Tag Archives: Ottobre

Pinktastic Secret Star Girl! {Ottobre October and Kid’s Clothes Week Day 1-3}

This girl is a kick and a half. She’s a gymnastic-dancing-super hero-fighting-pinktastic-princess. She loves to nurture her baby dolls (and her baby sister), but has to defend herself from her “evil” big brother. And in between she just wants to dance and wear all things pink. Plus, she’s my middle child and is so easy that she tends to get neglected. But, no more! Pinktastic Secret Star Girl gets all the attention this Kid’s Clothes Week!Pinktastic Sweatshirt and Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

The look began with this crazy pink sweatshirt (Ottobre 6/2014, Heather Sweatshirt #17). River has been begging me to make her something with this pink sweatshirt fleece knit I snagged for $2/yard last year. And I did need to make her some outwear for some of the chilly evenings we’ve been having. But it’s Mississippi, so it’s still 80 degrees during the day here. (C’mon fall, pleease!!)

Anyway, this simple sweatshirt was perfect. It was easy to whip out and I already had some coordinating white ribbing for the details. Eventually I’d like to put some sort of graphic or words on this sweatshirt to tone the pink down a bit, but for now it’s going to stay plain.Pinktastic Sweatshirt and Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Now, the pants.  These pants. Phew. If it weren’t for Kid’s Clothes Week I’m not sure I would have finished these pants. Ottobre patterns are amazing….except when you have no.clue.what.they.are.taking.about! Sigh. I’m not going to let this blog post take me longer than sewing up those pants. So, let’s get to it.

I began by embroidering three pink stars throughout the pants (can you spot them all?). Then I began the process of piecing everything together. I fell in love with all the top stitching details and was really on a roll. Day 2 of Kid’s Clothes Week was spent finalizing the pants, but I sewed one of the zippers on upside down, had to redo it all, and then it got late. I was so close.  Day 3 came and I spent my hour literally just trying to figure out the waistband and what the directions meant. So, I pushed forward and finished the pants in a second hour. I really wanted to get these done so I could make something else this week! And then I was so nervous that they wouldn’t fit her, that the material wasn’t stretchy enough, that she’d be able to wear them for one time and out grow them, or that she wouldn’t even like them. Pinktastic Sweatshirt and Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

But, much to my surprise all my worries vanished that next morning. She was overly delighted to put them on (I didn’t even ask her!), they fit like a glove, and the material is perfect. She didn’t want to take them off and eagerly let me do a photoshoot right then. Rock it girl!
Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

The boots cover up the zippers, but I wasn’t about to make her change out of them since she was pumped about letting me take her picture. Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Eventually I did convince her to let me see those zippers. Eeps, I love them!Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}


Pinktastic Sweatshirt and Secret Star Pants {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Plus, this whole look cost just over $10! The boots were hand-me-downs (thanks sis-in-law!).
Pinktastic Sweatshirt Cost {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Secret Star Pants Cost {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}


Pattern: Ottobre 6/2014, Heather Sweatshirt #17
Fabric: Pink sweatshirt knit on clearance at Hancock Fabrics ($2/yd)


Pattern: Ottobre 4/2014, Jump Rope Jeans #25
Fabric: Star Denim on clearance rack at Hancock Fabrics ($3/yd)

Star Man Pants {Ottobre October}

So, I started a challenge to sew only Ottobre patterns this month and then fell off the face of the blog-o-sphere. Darn cold snap that made my entire family sick. But, I’m back and sewing up a storm now. So, hopefully there will be more fun Ottobre-inspiration around here and I hope to see yours as well. Plus, there’s a Portuguese Blog Tour starting on October 15, so you’ll have to check that out as well (once I get some links, I’ll be sure to share those here!).

Side note: It’s this man’s 5th birthday today!  Happy Birthday Carpenter!! I’ll probably be a tad bit more emotional over on Instagram at some point today…

Star Man Pants - Ottobre October {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

{Yea, it’s my birthday! Now, where are my Legos?}

If you’ve been around my blog at all, you know that I’m a tad obsessed with stars. But, in fact, I really don’t sew up my star fabric because I’m nervous that I’m not using it on just the right project. Well, hopefully I’ll get over that fear. I’m taking baby steps today. I have some amazing star sweatshirt fabric that I really wanted to use for these pants, but yea, didn’t want to cut them up.

Instead, I used a small bit of green star jersey knit that I scored at a L’Oiseau presale (you can find out about their presales from their Facebook page) in combination with a less expensive solid sweatshirt fabric from Girl Charlee.

Star Man Pants - Ottobre October {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I love the way they turned out and do plan on cutting into the star sweatshirt to make Carpenter another pair of these. He loves them!Star Man Pants - Ottobre October {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

I added the green stars for the pockets and the he, even though the hem called for ribbing. It looks way cooler with stars.
Star Man Pants - Ottobre October {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

And yes, this photoshoot was on my back deck with his PJ top on and no shoes. It’s been a week, ok? 🙂 But, really, does Carpenter ever wear shoes? They’ll just slow him down.

Star Man Pants Cost - Ottobre October {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Ottobre 6/2014, #11 Star Man Sweatpants

Gray sweatshirt from Girl Charlee
Green stars jersey knit from L’Ouiseau

And don’t forget to share your Ottobre October looks on Instagram! Use the hashtags #OttobreOctober and #OttobreOctubre. Or email me with your looks at sew.thrifty.blog[at]gmail.com or link up in the comments.

A new top for me {Ottobre October AND Selfish Sewing Week}!

Ever heard of Ottobre?! I quickly became a big fan after I saw all the awesome things you can sew up with their patterns. I dropped BIG hints to my man, sending him links, telling him how awesome our kids’ clothes will be, and basically saying I didn’t want anything else for Christmas. Well, it worked! He bought me a subscription for a whole year! And I loved it. Every quarter I would squeal with excitement when Ottobre came in the mail and drool over the magazine (and perhaps Instagram them every. single. time.).  And this past Christmas he surprised me by including the women’s magazine to my subscription (yea, my hubby is the best). I’m getting somewhere with all this, don’t worry.

So, I drool over them, Instagram them (is Instagram a verb now?), and glance through them time and time again, but hardly ever sew up their patterns! This month, that’s going to change. Big time.

I’m challenging myself to only sew Ottobre patterns for the whole month of October. Today I’ll start with one for myself (and this may be the only I get to sew for myself…)

Ottobre October | Selfish Sewing Week| Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

After birthing 3 kids and nursing all of them, my body just ain’t the same. And all my shirts are way too short. I’ve played with the idea of adding a band to all of them, but that just won’t look right. So, instead, I’m slowly making myself a shirt here and there.  This one is my first Ottobre pattern for me! And I’m pretty satisfied with it.Ottobre October | Selfish Sewing Week| Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

I love the cap sleeves, although the white fabric doesn’t stretch much, so they are a bit tight. But I’m happy with the overall look and length. I also love this navy/green stripe fabric, but again, there’s not much stretch. When I’m done nursing I know I’ll truly be in love with this top, but it’s a bit hard to feed my baby in it right now. Ottobre October | Selfish Sewing Week| Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

After reflecting on all this, I just might make myself something else this month. Perhaps something a bit more nursing-friendly and stretchy. We’ll see…Ottobre October | Selfish Sewing Week| Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Ottobre October Top Cost | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Ottobre 2/2015, #17 Jersey Top

Navy/Mint strip from Girl Charlee
White is selvage scraps from a Girl Charlee chevron fabric

If you’re up for a challenge, join me! You don’t have to only sew Ottobre patterns all month, but if you do sew one, let me know! I’ll be over on Instagram with #OttobreOctober and #OttobreOctubre. Or email me with your looks at sew.thrifty.blog[at]gmail.com or link up in the comments.

I look forward to see what you make!

Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} with Sew Straight and Gather

Who better to tell us how to save on patterns than a pattern designer herself? Terri from Sew Straight and Gather is amazingly resourceful when it comes to patterns.  If you’ve taken the plunge and bought Ottobre, you’ve got to check out her great tutorial on tracing Ottobre patterns! Today she’s giving us tips on how to save when buying patterns.


Savings-Made-by-Sewing-banner There is nothing like saving money when sewing! Most “non-sewists” think we sew clothes because it is cheaper than buying retail or it saves us money somehow….Well, we all know that is WRONG! So WRONG! We sew because we love it and we want to take the time to create something beautiful –just like most crafters. So between buying beautiful fabric, a great pattern, all the notions and tools and making sure our machines are working properly — it is not cheaper by any means!

Why buy a pair of leggings for 5 dollars when you can make them for $30…right?! LOL!

Saving money on patterns and really anything else is one of those essential skills we must educate ourselves on as we continue with our craft! This series is going to be jam packed full of tips and tricks — so lets all take notes together!!

Here are my TOP 5 for “Saving on Patterns”, I hope you enjoy!

5. Buy patterns with mulitiple options

Sew Straight for Sew Thrifty

Finding patterns with multiple options is a great way to save on patterns. With these kind of patterns you can sew something different every time or for every season and that is a wonderful way to get longevity from a pattern. My Uptown/Downtown has several options and is super fun & rewarding to sew — you can find more details HERE.

Another amazing multi-option PDF pattern is 5 &10! What a genius idea these ladies put together–REALLY genius! 5 pattern blocks and 10 detailed tutorials for 10 completely different designs. THIS is a great way to get bang for your buck! And if your a pattern altering creative–I’m sure the options are endless! Oh, and did I mention there are designs for girls and boys? Check that out HERE! There is currently 3 volumes.

AND until July 19th! YOU can get 10% off your 5&10 designs patterns using code SUMMERFUN. Thank you ladies for letting me share this today!!

4. Ottobre and other

DSC_0884Pages from 3-2015_alldesigns

OTTOBRE! I LOVE Ottobre! This magazine can be subscribed to HERE. There are two options for purchases, you can either subscribe to it directly from Ottobre in Finland or you can purchase it from individual retailers — which can be found on Etsy or with a simple google search. For me it works out to about $17.00 a magazine CAD and worth EVERY penny. You receive about 35 beautiful childrens patterns in each magazine, all of them are awesome designs. Three things you need to be aware of before you purchase — there is NO seam allowance added to the pattern anywhere, you will need to add your preferred amount to every pattern piece. Second, the patterns are nested together, so they need to be traced out – Check out my TUTORIAL HERE for a quick way to do that. Third, the instructions are all written, there are no photo tutorials for construction so you may need to read over them a few times — I suggest starting simple then moving up to a more complex pattern. I still feel the extra work is worth it. I LOVE these patterns. LOVE!

3. Books

DSC_0879Japanese pattern books are another one of my favorites! They are similar to Ottobre but these books gives you much more detailed & illustrated instructions for each pattern. The designs are clean, modern and have beautiful detail.

The patterns are also nested on the pattern sheet but not to the same extent as Ottobre — so they do need to be traced off. The seam allowance is included BONUS!

You can usually find these books on Amazon or at your local book store!

2. Learn to trace from RTW

SOURCE: Sweet Verbena
SOURCE: Sweet Verbena

This tutorial from Sweet Verbena is a perfect example of how to trace simple RTW garments. Tracing retail clothing takes a little practice but it’s worth it! Especially for simple t-shirts, leggings and skirts. It’s the perfect solution to recreating something you already own and love but want in EVERY color. Knit fabric is a great fabric to start with — it’s forgiving if you make a tracing mistake!

This is a great article on how to trace more complex garments from Threads Magazine

1. FREE Patterns

Girls Sewing PatternDo I need to say more??? You can find FREE patterns everywhere! Do a simple Google or Pinterest search and you’ll be downloading all day. Some patterns are simple and some are more complex but most are patterns you will sew for years to come and there are plenty of them!

I hope that was helpful!! I know there is going to be much more to come, so keep your notepad out! Bye!


How do you save money on patterns? Have you considered using books or magazines or even creating your own? I’d love to hear!

Tomorrow we’ve got Amanda from A Real Life Country Housewife sharing her advice for keeping all those patterns organized!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} with Sew a Straight Line

Can I be honest with you? I’m a bit starstruck with today’s guest blogger. OK, got that out of the way…now let me introduce Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. She’s incredibly inspiring in sewing for boys and she has mastered the art of sewing up Ottobre patterns. And that is all about what she’s going to share with us today. Let’s read!
Hello, my name is Sabra, and I sew at Sew a Straight Line. I sew almost all of my own clothing and a large percentage of my children’s clothing. Over the past 5.5 years of sewing, I have amassed a huge collection of patterns in all forms. I sew a lot of independent PDF designers, a few Big Five enveloped patterns here and there, but my go-to source for patterns for my children is Ottobre Designs, a sewing pattern magazine. Because I sew most of our wardrobe, I don’t mind spending a bit more for quality fabric. I am under no illusions that sewing in 2015 is the cheapest way to clothe a family. But I do try to save money as much as I can, and buying pattern magazines, though the upfront cost can be intimidating, has been the best value I have found for patterns that give me clothing my children actually want to wear.
dungeons and dragons cartoon hank ranger sew a straight line-10
I don’t remember when or how I first heard about Ottobre magazine, but I do know it wasn’t long after I first started really getting into sewing for myself and my children. I scanned through the magazine online, marveled that there were patterns available that actually looked like clothing I would buy my children ready-to-wear, then looked at the price and clicked off the page. But I kept coming back again and again. I checked eBay, hoping to find a deal, but the prices for used were within a dollar or two of new. Almost $20 for a magazine? I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But the designs! The styling! The fabric pairings! Finally, I decided to suck up the price and ordered a single back issue.why I ottobre sew a straight line-3
And I was hooked. Within a month, I had signed up for a subscription, and ordered two more back issues. I’ve been a devote and outspoken Ottobre fan for 2.5 years now. More than half of my kids’ mom-sewn wardrobe are Ottobre patterns. And I’m currently trying to decide between two other pattern magazine subscriptions to add to my addiction. So why am I so okay with paying that much for pattern magazines now?

sew in tune sew a straight line stolen dance milky chance-1639 *hat pattern is Heidi & Finn

How much are you generally comfortable paying for a single pattern? Times that amount by 30. Is the total still less than $20? The average Ottobre has anywhere from 30-40 patterns in it, which means you’re paying at most .67 cents a pattern. And that’s only if you’re buying issues individually. Subscribing saves you even a bit more than that. I have not had experience with other pattern magazines yet, so the breakdown won’t be the same with all of them. But the concept is the same. You’re buying patterns in bulk and saving quite a bit as a result.

easter 2014 sew a straight line-14

Patterns aside, magazines are great inspiration. Pattern magazines double as lookbooks and fashion spreads. They are fun to look at. They are inspiring. From fabric pairings to styling ideas, to just plain entertainment, I enjoy browsing my pattern magazines. They give me ideas for clothing and photo shoots that don’t even have anything to do with the patterns in the magazines, at times. Other times, I want to copy the looks exactly: the pattern, fabric, all of it. And it’s not just me; my kids will flip through the pages and point out things they want me to make them. And when they ask specifically for something, I’m guaranteed they’re going to wear it.

IMG_9631*Tee shirt is store-bought

There are few things more frustrating than spending time, money, fabric, and energy on something that the recipient only wears once, or never at all. My kids wear the magazine clothes because they look like store-bought clothes their friends are wearing.

ottobre tank and shorts sew a straight line-6

And when I sew clothing for friends and family, I almost always go to my magazines because I know the results will look store-bought, and likely to be better received.

ottobre toffee dress nosh organics dogs sew a straight line

When you have a subscription, you get a steady stream of up-to-date, on-trend looks delivered right to you. The magazine is doing all the research and brainstorming of what’s in this season.

ottobre jumpsuit 32015 sew a straight line-1811

If you enjoy buying patterns, you know you’re going to be getting a whole new collection to add to your stash every few months. If you have a problem buying too many patterns impulsively, knowing you’re going to be getting 30+ patterns every few weeks may help curb your spending. It does mine.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-4

I have my favorite issues, with patterns I go back to sew my children a half dozen times as they outgrow things and as inspiration hits. Some of my issues are well-worn and taped together.

I also find new things to sew all the time. Frequently, I’ll buy a fabric I love but don’t have anything too specific in mind to make with it. I’ll start flipping through my magazines, marking down which patterns would work with my new fabric. Or I’ll have a specific something in mind I’d like to make, and I’ll grab the stack and check to see if I have a similar pattern already drafted, printed and ready to go for me in the pages. I almost always do.

retro uniform sew a straight line-10*Cap pattern from Urbandon

The magazines give you a great variety of patterns. I subscribe to the kids’ Ottobre, and there are patterns for everything from underwear and swimsuits to basics like jeans and tees to formal wear to full winter-gear outerwear.

ottobre camisole sew a straight linedays of the week ottobre undewear 6 2013 sew a straight line

Sometimes they throw in accessories like ties or purses, or even toys to make.

ottobre hoodie and aviator 42014 sew a straight line-3-2

I have made things I have *never* even considered making before, simply because the pattern was available to me and I figured, why not?! When someone else is curating your patterns, deciding which go in the magazine you will receive, there is a risk and the reality that there will be things you just don’t have any interest in sewing. But there is also the excitement of trying new things, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and being introduced to new styles and techniques you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-10

One thing to be aware of, if you’ve never sewn from a pattern magazine, is that the layout of the patterns and instructions is different than you are probably used to. In order to cram so many designs into one magazine, the patterns themselves are printed “stacked”, one on top of each other on large, folded pull-out sheets.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-7why I ottobre sew a straight line-8

You need to trace out the pattern you want, following color-coded lines for each design. It can get really confusing at first. Also, the instructions are usually much more abbreviated than what you find from independent designers, and even a bit less detailed than the Big Five pattern companies. You rarely get illustrated instructions.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-6

Ottobre includes a section with some trickier-to-explain techniques that are illustrated, that all the designs using those same techniques will refer to. But overall, don’t expect many pictures to help you along the way. I have found that I like to use sewing technique books when I sew, anyway, no matter what patterns I use. I use a fashion design textbook that covers pretty much any and every sewing technique I’ll ever run across, explaining how the fashion industry does things. If I run into something I don’t understand in my magazine, or any pattern at all, I refer back to that book.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-5

But being so abridged and condensed is also an advantage. Not only is the pattern magazine fitting more patterns for you into each issue, but it makes things much easier for you to store. I store, in magazine form, literally hundreds of patterns in the same space I can fit maybe a dozen printed PDF patterns, or a few dozen enveloped patterns. I trace the patterns onto thin tracing paper, then store the magazines, the pull-out pattern pages, and my traced patterns all together in gallon-sized, zip-top bags. I save on shelf space and the hassle with my magazines.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-2
Hundreds of Ottobre patterns in one-foot box
A few dozen PDFs in two-foot drawer unit
 why I ottobre sew a straight line-1

I have a large collection of patterns: enveloped, PDF downloads, magazine. I sew from them all, and each have their advantages. Though I have favorites in all mediums, the magazine patterns win out overall because of how easy they are to store and find individual patterns, the variety of items to sew and the current trends they follow, the inspiration and enjoyment I get out of looking through them, and the sheer amount of patterns I get for my money. And when I no longer feel I need my pattern magazines, I know I can sell them on eBay for a pretty decent price.
a*tie is self-drafted

If you want to see a lot of what I’ve sewn my kids from Ottobre (I haven’t documented all of it), you can start scrolling back from here, or type in “Ottobre” into my search on the margin of my blog, Sew a Straight Line.  Though the search doesn’t pull them all up, you still will see quite a few and can link to the Ottobre tag at the bottom of a post to see them all. There are quite a few! Also, all the pictures of clothing in this post are all Ottobre, everything tops to bottoms (unless otherwise noted). Click on a picture and it should take you to my post of that specific item with information on which issue each came from.

sewing for kindergarten sew a straight line-14

Thank you for having me, Dana and Sew Thrifty Readers.  Happy sewing!


I, too, am a HUGE fan of Ottobre! While I haven’t sewn them up as much as Sabra, I love the cost savings, the styles, the sizes offered, and my kids love looking through the magazine with me. Have you considered purchasing Ottobre or have you sewn their patterns? I’d love to see and be inspired!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty