Sunday, 24 February 2013

Reviewed: Ottobre Woman 02-2007 #5: Rose Tee

I made ANOTHER thing. I didn't really have any intention of making it this weekend. Then yesterday I had family visiting, and when they left in the evening I felt kind of blue. So I grabbed a pattern I traced out earlier in the week from Ottobre Woman and got down to cutting it out. I only meant to get part way through but ended up all-but-finishing it last night, with only the hems to sew this morning.

My overall conclusion: this is definitely, with a bit more work, going to be one of my TNTs. The version I made last night has all kinds of flaws, but it's definitely wearable around the house and I really feel like it has potential as a pattern even if I didn't get it quite right this time around.

I've done a detailed pattern review is over on PR or below, with some extra details:

Ottobre 02-2007-05 in cream and grey jersey as modelled by Flossie
Pattern Description: From the magazine: "The rose-patterned viscose-jersey top has puffed sleeves and its V-neck and sleeve edges are trimmed with bands cut from satin-finish viscose -blend fabric." It is one of several variations on a simple t-shirt theme in the 02-2007 issue.

Pattern Sizing: 34-52. I made a 44, widening to a 48 at the bust waist and hip (see below).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not quite, due to a couple of little design changes, but certainly very similar.

Were the instructions easy to follow? As easy as Ottobre's terse and non-illustrated instructions ever are easy to follow. Unfortunately you also need to read them properly first, which I utterly failed to do. As a consequence I used the wrong fabric for the contrast neckband.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I chose the pattern because I liked three things about it: I liked the contrast neckline in a deep V; I liked that this was one of a set of patterns that are a variation on a theme, so I was able to swap out the small puffed shoulder sleeve for a regular t-shirt sleeve (I hate puffed shoulders); and I liked that in the larger sizes it had some bust easing built into the pattern. I had no dislikes!

Fabric Used: Cotton jersey in cream with little grey square dots, and for the contrast another cotton stretch fabric of which I had a scrap just big enough for the neckline. The cream fabric was a horror -- the whole piece of fabric seems to be warped off grain. Unfortunately, I discovered very belatedly that I should have used a woven for the neckband. The fact I used the wrong fabric explains one of my major subsequent fit failures.

A modelled by me. Please excuse my long sleeved tee underneath, it is brass monkey weather here.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I adjusted the length of the top for my height, as always. In this case, this meant adding 6cm to reach my preferred length. I also swapped the little puff sleeve shown with this pattern with the sleeve from pattern #3 as my shoulders are far too big to look good in puff sleeves. I had intended to add a grey contrast band to the regular short sleeves but due to making a mistake with the neckline and having to recut one of the V-shaped pieces, I ran out of fabric.

I decided to have a go at Debbie Cook's Cheater FBA in order to add some width at the bust. As a consequence my top is a sort of size 44/48 hybrid -- 44 at the neck and shoulders and 48 from the base of the armscye downward. This wasn't totally unsuccessful -- I've had much worse fit from RTW -- but it wasn't totally successful either. I need to do a little more tweaking before I get exactly the bust fit I am looking for.

My other "design change", which in this case means "place where I screwed up" is that I used a stretch instead of a woven for the neckline. One of my fit issues with this version of the top is an excess of fabric at the back neckline which I think might handily be resolved by using the right fabric in the first place.

Neckline details, which mainly illustrate some of my mistakes. That's supposed to be a v neckline that matches at the seams!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I made this top as part of my efforts to find easy and attractive TNT tops. Although there are all kinds of problems with my top, especially since my V-neck ended up a sort of pointy-ish scoop rather than a proper V due to my own sewing inadequacies, I still really like this pattern and plan to work on it some more. I think it's also one of the most reviewed patterns from Ottobre Woman and I am not at all surprised.

Conclusion: With a little more work, this is going to be my TNT basic jersey tee. (And next time, I might even use the right fabric!)


Cost: This was a wearable muslin. The cream fabric is part of a much bigger piece (the rest of which is earmarked for PJs) and cost just under £3/m. I used a piece just about 1.25m, so about £3.75 worth. The scrap of grey jersey was, stupidly, the most expensive thing per m and therefore cost about as much for just this neckline trip. Worse, it wasn't even the right thing to use. All told, for materials and overheads this cost about £8. Not great for a muslin, but a useful learning experience.


+ My twin needle stitching is AWESOME. And actually, even though it subsequently went pear-shaped for various reasons, I actually didn't do a terrible job in the initial stages of the neckline. The V-shape is not pointy enough but I don't dislike the shape it came out, and it will be much easier to get a point on it when I actually use a woven rather than a knit.

+ It's wearable. In fact, I'm wearing it right now. I wouldn't go to work in it, but for a wearable muslin to actually be wearable is a decent outcome, in my opinion.

- Fit. It isn't TERRIBLE -- as I said, I've worn way worse RTW -- but it's not good! Part of the problem is that this fabric did not stretch as much as I expected once I had it on but remained rather stiff. This is a problem when it comes to fitting over my bust. I think it could have used a smidge more space there. However, the BIG problem on the front are those huge horizontal wrinkles above the bust. I have looked through everything and I am getting really conflicting information about what causes that. It could be that it's too tight because of underarm fat and my upper bust. Or, it could be caused by "a prominent chest bone" (I can't remotely imagine it is this on account of how there are no bones that can be described as "prominent" in my body under all the fat). Or, possible, it could be a square shoulder problem. Now, I did at one point do a fix on my woven loper for a square shoulder for a similar reason and it fixed this kind of thing like magic. I can't really test it on this top because I serged the shoulder seam and have no seam allowance to play with.

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