We’re halfway through the Shirts and Shirtdresses theme. How are your projects coming along?
I’m here to share a shirt from the magazine Ottobre, a Finnish sewing magazine. The Spring/Summer 2018 edition featured a whole section of vintage themed patterns. Vintage-ish is totally my jam, so I decided to try one of the patterns and see how hard it would be to use a magazine sewing pattern.
Ottobre Norma Blouse (Pattern #10)
The pattern is described as feminine with a gathered yoke, set in sleeves, and small buttons to give it a vintage look while the fit is for today’s woman.
The size range is European sizes 34-52. The measurements are given in cm in the magazine, but they do also offer a chart in inches. They give a lot more measurements than the average pattern company, though the sizing isn’t as inclusive as we’d like here at the CSC.
My measurements are 44/36/48, so I went ahead and started with a size 42 bust then blended to a 46 waist and 48 hip. You might notice that doesn’t line up with the right sizes according to the chart (more on that later). I purposefully picked a smaller size in the bust because I have narrow shoulders and back with a F cup sized bust. To accommodate my bosom I added a 1 inch FBA and my typical sway back adjustment. Also based on the chart I did a 2 inch full bicep adjustment for my 14.5 inch biceps since I used the size 42 sleeve to avoid messing with the armscye too much.
For fabric I used some very fine lawn that was leftover from making my daughters dresses. Why I thought I needed 8 yards for toddler dresses, I don’t know. I’m grateful to have had lots left over. It’s really nice fabric.
The blouse was very simple to make. Ottobre has the best instructions of the European magazines and I appreciate that they translate the directions to English for you. I don’t remember having any hiccups aside from forgetting to lengthen the front facing after doing my FBA. Whoops! They do not include seam allowances, so make sure you add them before cutting out your fabric.
Overall I am happy with the fit, though in the future I would make some adjustments. For instance, you might notice I cut a size 42 for the bust and did a 1 inch FBA, but that only added 2 inches to the bust and mine was 6 inches bigger than recommended. Duh. I needed to do a bigger FBA and it shows. I think the shoulders are still a touch too wide, but that’s a super common issue for me. Really where this blouse feels like a flop is in the sleeves. They are drafted to be really spacious and by adding 2 more inches the sleeves feel just huge. They were also drafted super long. Those details show up in the magazine’s modeled photo, but it just didn’t register with me until I’d finished the blouse.
Norma is really pretty and feminine as promised, but it feels really oversized to actually wear. I’ve pulled out the pattern to give it a second try, but I’m in a sewing funk right now, so Norma has been put away until next spring. I should tackle it again though because I get tons of compliments on the blouse and I think the fit issues are fixable.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
Size range: 3
Construction process: 5
Final fit: 4
Overall rating: 4.25
Remember to tag your posts #curvyyearofsewing so we can all marvel at your creations!