Ottobre Tunic: Third Time's the Charm!

Usually, around the third time in a row that I sew-up a pattern I start to feel burnt out. Not so with this tunic. This charcoal-gray Ponte-knit with subtle sparkle was the fabric I had in mind for this tunic from the get-go. I wasn't burnt out sewing this one, I was excited! My favorite part by far is the pop of pink in the trim and top-stitching. We generally shy away from pink around these parts, but I'm a sucker for a bright-colored trim on a neutral solid.

Sewing the Princess Castle Tunic and Raglan Tee from Ottobre Design 4/2013 | The Inspired Wren
 Finally warm enough to get some pics outside, now I'm looking forward to a green background instead of brown.

Once again this is the Princess Castle Tunic, #14, from Ottobre Design issue 4/2013, Fall Kids. Once again I sewed it up at tunic length (there is also a dress length option that I have yet to make), but this time I chose the short/cap-sleeve option. Once again I changed the size I sewed. The first, too-large version I made was a size 104, then I tried a size 92 wide x 98 long, this time I went for a standard size 98. It works. But I think for the best room-to-grow fit I would need a size 98 wide x 104 long. Of course now I will continue to over-analyze what size I should make as I go forward with other patterns from Ottobre.

Sewing the Princess Castle Tunic and Raglan Tee from Ottobre Design 4/2013 | The Inspired Wren
The Ponte knit drapes perfectly for this pattern. And I STILL love those circle pockets.

Seriously. The pockets. They are fabulous.

Inspired by the styling in the magazine images, I made a Fall Basic Raglan-Sleeve T-Shirt, #12 (same issue), in size 98 to layer under the tunic. I originally purchased the stripe to use as leggings, but I like how it works on this shirt, too. I still love the idea of muli-width striped legs so I'm saving that concept for a future project.

Sewing the Raglan Tee from Ottobre Design 4/2013 | The Inspired Wren
Completely adorable on it's own, it will look fabulous over a pair of jeans or play pants.

I need to talk about those sleeve cuffs. First, in the magazine the hem hits higher up on the cuff, almost half-way. When sewing from Ottobre, you add the seam-allowances yourself as you trace the pattern. I didn't add seam-allowance to the bottom of the cuff because I thought I had read not to add seam-allowance for hems. But I think if I had added it then the proportions would match the intended pattern. Next time I'm going to give that a try. Also note that the sleeves have a loose, relaxed fit on The Peanut, yet look what happened to both sleeves after just one wear:

Sewing the Raglan Tee from Ottobre Design 4/2013 | The Inspired Wren
One wear, and the hems gave way.

This is my karma for claiming I had finally perfected twin-needle sewing. I got a great suggestion on Instagram from Alison J Prata O'Grady of Sew Bee It Clothier to try Wooly Nylon in the bobbin for additional stretch. It's a timely suggestion because I also just read about it over at Made By Rae. I will definitely be giving that a try. But I'm still perplexed that it happened on both loose-fitting sleeves and not on the neckline where I would have expected it. Ah well. I'll mend them.

I'm not yet burnt out on this pattern, however I am ready to move on. I'm very excited for Project Run and Play starting the last week of March. I'm going to attempt to sew-along (first time!) and I've got lots of plans and sketches for each of the weekly challenges already started. I'm also excited for Kids Clothes Week, Spring 2014. It falls right in the middle of Project Run and Play and I may even attempt to post here daily during that week. But what I'm most looking forward to is the warmer weather so we can throw open the windows and get out into the sunlight!

Sewing the Princess Castle Tunic and Raglan Tee from Ottobre Design 4/2013 | The Inspired Wren
Hurray Spring is coming!


Ottobre Design, Issue 4/2013, #14 Princess Tunic, Design A Length plus Design B Sleeves; and #12 Fall Basic Raglan-Sleeve T-Shirts


Tunic: Sew Classic Knits Ponte, Caviar; Sew Classic Knits Interlock, Sangria (all from Joann's Fabric)
Raglan Tee: Famous Makers Apparel Fabric, Fall Stripe Knit; Sew Classic Knits Interlock, Sangria (all from Joann's Fabric)


The popping, bright-accent color on neutral. Always. Even when it's pink. It's especially striking without the striped shirt layered underneath; bring on the warm weather.


I'm still struggling with the right size for a good fit with room to grow. It appears for the near future I should probably do Size X wide by Size X+1 long. At least when I'm sewing from Ottobre. I also need to go back and review the seam-allowance addition advice for hems--should I add it or not. But what I really need is for the snow and sick days to stop now. It's been weeks (no! a full month!) since I've had time to sew any outfit bottoms.

You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my model preferring to wear washi tape on her belly button instead of the clothes I've sewn for her, to the ingenious way that I’ve re-purposed my favorite sewing tool, a chopstick, into a spool pin for double needle sewing on my machine. Daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress will give you that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.