Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ottobre Design Magazine Class 101 Part 1. Tracing

A lot of customers comment that they would really like to start using Ottobre Design mag, but lack the confidence to start. If you have only ever sewn from full-size, ready made commercial patterns before, it may be a little confusing. But this tute is going to put all that behind'll be pumping out those Otto projects in no time!

A little disclaimer: " I am not a professional dressmaker" I am just a mum who loves to  sew. Some of my methods are a bit home-grown, on the kitchen table kinda thing.. but hey, they work for me. Jump in!

This tute looks at finding and tracing your pattern. As I add the seam allowance when I go to cut out- I'll chat about seam allowances in the next tute!

What will we need to trace off our Otto pattern?

1. An Ottobre Design mag, of course! You possibly subscribe or if not, you can get yourself a sub or some back issues in my shop Crafty Mamas.

I am tracing from Summer 3/2011. 

2. A ruler, a highlighter, and something to trace onto. I use either our Kwik Trace or Swedish Tracing Paper. You can , of course, use plain old baking paper..but it annoys me and I like to keep my patterns to use over and over again. So I prefer our products. And you will need some scissors.

3. Select a pattern you want to make...I like this colour blocked dress...

..let's check out the details...sizes 134cm -170cm. That will work for me. How do I decide what size I need? If you turn to the beginning of the pattern section, you will find the line drawings of all patterns in this issue. I find this really good to look over, instead of just the colour pics of the garment made up.

The line drawings give you a feel for the patterns features etc, as well as size range. Another reason line drawings are good? Sometimes a pattern may be sewn up in a fabric I am not so keen on  ( for example, I very rarely use patterned fabric with white background on my kids- as I think it washes them out) seeing the line drawings, you are able to interpret each pattern in your minds eye- the way you would like it to look.

4. Measuring up. Ottobre Design give excellent measuring instructions in each mag.

Once you have followed the diagram and  plotted your  child's measurements, you can see which size your child falls into best. Here you can see Lil is all over the place, so I am going to trace size 152cm, and make an increase over the waist measurement.

The measurements in the chart is of the actual child, not the garment. The patterns have built in allowance for ease of movement.

5. So now we know what size we are tracing...let's go read our pattern a bit more. 

Ok, here we can see the size range and (134cm-170cm) and the type and amount of fabric we will need, as well an extras. If you look at the Materials you will see the materials needed run in the same increments as the size range. So, to make size 152cm, I will need:

-65-cm of pale coloured fabric
-35-cm of medium coloured fabric
-40cm of dark coloured fabric.

Ok, but what TYPE of fabric? This pattern suggests a knit of (CV/EL) with a stretch recovery of 30%.

To work out  the stretch-factor of your fabric:

  Take a 10cm piece of your fabric, cut across the the grain ( so in the direction of selvage to selvage), then stretch. If it stretches to 12cm, it has 25% stretch; if it stretches to 15cm, it has 50% stretch;  and so on.

What is  (CV/EL)? There is a handy International Textile sheet here!
Most European fabrics are 140-150cm wide, so keep this in mind too, if your patterns does not state width ( most do).

I also need about 80cm of clear elastic. I use swimwear elastic ( as I have a 100m roll to use!).

6. So now I have my fabric sorted, what pattern sheet do I need? I mean there's a few in here!

Let's go back to our pattern tells us we need to find "sheet F, Blue". Blue tells us the colour tracing line will be.

This part also tells us the pattern pieces we need to trace, and also any extra info we might need to know.
My pattern has little scissors next to pieces 1 and 2. This tells me, these pieces - once traced- are then cut into 3 sections each to become 1a. 1b, 1c and 2a, 2b, 2c. Be sure and look for any marking like this one your pattern sheet. Another symbol you may see is a small pencil. This tells us once we have traced off that piece, we will need to trace a section of it off again separately.

I need to find ( in BLUE) pieces # 1, 2, and 3. 

If you look at the bottom of your pattern sheet, you will see a helpful guide. See the "1" and "3"?
If I run my finger up from here, it will lead us to the corresponding pattern piece/colour. 

7. It always handy to scope out the diagram of the pattern pieces so you know what you are looking for. Pay attention to any details on each piece too.I find an aerial view is great to help me spot them all.

8. Tracing. Now I have found all my pieces, I take my highlighter and trace over the correct size. I do this for all pieces. ( note about highlighter. I like to use a different colour highlighter for each size. Having kids x 4, I often reuse patterns..and it is easier to find the sizes on the sheet if they are different colour).

Be sure and note your centre front and back lines..these will be indicated on the sheet, also any gathers ( indicated with arrow) , hems, etc.

When you have hunted down all your pieces, grab your tracing material and trace!

 9. Now you need to transfer over any markings from your pattern sheet to your traced pieces.

So now you have your pattern pieces, go dig out your fabric! I'll be back tomorrow to get our pattern cut out! Got a query?


Hoooked Zpagetti is Here!

You might have seen some Hoooked Zpagetti kicking around in blog land lately? I first set eyes on it when one of our forum members ( Mon)  living in The Netherlands, showed off some of her projects
. "Zpagetti? What is this stuff?!!"

I've always had a need to try my hand at rag know how it is? So initially, I thought Zpagetti would fill that requirement. But then Toni over at Make It Perfect  started showing off baskets she had made! Baskets! 

 (Pic shamelessly stolen from Toni)

Well that just about did me in. Crafty Mamas NEEDED this!
Zpagetti satisfies several primal urges of the Crafty Mamas species: 

1. It's fun!
2. It's quick!
3. It combines two of my loves:  fabric, and crochet!
4. It is highly tactile ie; feels good!
5 It puts to good use, off cuts that would other wise be thrown out.

What is Hoooked Zpagetti?? Originating from The Netherlands, Hoooked Zpagetti consists of strips of high quality elastic cotton fabric, ( much like our Stella) and is available in a wide range of colours and trendy designs. Hoooked Zpagetti is made from offcuts of new collection fabrics, combining fashion, sustainability and creativity into one amazing product: a high quality, elastic yarn that is not only eco-friendly but has a huge variety of fun and creative usages. When crocheted or knitted on large hooks or needles, you churn out projects in no time!

These are some of the  projects that we have free patterns for...and can pass on  to you. ( see the Rainbow Rug? I'm so doing that one!!) Of course, I know you will have fun creating your own too!

You can find our Zpagetti HERE.
I'm heading back to the recliner, to tackle that rug!


Crafty Mamas 7th Birthday! Ottobre Design GIVE-AWAY!

Winners announced in the morning.....

#3  ( the finale) 7th Birthday GIVE-AWAY!

Before I announce our fabulous final Give-away..let's take a short stroll down memory lane, and look at how Crafty Mamas came to be?!

Crafty Mamas began way back in 2004, I was a very busy mama of 4- the youngest being Lil, at 1. 
I had been sewing since about 1988 ( eek!!! ) and was possibly a tad CRAFT OBSESSED.
Anything that could be made at home- I'd give it a go. 

Cheese making, soap making, felting, sewing, knitting, crochet, homebrewing, root beer ( still have the stains on the ceiling form where the bottles exploded!). Bread making, chook raising, vegie gardening,  sausage making, Beef jerky, fruit dehydrating,
sauce bottling, jam making, fabric dyeing...
you get the picture. My poor, long suffering husband!


And I thought, how cool to start an Australian online community, for people like me ( the CRAFT- OBSESSED). Because really, all home skills are a craft, even raising kids!
Only another Crafty Mama understands why you would stay up all night, sewing up a Gnome costume for the Christmas play- with a 6 week old baby in a sling!

Miss B

So the Crafty Mamas forum came into being. And , much like a child, it was nurtured, loved, and it GREW! 

Crafty Mamas developed into such a wonderful community, with members as far away as The Netherlands!
Members enjoy the opportunity to meet other CRAFT OBSESSED mama's, chat about their projects, ask for help if stuck,review patterns, even meet up for coffee and chats in real life ( hence our annual CRAFT RETREAT).

During this same time, I was still sewing up a storm and frantically hunting for Ottobre Design mag here in Australia. Frustrated, I emailed the editor, Tuula 
( coincidentally, also a mama of 4..but with very different weather to us!) 
and she  kindly agreed to let me take on Otto in Australia.

And so, finally, Aussie sewists could get hold of Ottobre Design again ! 
But wait, we also wanted fabrics that we saw IN Ottobre Design mag..and so, with Tuula's help, I managed to bring HILCO, of Germany, to Australia.

Now, of course, we have many European fabrics available, and Crafty Mamas is renown for our quality fabrics and patterns. We also are Aussie agents for Farbenmix, and Stenzo too! 

So, now you know our history- stick around, because our future is looking pretty nifty too!

We are looking forward to another 7 years working with our friends at Ottobre Design!


Your chance to win one of these 4 prizes!! :

OTTOBRE is  very kindly  helping us celebrate by giving away;

2 x one-year subscriptions for 6 issues (4 kids + 2 women) 
2  x gift cards worth 50EUR to spend at their Etsy shop 

( awesome!)
All you need to do is leave a comment here on my blog by the 31st of October and you will be entered into the prize draw. Good luck!
ps; if you are already subscribed and win, it will simply be added to your current sub!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Crafty Mamas 7th Birthday GIVE-AWAY #2!! JNY Design

WINNER all the way down the bottom!!


Did you know this week marks our 7th year in the business??
How'd THAT happen so FAST?

To celebrate, I have some cool FABRIC to Give-away!

Exclusive to us here in Australia, you may have seen them popping up in Ottobre Design Mag?

 (Otto 6/2010)

Beautiful and Vibrant !

Designed in Sweden, in gorgeous bold prints, Okeo-Tex 100 ( so you can feel confident putting them on your kids!) and super soft and snuggly!

Our latest shipment from JNY Design features cotton/lycra knits, cotton interlock and some fabulous
velour knits!

As a  mum , sewing for kids for over 20 years ( feeling very old now!), 
I think I have a pretty good feel for what kids love as well as what is important to mum's
..and you can find it in my store - Crafty Mamas!

Bringing you the very best in fabrics and patterns- helping your sewing projects be the very best they can be!


For our 7th Birthday Celebration #2 Give-away...

 I have 2m of JNY Design fabric to Giveaway to a lucky Crafty Mamas Blog Reader!

Simply leave me a comment as to which JNY Design fabrics you would choose!

Closes Friday  21st Oct.

Good Luck!


And the WINNER is...Congratulations!!!

Renee said...
My little boy would love the rainbow stipe waves!!! Dunno what it is but he loves rainbows. I like the stars but I think he'd win :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Cute Otto #301 Vintagey Tute!


A couple of cool SALEs and a Sweet TUTE for you try this!

KWIK SEW on SALE 20% off!
The entire Kwik Sew range is 20% off til next Friday. This includes items in stock , and those we order in.
We order each week and they genrerally arrive in a day or two.
Want a patterns not instore?
See the entire range here
jot down the pattern number you want and email me.

Scandi Style "VICENTE" knits 20% off!

OTTO News!
Just a quick note to our OTTOBRE DESIGN subscribers. When your subscription expires, you will not be automatically renewed or receive a reminder from OTTOBRE. So, to make sure you don't miss me at and I'll check on your subscription for you and we can renew you if needed! Of course, I'll have heaps in store for non subscribers to grab a copy too!

Here's the fabulous  Ottobre Design 6/2011, due out 21st October!

Crafty Mamas is very proud to be OTTOBRE's Aussie and NZ agent. As well as subscriptions we can also handle orders from retails shops etc. So if you have local sewing store trying to stock OTTOBRE, please tell them about us.
We ae slowly spreading the Otto love!

Ottobre Design Creative Workshop #301 Hack- Vintagey- Tab Front Tee
Making more from your patterns!

As promised, a weekend project for you to try!

Ottobre Design Creative Workshop  #301 Hack to Vintagey Tab Tee.

I love the look of these Vintagey style tees, they are a chance to incorporate some extra colour and texture into a plain tee.
They are also very quick and easy once you have modified your pattern.

 You will need :
 Enough solid  knit to make your desired size, plus extra contrast knit  for your yoke
(use knits of a similar weight. I have used a cotton/lycra knit on the yoke, and it holds up well to the tab). I am using the CHERRY interlock  and this cotton/lycra knit from  Crafty Mamas.
You’ll need a couple of buttons- either matching or not, odd ones look quirky!
Tracing paper ( I use Kwik Trace or Swedish Tracing Paper from CM).

Now, trace off your desired size. You can see, I like to highlight the size I am going to trace. It just helps to see where you are going!

This also is a great time to show you how handy multisize patterns are when it comes to getting a good fit. My daughter needs a 152cm in width, but only 146cm in length. So I trace out the correct lines for these, eventually matching the lines up.  This gives me a much better fit than just using the largest size.

You can see my handy work here, I have traced the 152cm width, but veered off to 146cm length lines on both front and back and sleeves.

Here’s my pattern pieces ready to go.

Now you have to decide the placement of your yoke piece. Mark a line how far across the shoulder and how far down the chest.  See the orange lines?

Now you need to draft in a circle along these lines. I grabbed a dinner I want a rounded yoke. ( if you want more of an elongated  oval shape, you will have to freehand it. Play around a bit on some paper first).
..and traced around it. See the arc? (  raspberry chocolate bullets? How’d they get in there?)

Now you need to separate your yoke from your front piece. Simply cut. Mark the centre front section of yoke so you don’t confuse yourself.

Next up, cut out your yoke piece , with a centre front fold- remembering to add a seam allowance to the bottom side!   We need to add a seam allowance, or your front piece will end up too short! This will be from your contrast fabric.

Here’s my pieces...

 And all the pieces, including the neckand.

Now we need to attach the yoke to our front piece. Mark the centre front on both pieces,  I just pin. Then place right sides together and slowly  and carefully, sew together. If you need, section of into 1/4s and match up  ( similar to sewing on a neckband).

Here they are , sewn together , cool huh? Give it a press to make it all sit nice and flat.
Clip if you think it needs it.

Now we need to draft up our tab piece. You can make this whatever shape you like...arrowed on one end looks cool, or just a longish piece with a rounded tab like here. The width and length is entirely up to you, as an idea, mine is about 12cm long ( this includes 2cm seam allowance ) and about 6cm wide ( includes 2cm seam allowance). Cut your piece out, then sew around three sides right sides together, leaving the short straight end open. Trim , turn and press.

 Buttons:  two ways to do this.  I show #1.
1.Either sew the buttons directly onto your tab now.
2. Wait until tab is attached to top and then sew the buttons on, sewing through the tab and also into the yoke- thus securing your tab ( meaning it will be fixed).

Now mark the centre front of both your top and tab, then position the tab on your yoke. Secure with a few pins.

I like to topstitch around my yoke section, on the main fabric, with a ric rac stitch, ( or serpentine or elastic stitch ) to add a nice touch and help it sit better.

From here on in, the #301 is constructed as per usual. Simply apply your choice of neckband ( I have chosen the binding method, following the instructions in #301)’s the binding being sewn down once it is attached and folded.  Then continue on with your sleeves, sides etc..and you get...

THIS!!! Your super sweet modified #301 tab front tee!

Have a lovely weekend!

About Me

Crafty Mamas SHOP blog. Aussie agent for Farbenmix, Studio Tantrum, Stenzo fabric, Ottobre design. Stocking Hilco fabric, Mamu design and other cool stuff!