FO: 2 Ottobre Toddler Dresses

In the online sewing world, people often refer to sewing for others as 'Unselfish Sewing.' However sewing for others is never entirely unselfish. I love seeing people wear or use things I've made, and these toddler dresses are no different.

Now Miss Kestrel is 2 (!!) we have run out of hand-me-down and gift clothes, so it's the perfect time to make her some new clothes. Though bearing in mind that she has developed her own tastes for what she likes to wear can make this challenging. too.
Pattern
Birdie Birdie Jersey dress from Spring 2015 Ottobre Magazine, as kindly lent to me by So Zo. I made size 92cm so there's a bit of growing room. You can preview the issue on You Tube. It's a simple A-line style dress.
 What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It's a sweet, easy and wearable dress and it will work as a tunic top over leggings or with tights or bare legs.
No apologies for the photos - toddlers are unpredictable to photograph so let's call these 'action shots'. She is playing with a tiger dressing up outfit that she's really fond of

Fabric & Notions
I used a cat print jersey remnant bought from Remnant Kings and a grey and pink stripe jersey sent to me by the lovely Tabatha Tweedie of Thread Carefully last year. Thanks Tabatha (Louise)! The fabrics gave very different results - the cat print was quite thick and so looks more structured while the stripe was lighter and drapey. I like the effect of both types.
Piloting the boat in the play park

Pattern alterations or any design changes
I turned and stitched the cuffs with a double needle instead of using bands. I am totally proud of my twin needling at the neckline too. Look at that cheeky cat face peeking over!

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
I'd definitely make it again. The pieces fitted together beautifully. I've made a jersey top from a Simplicity pattern before and they had you gather the top of the sleeve to set it in. WTF Simplicity? This required no such nonsense and was a breeze to sew.
Did you use any new techniques?
I've never used a magazine pattern before so the tracing and adding seam allowance was new for me. It was fine for this pattern as it was small and had few pattern pieces. I'd be less keen for a more complex adult garment.
The recommended method of neckline binding was also new. The magazine recommended that you sew one shoulder seam, apply neck band and then sew second shoulder. I think I prefer the manner of sewing both shoulders and inserting the neckband already joined, for a cleaner finish, but I used their method anyway. What can I say? I love to follow instructions.

I used Steam a Seam tape on the hem and it was easy to use and gives a beautiful neat finish, especially combined with a twin needle hem.
Back view, while 'cleaning' the slide in the park - the stripes match at the side seams, which is pleasing

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, quick and easy - only three pattern pieces plus the neckband to cut.

Cost
£5 for the cat print and the stripe fabric was a gift

Conclusion
A great pattern and the result of kindness from two sewing bloggers too, which makes the dresses extra special. I will probably make more, although I'm keen to try out more patterns from Ottobre as I had such a good experience with this one. I have another dress pattern and a hoodie traced and ready to cut

K x

30 comments:

  1. ohh, they look lovely and practical. Top tip I found for tracing Ottobre patterns that works if you're using those disolvable fabric pens. Trace and cut the pattern as is, without seam allowance. Masking tape two pens together, then you can trace around your pattern and trace the stitching line and the cutting line at the same time. Especially cool if you use different colour pens. Works well for me and gives the 1cm allowance that Ottobre recommend (I too like following instructions, in this case, I like a 1cm seam allowance on knits though)

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    1. Great tip, thanks. I don't have any of those pens but they sound handy

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  2. Ooh brilliant! They're both adorable ��

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    1. Cheers, was delighted to put the fabric to use finally!

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  3. Really sweet. I agree with you on the selfish/unselfish sewing - I get lots of pleasure from seeing my children in things I have made.

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    1. It is lovely, though I am trying to be careful that she will like actually like them as she has got very fussy!

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  4. These are lovely! I have made a McCalls pattern that had various stupid gathered sleeves etc in jersey, very strange...

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    1. Ugh, seems like the Big 4 need to update their instructions and methods

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  5. So cute! It sounds like a really good pattern. I have never seen Ottobre for sale, which is a pity. I don't think I'd want to subscribe, but it sounds like the odd edition would be worth buying.

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    1. They seem to do mostly knit patterns so the odd issue would be ideal but maybe a subscription would be too much?

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  6. I love these two dresses. They are both so cute and your daughter looks so happy in them. Being a crazy cat lady I am in love with the cat print. Have you ever sewn with the Ottobre Woman patterns? I sometimes see it and was wondering if they are any good. The children's ones are lovely. Xx

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    1. I have seen the A/W 15 Womens edition online and looks like there are some useful patterns but I haven't seen a copy in real life and not actually sure where to buy one!

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  7. I love seeing my granddaughter in clothes I have made her. Your dresses came out really nice and your daughter is adorable.

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    1. Thank you, it is lovely to see her wear something I've made

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  8. These are lovely! I love Ottobre kids mags. I make a lot from them and always find their patterns to be well drafted and the end result very comfortable for wee ones to wear.

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    1. Yes I definitely agree that the drafting seems good and they are practical patterns

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  9. These are both such cute dresses, and they look so comfy! I had the same thoughts on the tracing though, a bit annoying but manageable for children's patterns but not so much fun in a bigger size. I love her curls, what a cutie!

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    1. She has wild curls - I'm jealous, my hair is so straight

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  10. AW she looks fabulous in these. Perfect dress shape for a busy girl too. I love sewing for my babies, I am always pleased when they pull out one of mine to get dressed in.

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    1. Yes, I love the shape of the dresses and it's so nice to see her wearing something I've made

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  11. Really sweet dresses for a really sweet girl! x

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  12. So sweet. Ottobre is the best kids patterns going from simple staples to outerwear I've been subscribing for ten since my youngest was her age. If you look at RTW a lot of binding is a applied in the flat before closing the shoulder. I'm sure it is the best way when using coverstitch binding attachments but in my own sewing I go back and forth and usually prefer the round, like you. I know for me seeing the kids in something I've made is an extension of selfish sewing anyway it's so much easier to admire clothes on someone else.

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    1. Interesting, that makes sense about the coverstitch

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  13. So cute! Those dresses are lovely and you get so much pleasure from seeing your little one in something that you've made with love

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    1. Thanks, I feel inspired to make her lots more things! (Time permitting...)

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  14. Oh my GOSH, these are both ADORABLE. I love the fabrics! And they look cute as can be on Your Current Baby (wait... that can't be the right nickname). Your little one is so, so, so, so cute! I can't take it! The wee pigtails! Ack!

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say