Ottobre Sweatshirt v1

I would have thought that somewhere in my pattern stash, I had a pattern for a crew neck sweatshirt with set in sleeves.  Most of the patterns that I have either were raglan sleeved or were hoodies.  A quick look at the Big 4 patterns didn’t come up with any, even Kwik Sew.  I did find a couple of indi patterns that fitted the bill, but expensive for what they were.

At this point, I did seriously consider just buying a couple of sweatshirts.  I could get two for the price of the indi pattern and I didn’t have the hassle of finding matching ribbing.  The next time I was in town, I dropped into one of the chain stores to have a look.  I’d just be using them around the house and for working in the garden so the low quality was OK for what I was doing.  They’d last a couple of years, by which time they would be permanently stained and likely to have a few holes from being snagged on branches.  I’d might scrape 30 wears out of them, but not 30 washes.  The thing that stopped me was they were made in Bangladesh.  If I bought them, am I just reinforcing bad working conditions for the people who made them?  Is this something you consider when buying RTW?

So it was looking like I was going to draft my own pattern, when I came across an Ottobre magazine (05/2017) which I had somehow ended up among my weaving mags.  In it were these two designs, based on the same pattern.

Ottobre 05/2017 Tech drawings for #4 and #10
Source: Ottobre

I’m not that keen on the pocket design of the first sweatshirt (#4 ‘Handy Pockets’).  The vertical pockets would mean that your elbows would be up at shoulder level to use them.  But the rest of the shape of the sweatshirt was what I was after.  I do like the seamlines of the hoodie.  Since they are from the same pattern base, I traced out the pattern pieces from #4, merging the front into a single pattern piece, and overlayed the front piece from the hoodie to add the > shaped design line.  I didn’t feel like doing welt pockets, and decided to draft off a kangaroo pocket using the bottom section of the centre front piece from the hoodie ( just the bit between the pockets).

Kangaroo pocket in progress
Finishe pocket with bar-tacking

The finished sweatshirt is a little big, even though I went down a size from that which was recommended.  That’s not such a big problem given that it’s a sweatshirt – sloppy is OK.  I left of the band at the hem and did a simple turned hem to reduce the length.  The sleeves were a tad long and wide, so I trimmed of about 5cm in length and tapered the seam in by 1cm, on each side, toward the cuff.  The cuff has also been narrowed (lengthwise) by 2cm.  Given the adjustments, I could have it three sizes smaller than the recommended size.

Finished sweatshirt

Version 2 is now in progress, with a few tweaks.  I cut it out last night and hope to finish it tonight.  Little Miss Hyperactive enjoyed playing with the offcuts!  It lasted about 15mins before it was shredded 🙂  ETA – Version 2 is complete You can see it here.

Little Miss Hyperactive

Last weekend, a friend took me for a short walk.  I didn’t get far, perhaps a half hour of walking, but when we stopped,she pulled out sketch pads and charcoals.  We sat there drawing and chatting for a while before heading back to the car.  It was really great fun and I realised how much I missed drawing.  She is a really great artist! I tend to sketch like I’m doing an engineering drawing ( I wonder why), so I’ve been challenged to do quick sketches – just 5 or 10 mins max.    My plan is to keep a sketchbook and pens in my bag.  If my foot needs a rest, or I’m taking a break at work, I can spend a little time doodling.   Last night I had the bright(??) idea of doing a sketch for each of my sewing projects – a landscape or urban scene with a random person it it wearing what I just made.   I’m hopeless at drawing people, hence the random person, and no attempt at a selfie.  Just the vague notion of a person in the sketch is enough at the moment.  With practice, I hope get better at it.  Consider it like a ‘wearing suggestion’ in the same vein as a ‘serving suggestion’ on a food packet.

Here is the first one.  I won’t critique it other than to say that I’ll be investing in a waterproof pen 😉

‘Morning cuppa in the garden’


Pattern: Ottobre Woman 05/2017  #4 with mods
Fabric: Dusty pink sports jersey
Rating: 4/5
Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: $15
30 wears: Easily
Quality: Medium
Durability: Medium
Fad factor: Low
Flexibility: High
Expected life: 3-4 years




6 thoughts on “Ottobre Sweatshirt v1

  1. Hey, I must check out that pattern. Great work on the kangaroo pockets, much more oractical (and better looking) than those weird vertical ones. I lke your sweatshirt and your sketch. Nice work!


    1. Thanks Lyndle. Do you have the magazine? I’ve been wearing the sweatshirt this afternoon and very glad to have the kangaroo pockets – grea for trying to warm up my hands on a cold day.


  2. STF, I like your rendition of the sweatshirt with kangaroo pockets. The sketches are way too cool.

    I have one old Ottobre magazine, I made a tshirt out of it and it was almost true to size. I didn’t make petite adjustments but I could have to improve fit. Looks like the sweatshirt pattern had too much wearing ease.


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