Saturday, 16 March 2013

Reviewed: Ottobre 02-2010-15 "Debra" Skirt (Earth & Spring 6PAC)

If I look like I'm on a roll with making things, it's really more that I'm on a roll with finishing things.

Ottobre 02-2010-15 "Debra"
This is another of the pieces of my Earth and Spring 6PAC that I am working on. I've talked about choosing this pattern before, the upshot of which was that I wanted a something with pockets or other details, found loads of possible patterns and went for this particular pattern because it was the one that I wouldn't have to grade for size.

I have experience of doing bellows or gusset pockets like this from bag-making, and I expected that to be an awkward thing to sew to a skirt, and yes, I was right. In the end though, I'm really pleased with how this skirt came out. I know it's not at all exciting to look at, but it's EXACTLY what I imagined when I set out to make it, and it's the perfect spring/summer neutral-coloured skirt that I wanted.

Ottobre 02-2010-15: Front, side and back view (the turqoise top, btw, is my wearable muslin of Ottobre 02-2013-02)
My review (also, minus my extra notes, at PR):

Pattern Description: From the magazine: "The linen skirt has roomy side pockets and a waistband. The waistline is shaped by gathered sections instead of darts. There is an invisible zipper and a kick vent in the centre back seam."
Front view on Flossie

Pattern Sizing: 34-52. I made my normal Ottobre size: a 46 straight from the pattern.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Hard to say about the photo, since the one photograph of the pattern in the magazine is beyond pitiful. However, this is actually the same pattern as 02-2010-04 "Zaffiro" but just with gathers rather than darts and pockets. It looks very like that image. I think the technical drawing makes the skirt look more A-line than it really is -- it teeters on the brink between straight and slightly A-line.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very, although I had to read the instructions for the waistband a couple of times before I could figure out what it was I was supposed to be doing. The pattern itself is typically well-drafted and easy to use.
Side view -- check out my pockets!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I chose the pattern because I wanted a casual looking skirt with some 'safari' details. I liked the side pockets, the top-stitching and the length. As it turned out, I severely disliked the way the pattern had you apply the velcro to keep the pockets closed. It is very difficult to get perfect rectangles when you are sewing through velcro and anything other than perfect looks dreadful. In the end I took the velcro off altogether and I am just waiting for some large sew-on poppers to replace them.

Fabric Used:
A medium weight beige cotton twill from eBay. I used exactly 1m of fabric to make the skirt.
Back view, showing the topstitched kick vent.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I removed the velcro from the pockets and replaced them with poppers. On the "design changes I wish I'd made, I don't object to the (small) gathers on the front of the skirt, but in order to get a good fit on the back I had to gather the skirt quite a lot and I don't think this looks as nice as a dart would have done.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't particularly intend to sew this skirt again -- I like it a lot, but it's quite distinctive. It is a nice, well-drafted pattern though and if you're looking at it with an eye to sewing it, I would recommend it.

Conclusion: I got exactly the skirt I wanted from this pattern, and I'm really pleased with it!


Costs: I bought this fabric on eBay for £3.25/m including p&p and used exactly 1m. I actually bought 2m because originally I was going to use a different pattern. I'm not really sure how I'll use the rest. Plus an invisible zip and poppers, thread and overheads, this skirt cost me about £4.25 ish to make. (My button was free from my mother's collection.)

Time:  New heading! Excluding tracing the pattern and cutting out, I spent more or less 7 hours making this skirt. I would say at least an hour and a half of that was spent sewing and unpicking and sewing and unpicking the pockets, pocket flaps and velcro. I have probably 15 minutes left to do on the skirt -- sew on the back button and the pocket poppers when they arrive, and make the button hole.


+ I love the finished product. I love how it looks on me, I love how it fits, and I love above all that the finished product matches up exactly with what I had in my head before I started.

+ I spent a lot of time on the pockets and sewing and re-sewing them, but it paid off insofar as I really quite like them and I think they look good. I am glad I abandoned the velcro and did something different.

- I wish I had been a little bit more accurate with my contrast thread topstitching on the kick vent. I also wish I had been a little more mindful of the size of the belt loops, since they are actually just slightly too small for my favourite brown belt. These are tiny nit-picks though.


  1. Looks really professional and I an sure you will get a lot of wear out of such a versatile garment!

    1. Thanks! It may not be the most exciting sewing project ever, but it's a useful one!

  2. Hooray for another sewing success, Westmoon! The finished product looks very professional.

    1. Thanks! My mini spate of successes is hopefully going to make up for the string of disaster I had at the end of last year.