Friday, 15 March 2013

Reviewed: Ottobre 02-2013-02 "Summer Basic" Top

Ottobre 02-2013-02 "Summer Basics"
On my list of TNT patterns and possible TNT patterns one of my easier decisions was that the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee, which among other things has the advantage of being free, would be my kimono sleeved knit TNT. I like the pattern, I've made it twice and can easily imagine making it many more times. However, it is close fitting and while I like that about it, sometimes I want a t-shirt with more volume to it. Enter the spring/summer 2013 issue of Ottobre Woman, where among the many patterns I liked was a very simple kimono sleeved tee with a relaxed shape called the Summer Basic top.

I made a wearable muslin in turquoise cotton jersey earlier this week and fell in love. It ended up very rough and ready (just turned and zig-zagged the neck and arms, no hem at all on the bottom, some weird seams because I had to do some reshaping of the armhole, etc.) but I wore it on Wednesday all day and loved it. On Thursday, I therefore made two more in black and white to go with my black straight skirt. I'm going to make another in red to go in my Earth and Spring 6PAC. I also went through my queue for the year and slapped this pattern in anywhere where I had thought I might want a simple knit top, so I'm expecting to make MANY more this year. Each top is about an hour long process from uncut fabric to the last threads snipped (sewn mainly on the overlocker) -- the most time consuming part is sewing the bindings.

Two Ottobre Woman 02-2013-02 "Summer Basic" tops
Pattern review (also on PR):

Pattern Description: From the magazine: "The look of the cap-sleeve jersey top can be easily modified by he choice of colour, material and fabric pattern. The top is fairly loose around the waist but fits snugly at the hips." In addition to 02-2013-02, this t-shirt is also listed as 02-2013-16 in a colour blocked version with a small pocket.

This one is my absolute favourite -- the jersey is drapy

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 34-52. Normally my Ottobre size is a 44 top with a large FBA and a 46 waist and hips. As this is a kimono sleeved top and the shoulder size is less important, I decided to go with a cheater's approach. I used a size 48 through the shoulder and bust and tapered down to a 46 waist and hip. It's important to get the waist and hip right in you want the top to fit as the pattern is designed.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Apart from my design changes, yes, very like.


Check out my non-matchy side-seams though /o\

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they are brief but perfectly adequate. The top is so simple though there's hardly any need to read them if you've made at least one knit top before.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
What appealed to me about this top was principally the shaping of the pattern pieces, skimming the upper body, loose over the midriff and then blousing at the hip. I had no dislikes.

Fabric Used:
A cotton jersey and a viscose jersey with lycra. The absolute best thing about this top is that you only need a little piece of 150cm wide fabric even if you're using the largest sizes of the pattern. You certainly don't need more than 1m and I squeezed my original wearable muslin out of an 80cm scrap.

This is what it looks like "unscrunched" -- long even on me!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The neckline of this pattern is wider than I like and risks being the sort of top where you spend the whole day pulling it back over your bra straps. I therefore redrew the neckline 4cm closer to the neck but kept the depth of the scoop intact. I made only one alteration for fit, increasing the armhole by 2.5cm in depth to accommodate my large upper arms. It's notable that I DIDN'T make my standard length adjustment to this top. Ordinarily I add 4-6cm in length to Ottobre patterns because I'm 5'8" and Ottobre's patterns are designed for a height of 5'6". In this case I didn't need to add any length at all even though the top naturally scrunches up around the hip. Shorter sewists might find that the length, unadjusted, produces a lot of fabric around the waist and hip. Note that the shape of the pattern pieces means it would be a bit awkward to take the top up at the hem if you dislike the length after you have cut the fabric.


Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'm absolutely in love with this pattern and how the finished garment looks on me. I suspect this may become my all-time favourite tee pattern. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a simple relaxed fit t-shirt.

Conclusion: For me, this is the ultimate potato chip pattern: I really can't just make one!
Floral version! Managed to avoid a flower/boob combination!


Costs: I made three versions, each using 1m of fabric -- a wearable muslin in turquoise (not shown) at £2.15/m from eBay; a black and white floral cotton jersey at £4/m from Tissu; and a white and black check viscose and lycra jersey at £5/m also from Tissu. The only other thing I needed was a little bit of cotton stay tape and thread, so these were very inexpensive tops to make.

Back of the floral version. My side seams don't match on this either.


+ You have to love finding a pattern that you want to make a million times. I definitely got better at making it by version 3 as well.

- The only really hard part is the neck and armhole binding, and yeah, that's really not perfect on ANY of the tops I made, but got better as I went along. The problem is stopping the necklines from stretching, which I find annoyingly difficult.

+/- The hardest thing about this pattern is actually that I just want to keep making it. I do not really need to make every piece of jersey I own into a little kimono sleeved tee. Really, I don't.