Saturday, October 26, 2013

Disappointed: Review of Ottobre "Forest Path" Pants, #19, 4/2012

Every now and then, I am disappointed by the fit of an Ottobre Design pattern.  Usually, the problem occurs in the waist or the rise.  For the longest time, I was altering patterns for my older daughter to make sure that they came to her waist--particularly leggings and panties--assuming that she was just long-waisted.  And that might have been part of it.  I don't know that I've made her pants in a while--she's now 8 and I have found that Wal-Mart jeans fit her, as do Gymboree pants (now sz. 9).  I did find that some Ottobre Design pant patterns fit her just fine, while others were low in the waist.

My younger girl--almost 6 years--is the hard one to fit now, with her little round tummy.  She's in kindergarten, and just fits the clothes that her sister wore at the *end* of kindergarten (right when we discovered that she could fit Gymboree).  But this year's Gymboree pant styles aren't fitting my 6 yo at all.  So I decided to try the Forest Path Pants from the Autumn 2012 Ottobre children's issue.  They didn't take long to get together, particularly since I omitted the front pockets.  The only other modification was to the waistband.  They are supposed to have a drawstring. I also had narrower elastic (by 1 cm) than what the pattern called for.  Even so, I think the pattern could have been drafted with 1-2 inches more in the rise.  Here are my results.

They look fairly cute, if a little plain without the front pocket.  I was using a fine-wale corduroy from my stash, and I just barely had enough fabric for the pants--hence the pink waistband.  It's probably obvious why my daughter thought they were "sleep pants"...  *sigh*

The pocket and yoke details are nice in the back (though hard to see with the print):

But here's one problem.  They really are lower than I would like.

And the back pockets are positioned more on her legs than her bottom!

So what was the problem here?

Well, looking back at the magazine, I fear that this is how they were drafted, in part because they are primarily designed for younger children.  She is at the top of the size range, the next-to-largest size--at a European size 122.  The pants start at 92--which is the size her sister wore at 2 years old, just to give an idea.  The pants are pictured in the magazine three times.  First, on a toddler (they are unisex, which made me think they would be higher in the front rather than lower...):

It is pretty clear in the picture above that the pants come to the top of a diaper, no higher.  The second picture shows a boy wearing the pants.  I notice that he has his legs spread wide in the picture that actually features the pants, and that his hands are in his pockets.  You can tell that the top of the pocket is right under the hem of his shirt, which means that his waistband is only about 3cm above that point.  Still lower than I would like.  *sigh*

And the little girl who made me decide to make these particular pants?:

Her hands are in her pocket awkwardly as well, and her legs apart.  The top of her pants (you can tell by the drawstring) are right under the elasticized bottom of her top, though it is clear that they are sagging a little when worn like this.

I have to conclude that the pants are simply low-waisted, which I would have noticed had I looked harder at the picture rather than the drawing.  

The other thing is that the girl is wearing a sz. 110, the older boy, a 115, and the baby a sz. 92 (though his height is 88 cm--so maybe it runs small??)  None of the models is 6 years old, making me think that it really is a more juvenile design.  The pocket placement on the smaller sizes appears much better than on the sz. 122.  Oh well.

In the meantime, it is wearable with a longish shirt.  She doesn't have a longish shirt, so we'll have to work on that.  But lesson learned--scrutinize the design as shown in the magazine.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Nancy Clancy Trench: Ottobre 3/2008, #40 "Birdwatcher" Linen Jacket

Every year my girls' school has a "book parade" at the end of October.  It's part of their "say no to drugs" week, which I'll excuse because the concept is so neat.  The kids and teachers dress up as book characters and then have a parade.  This is going to be the third year for my now-2nd grader, and though my youngest has seen the parade twice, she will be in it this year!

So while little sister will be the Cat in the Hat, wearing a hat and bowtie that I made for her last spring, big sister will be "Nancy Clancy," the detective incarnation of the Fancy Nancy character.  For her costume, I made a trench coat using Ottobre's "Birdwatcher" Linen Jacket pattern from the Summer 2008 issue.

I seem to be opting for more details and complexity these days, and while the prospect is always a little daunting, it pays off!  I cut out the pattern last weekend, and pretty much avoided doing anything with it until 6 P.M. this Saturday.  I worked on it for about 6 hours on Saturday, and then much of the day (excluding meals and Mass) until 9 P.M. on Sunday.  The only thing I modified was the length--which is longer--and the beltloops.  The pattern calls for 4, but instead I made two fat beltloops and placed one on each side seam.  I think I could have placed them a little higher, but it still looks good.  Here are the results, including the most intimidating feature of all--the sleeve. I think it's fancy enough for Nancy Clancy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Overly-Ambitious Treat Bags

So as of last night, the mustache/monacle and keyhole treatbags are officially done!  The birthday girl confessed to me that, although she does like the moustaches, she isn't crazy about the treat bags.  Maybe it's the monacle?  Some of them look a little cyclopic.  What surprised me most about these is how much string/binding//ribbon it took for the drawstrping backpack.  Almost 1.5 yards each!!  I was fortunate to have a friend give me some spools of ribbon that she had, and I managed to use some I had lying around and bought some from Wal-Mart (for $1 less per spool than the same stuff at JoAnn's!).  Otherwise, it might have been pricier than I expected!  I will have extras, too.  This one is my favorite:
And this one is the favorite of the birthday girl's little sister, who picked the colors herself!:

The birthday girl herself can't decide which one she wants.  She likes the pink on turquoise, but prefers the keyhole to the moustaches.  I might have to make one more... *sigh*

I had these in the back of my head, I think: