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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ottobre Designs: Remedy For A Sewist's Shopping Hangover

First of all I have to say thanks for all the nice comments on my homemade apron giveaway. I got some new followers and I look forward to checking out your blogs too. I was part of the Sewmamasew Giveaway blog event and I can't believe how much traffic that brought to my little blog for a couple of days. I felt like one of those blogging big shots.Well, we mustn't let things like that go to our heads shall we? 
Onward soldier!
I was out on a rare shopping trip with my girls yesterday. Forever 21 and H& M for Isabelle my 15 year old, and H&M Kids and Gymboree for my 8 year old and 23 month old. Gymboree was having a sale where everything in the store was 13.99 or under so it was hard to resist. I bought Gigi the most adorable Esther Williams style 40's one piece ruffled bathing suit with a matching swim cap. They all got some cute things for Summer.

But the whole time we were out I was thinking, I can make that, that , and that. Why am I buying this stuff ?  Well, I fell off the handmade wagon, and was feeling regretful for buying things I could have made. In essence, I felt like a sellout! We sewists put a lot of pressure on ourselves and just because we CAN make something doesn't mean we always want to. I cook but I still like to eat out. Sometimes food tastes so much better at someone else's house doesn't it?
So here are some of my thoughts about allowing myself to fall off the sewing wagon:

  • Most commercial patterns don't have designs for some of the trendier, more fashion forward looks you can find in shops.
  • It would take me forever to draft all the patterns in the shops from scratch.
  • It would take me a couple of days to make something that I might be able to buy for cheaper than it would cost me to get the raw materials.
  • I was just plain lazy and hadn't shopped in ages and hey, shopping is fun sometimes if you have the cash.
  • My collection of vintage children's patterns isn't really appreciated by my girls yet, although Lily is a vintage toy collector...
Yes it might be cheaper to buy things ready made sometimes, but how are these super low prices achievable? Well, I covered my thoughts about conditions in overseas factories in another post so I won't focus on that now but it is a big reason to make your own clothes.

But here we have OTTOBRE MAGAZINE coming to the rescue! Fashionable kids patterns to make at home. OK, Ottobre Magazine isn't cheap at about 20 dollars an issue to have the English translation of this Finnish Magazine sent to me in the US, but each issue has about forty patterns you can cut out and use. If you make about five designs per issue that comes to four dollars a pattern, which isn't too bad

They have some really fun everyday clothing designs for kids. I would like to start making more separates as I only seem to make dresses for the girls. Here are some of my favorite looks from the 2011 Spring and Summer issues:

So back to shopping. Do any of you also suffer that guilty feeling when you buy something in a shop that you know you could easily or not so easily make? It sounds crazy but I felt like I was cheating on my sewing machine!



  1. Some of these kids on the pictures are just sooo darn cute!

  2. I'm impressed Gymboree had something so age appropriate for swimming, that swimsuit is adorable!!

    Also, are all those pictures from the latest issue of Ottobre? I've browsed a few issues online but never see enough "must have" patterns to justify the cost - but for all of those, I absolutely can! The sailor outfits would be great for summer and perfect for Halloween!!
    The jeans, vest and button down shirt looks like it was made for my son - whose nickname in utero was Cowboy! I could gush about every single outfit you posted! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. Hi MJ
    Yes I pasted all the photos from the Spring and Summer 2011 issues. I'm still also considering a subscription. I love the little boys outfits too. It's so hard to find cute stuff for baby boys.


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