Friday, May 16, 2008


I worked on fitting this Ottobre blouse yesterday and finally threw in the towel. Usually Ottobre patterns are drafted beautifully, but something is seriously wrong with this pattern. I wrote up a review for it on PR, here, as warning to others, and the details are in that review. But in a nutshell the problems are (1) darts are in the wrong place for larger sizes and (2) the division between front and back pieces is completely unbalanced.

Now that I'm looking again at the line drawing for the pattern pieces, I can see the problem with the front/back division, but the bust and front waist darts as printed on the pattern sheet are in reality positioned nothing like shown here. Instead, they are essentially in the armpit and do not even come close to the bust.

I tried to fix the Ottobre pattern. Three times. The Ottobre blouse is a very simple design and it should not take a lot of work to make it fit. Once I stepped away, it was obvious that it would be faster to just print a pattern from PMB and morph the collar and sleeve details I liked from the Ottobre design. So, that's what I did. And it was faster. A lot faster. And a much better fit.

Here's the progress so far. I've sewn the bust and shoulder darts and shoulder seams, and then I basted the sideseams to try it on. What a difference between this and my Ottobre muslin. What a lot of wasted time yesterday.


  1. It's a shame you aren't going to work teaching sewing/fitting drafting etc. classes some place. You would be wonderful.This blog is better than any fitting book I own at showing how to alter a pattern to fit problem areas. I would sign up for all your classes if I lived down there. mssewcrazy

  2. It's a shame that all that time didn't give good reults with the Ottobre version. But if you can't do it, I'm not even going to look at it - thanks for saving me a lot of headaches. :) And I agree with mssewcrazy - if you lived in the same country I would SO be coming for fitting lessons!

  3. The vintage blouse is one of the Ottobre patterns I was going to try. I've moved it to the very bottom of my list. I'm sorry you had so much trouble with it, but I glad you shared.

  4. Debbie I need some coverstitch machine info - if you don't mind. I'm considering purchasing and really want the Brother 2340CV but the Singer store wants $650 which ain't going to happen. I found a Janome 900CP at All Brands website for $250.00 which is quite a difference in price. I checked out your comparision chart on the machines, but really want your opinion as to if this is a good machine. I also read reviews on the Janome machine and they were good. If you would email me at with your information I'd really appreciate it. Thanks

  5. I'm so sorry you had to 'wad' that blouse! I know how frustrating that can be.

  6. pffssttttt........ You should have had a spew alert on that one. I don't see wadder often in your blog!! But at least you caught it in the muslin stage and knew when to cut losses. The "new" pattern looks great and I wish I could find a TNT *anything* that I could morph details on one. I guess to have a TNT pattern, first ya gotta T ? Right? Darn, they make everything in this life so darned hard......

  7. Me again!
    I just read another couple of comments that said Debbie should teach fitting. Here's my suggestion. Debbie thinks, sews, describes and illustrates so well, why not do an online class for PR?? I've learned far more from Debbies Blog on fitting, far more from Debbie's articles about the coverstitcher and the binders, far more about renovating a house and not losing your mind (well too much) etc. etc.
    Forget going out to work, just charge admission to your blog and sew all kinds of clothes and let us watch while you create (and pay for the seat in your virtual sewing class. Now can'ya teach me how to ballroom dance??


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