Ottobre Jeans

I have new jeans!! To be fair, I’ve had them for a few weeks now, and they’ve been worn quite a few times.  I suppose that’s a good sign in the scheme of things, I’ve worn them and not managed to get photos because I’ve been too busy wearing them!  I used the pattern for the Utility Trousers from the Ottobre magazine again, figuring that I liked the first pair of trousers made with that pattern, so why not make another?  There are a few changes this time around, all beacause the denim has stretch and the cotton/linen blend used last time did not.

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Ottobre Utility Trousers, pattern 8 in stretch denim

I can’t remember where I got the denim from, it’s been languishing in the stash for a while, and has had a little tab pinned to it saying ” Jeans – Me!” for at least two years.  So I’m glad it’s out of the stash and has made itself useful – finally.  The colour is delicious, a nice dark indigo that made my fingers and sewing machine nice and blue while working with it, not to mention making my legs even more pale blue while wearing than needed!  It has approximately 2% stretch and is very comfy to wear.

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Obviously I needed to make a few adjustments to the pattern from the last time, the first being to take in all that extra that I’d added to the leg because it was too tight around the calf.  I also took in the inseam, outseam and waistband.  Even though I’d interfaced the waistband on the opposite grain, it still stretched out while wearing, so I needed to go back in and make it smaller.

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One thing I’d forgotten to do though, was to either reduce the depth of the waistband – or put two buttons on it.  Only after I’d cut the buttonhole did I have a vague memory of thinking that it was a bit wide and that two would be better than one!  So you get the rather unflattering curl of the top part of the band, thankfully it’s mostly hidden by my tops, but that’s not the point…

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Welt pocket showing Shweshwe pocket bags

What I love about this pattern – the belt loops are cool!  You get three shaped loops with a button that you can choose to make operable or not, and two ordinary shaped ones, but they’re wider than the usual loop.  I like that look on the wider waistband.  Second thing I love are the pockets!  Plenty of decent sized pockets in this pattern, and the welt pockets in the back are a breeze to sew.  I used some scraps of Shweshwe cotton for my pocket bags to cut down on bulk and I love seeing that bit of pattern.

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Hip yoke pocket insides, a hint of Shweshwe!

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All the buttons were found in the stash, and I think that if I had found two of the bigger ones I might have remembered that I wanted two for the waistband.  The colour works beautifully with the denim and the colour chosen for the topstitching.  I used one of the Gutermann Denim threads again, rather than “proper” topstitching thread as my machine is far happier to use it.  The colour is more copper than gold and I love it.  All the double lines of topstitching were done with a denim twin needle, an essential piece of kit, in my humble opinion!  It takes all the guesswork out of making sure your lines are completely parallel and even going around curves is easy.

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Beautiful topstitching, courtesy of Denim thread and a twin needle!

I have more sewing from September to catch up on here, a beautiful pair of wool trousers using a Burda pattern from the early 90s (I think, or late 80s…) and some new tops that have already come in handy with the change in temperature!  Yikes, October means Autumn and that means cold and wet on the way!  I have/had grand Autumn sewing plans, I’m slowly making my way through them, and promise to try to keep up!

Mercy, Mercy Me

I bought a new to me magazine last month, but not new to the sewing world!  I thought I’d try out the Ottobre magazines, as some people think they’re a better option to Burda.  Unfortunately there aren’t as many each year as the Burda, only one for Spring/Summer and one for Autumn Winter.  They’re around £11 each and this one contains 18 patterns.  The one I got is Spring/Summer 2020.

First impressions. The styles aren’t as “trendy” as the Burda, but there is a good variety of items.  Three patterns stood out to me, a pair of trousers, a jersey top and a camisole top.  So for £11 it’s not bad value, especially when you consider the Burdas are now £7.50 an issue and I often find nothing I want to make.  My measurements put me in the same size as the Burda sizing, but these patterns all go from a 34 to a 52, so much more inclusive than Burda.

I traced the pattern for the trousers #8, the Utility Pants, in the size 44.  Looking at the pattern, the crotch depth is much deeper than I’d expect.  Chris made a pair last year and commented that they didn’t fit as expected, definitely a crotch fit issue.  I noticed the zip opening seemed very low.  Once toiled, I also needed to check on just where the pattern was supposed to sit!  On Chris the waistband sits on the hip, as does the one on the model.  On me, much higher up.

Toile issues…  Too wide on the waist, take in total 4cm.  Pants too wide to around mid-thigh, then getting too snug around the knee area and definitely too snug around the calf.  The crotch was also defintely hinkey.  It wasn’t close enough to the body, it was too long by about 4cm and had too much fabric, causing bunching in an akward area!  So here’s what I did.

Pants pattern crotch adjustments. Original line marked in red.
  • Shortened the crotch depth by 1cm at the crotch depth line.
  • Took in the inseam in the front by 1cm from the crotch to mid-thigh, then out again by 1cm at the knee down to the hem.
  • Lifted the crotch curve just over 1cm and altered the shape of the curve.  In the front, the centre front seam was moved in half a centimetre to remove excess fabric and tapered to the original CF spot at the top.
  • Shortened the zip opening by 5cm.
  • Crotch curve in the back – also lifted 1cm, curve adjusted by moving in 1cm and tapering to the original line 10cm below the waistline.
  • Back waistline dropped 1cm in centre back, tapering to the original side seam.
  • Back inseam adjusted the same as the front.
  • Side seams, back and front:  took in 0.75cm at top of waistband, tapering to 1cm at the bottom of the waistband.  From the top of the trousers, 1cm taken in all the way to just below the crotch depth line where it goes back to the orignal line, then tapers out 1cm by the knee and then straight down to the hem.
  • Shortened legs by 2cm by double turning the original 2cm hem depth.

The crotch adjustments take out the excess fabric that was causing bunching and weird lines, front and back.  The zip shortening makes it look so much better, no-one needs a zip opening that long, they usually stop at the hip line.

There’s only one thing I’d change when I make the next pair, use two, smaller buttons in the waistband.  At almost 6cm in width, it would work better with two buttons than the one.  I just might take half a centimetre out of the trouser leg width, all depending on the fabric used!  So yes, despite all the adjusting, I will be making another pair.

Making wasn’t tricky.  I cut the pocket linings from cotton remnants, as well as the inner waistband pieces and the underside of the belt tabs.  The welt pocket at the back makes the welt, folded up, you don’t need to cut seperate welt pieces.  This cuts out bulk!  The tabs were going to be purely decorative, but at the last minute I made working buttonholes.  All seams are overlocked, simple but effective.

Fabric notes;  I bought 3m of a cotton/linen twill from Fabworks last month, loving the brilliant blue colour.  I hadn’t expected it to be quite so sturdy and stretch-less when it arrived, so it prompted a re-think on the patterns I was going to use.  Originally I thought I’d make a dress or jumpsuit, but there’s not enough movement for that.  So, new plan was to make more trousers!  There is no movement in this fabric at all, so perfect for Landers!  That’s what I’ll be making with the rest of the 3m length.  They still have some black and a mossy/khaki colour, which I’m tempted to get for a short Sienna Maker Jacket.

I don’t want to get too distracted with “maybe” projects though, I have the Olya Shirt from Paper Theory waiting to be toiled, waiting rather patiently since October!!  So while I have a foot injury and cannot get to the allotment, I need to get on with the sewing, at least I can sit for that!