Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you Ottobre?

I tend to forget, between twice-yearly issues, that I like Ottobre patterns. 

Admittedly, they don't have the glossy lure of Burda or Patrones, the fashion magazine styling and photography, the on-trend clothes, but they do have something I like (when I remember). 

Reality.  Or at least a really close pattern magazine facsimile thereof.

Ottobre uses real women (I swear I think they scoop up their office workers and let them wear the clothes) and they're women of various sizes and shapes.  I like that in addition to the description of the pattern, you get the model's name, her pattern size and height.  In the Autumn/Winter 2011 issue, the "models" were between European sizes 36 and 42, and I've definitely seen women larger than that, and older, and shorter. 

Instead of looking at a 7 foot tall, rail thin Burda "plus" model, and trying to figure what that dress would look like on me, it's kind of comforting to look at someone whose figure issues are similar to mine and know pretty much what it would look like. 

The Fall/Winter issue had a series of 4 vintage styled dresses that caught my eye.  It wasn't so much the "vintage"details, which weren't vintage enough if that's what I wanted; I liked that underneath those details seemed to be a very good, basic dress pattern.

And it was.  And because it's Ottobre, the varying sleeves and skirts and collars for all 4 dresses are interchangeable, so you only have to do bodice-tweaking once.

So, yes, all this talk about Ottobre does mean that I've sewn something from this issue.  I chose dress #15, the dress on the left in the upper photo.  Probably the most basic shape in the bunch, and as I was advised by a dear friend who shall remain nameless (BECAUSE SHE WAS WRONG), a dress that had great potential to be frumpy. 

Thankfully great fabric (and a lot of effort on fitting) can work wonders even with a potentially frumpy pattern.  Full review hopefully tomorrow; I just wanted to check in because I've gone missing for the last week.  Labor Day weekend is never a vacation weekend for me, it's the 3 days where I try to pack in all the projects I've neglected all summer, and possibly pre-summer. 

Let's just say I was glad to get back to work to get some rest.

Fabric pictured above is, obviously, my new dress, and was purchased at Fishman's in Chicago during PR Weekend at the urging of Sherril Miller and several other PR friends who insisted that I didn't need to step otuside my color comfort zone - I should buy what I like, and what I know works for me.


Nancy K said...

I go back and forth on buying Ottobre. I have a few issues and have never made anything out of them yet. I do like the lines of that dress so I am looking forward to seeing how it works out.

meli88a said...

I've admired the Ottobre designs but until now figured that they were designed for taller, bigger women. I'm glad you mentioned that they have shorter models in the magazines, because I assumed there'd be no suitable patterns for a petite shrimp... I'm happily proven wrong!

Elaray said...

I have two Ottobre issues and I've made only one or two pieces from them. But not because I didn't like anything. I'll look at the current issue and maybe subscribe. (See what a world class enabler you are?)

Summer Flies said...

Can't wait to see your dress. I just got the Ottobre and I haven't made anything out of the first two so far (more to do with full time study and a 7 year old) but i do like the 'real'ness of it too. Anything will look good on a stick. It is so cheap too. I

Beangirl said...

I love Ottobre's attitude towards their models (in both magazines). I like seeing the names of the models and their heights/sizes. It really does help get a sense (most are still taller than me, but I'm really really short... at least if a model is only a few inches taller, I don't have to make ridiculous leaps of imagination from a 6 foot model).

I thought this last issue had a lot of nice pieces with lots of room to work. I can't wait to see your dress (it's the one thing I was pretty unlikely to make).

melissa said...

I'm a total pattern magazine fiend, but I don't own a single issue of Ottobre. I've looked at their tech drawings pretty much every time a women's issue comes out, but I've yet to be excited by a single pattern, so I've never bothered to buy.

KnipMode also use a high percentage of readers as their models these days (and they've always used actual plus-sized models for their plus patterns), and I really like seeing different sizes, colours, and states of wrinkliness in my magazines!

Scooter said...

I actually like ottobre, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. I love some of burda's outrageous and fashionable pieces, but reality check: I live in the midwest. I need basics that fit, and I like the easy variations (different sleeves/necklines/closures). Ottobre is a great resource for that. I'm really picky about which mags I buy, because I have limited storage space, but I have three Ottobres I come back to over and over.

I guess it's all about what you're looking for! (and the dress looks great on you, btw)