions called for shirring the front panel, but no instructions were given for the back panel other than to "stitch yokes to front and back panels." The instructions did not specify whether to shirr the back panel or not, and I chose to just gather the back before attaching it to the yoke.

EDIT: The instructions did not specify, but just now I read the pattern description which states that "there is elasticized shirring on the front and back panels." Guess I should have read better the first time around. :)

**The bottom edges of the short puff sleeves need to be gathered before attaching the binding. The instructions do not specify this.

Conclusions: Even without in-depth instructions, Ottobre patterns are the best in my opinion. They are well-drafted and go together easily. I will be making more summer shirts for my children in the next few months, and Ottobre will be my #1 choice for the patterns.



Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I tried a new (for me) technique this evening--shirring with elastic thread--and it was so much fun! More pictures to come after I try the garment on my soon-to-be-four-years-old daughter.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ottobre Pea Pod Purse, not Linen

One day last week I went up to my sewing room to clean up the scattered remains of the blue Vogue jacket, but instead of cleaning I sewed this handbag. And now the floor of my sewing room is littered with jacket scraps and purse scraps...I'm so messy when it comes to sewing.

The Pattern: From the 2/2009 Ottobre Woman magazine, pictured in the magazine and a free download at the Ottobre website. Shown in green in the magazine, the purse is named Pea Pod Linen Purse. This purse is currently featured on the Ottobre blog, and anybody who makes it by March 30th and sends in a photo will be entered into a drawing for a prize. :-)

The Fabric: I used Stash Fabric, Stash Zippers, Stash batting, and even Stash thread. The outer fabric is leftover from a skirt I made one daughter several years ago, and the pockets and binding are leftover from another skirt I made another daughter. The pink came from nowhere-somewhere-who-knows-where. I barely had enough of any of the three fabrics, and the binding/pocket fabric really does not go with the outer fabric. But both outer and binding/pocket fabric match okay with the pink fabric, so I decided that everything would go together just fine. Follow that?

Likes/Dislikes: I like the style; I like the many pockets; I especially like the elasticated pocket on the outside; I like the zipper closure; I like the large size; I like the vintage metal zipper on the inside pocket; I like just about everything about this bag.


I don't like the inner layer of batting. The pattern calls for fusible batting, but I didn't have any so I used quilt batting. The batting I used is TOO thick in my opinion. In retrospect, I should have used the thick interfacing or canvas that I typically use when I make purses. This purse reminds me of the small-appliance covers I made in the 1980's. Take off the handle and the bottom of the purse, and voila, it could be a toaster cover. :-)

Other Changes I'd make: I constructed the handles as the pattern stated--by interfacing the fabric strips, sewing a tube, turning right side out and stitching along the length. Okay, I've made enough purses over the years that I should have followed my instinct and reinforced the handles more by interfacing them, adding canvas or several more layers of fabric, and generally making the straps more heavy-duty.

The instructions: were good. In fact, I thought the instructions were more detailed and thorough than usual for Ottobre. This could be because the pdf download had more available room for instructions than can fit in a magazine.

Conclusion: I'm going to give this bag a test-run as a purse. But if the "thickness of the batting-problem" irritates me too much, then the bag will become a knitting bag. For that matter, I think this bag would make a wonderful knitting bag--it's a good size without being too big, and all the pockets could hold all kinds of knitting goodness. Hmm...I think I like this bag more and more each passing moment. Thank you, Ottobre!


The elastic-topped pockets are featured on both the front and back of the purse.

The inside of my bag---I love the brightness and the pockets.

Pea Pod Linen Purse as shown in the 2/2009 issue of Ottobre Woman

Booties for Baby

Every baby girl needs a pair of red Mary Jane booties. I found the pattern for these knit Saartje's Bootees on Ravelry, and after seeing how adorable they were, I just had to make them for Marie.

The pattern gives directions for a small size and a large size. I made the large size with red sport weight yarn that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I used size 1 (2.25 mm) double-pointed needles. The finished booties measure approx. 4 inches across the bottom.

This was a quick knit and I’ll definitely be making these again. Next time I would like to try one of the patterns knit in the round—I so dislike seaming. : )

I hope to add a picture of Marie wearing the booties on her cute little chubby feet.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Methinks I like My New Jacket

Sewing time for me has been at a premium lately, and this jacket has been a long time in the making. But it's finished, and I like it.

The pattern I used is Vogue 8480--a pattern with a lot of pieces.
I did sew a muslin first and made a few alterations based on the muslin. I altered the shoulder seams to eliminate gaping around the armholes, and I lengthened the sleeves and reduced the amount of flare in the sleeves.

This jacket was somewhat of a challenge for me, particularly the collar stand, notch collar and lapel. But the instructions were well-written and thorough. I just followed along, step by step, and was so pleased that everything went together so nicely.

My favorite part about the jacket is the inside--the part that won't be seen when I'm wearing the jacket. A new technique for me, I made Hong Kong finishes on the seam allowance using a bright pink fabric. I'd wear the jacket inside out if I, maybe not, but I do so like the seams.

You can read my more thorough review of this pattern at
pattern review if you're interested. : )

Next on the sewing agenda: spring and summer clothes for Emily. It seems like just yesterday that I sewed Emily her fall/winter wardrobe, but she just doesn't stop growing.


Thank you, JC and Meg...

Thank you, JC and Meg, for awarding SewChic the Sisterhood Award.

It's so much fun to "meet" other ladies who love to sew, and to read your sewing blogs. How wonderful it is to be part of such a network of sewing friends. I read more sewing blogs than I care to admit, and each one deserves this award. : )