As you know, I’m devoted to my Japanese sewing books, but K is starting to outgrow the 130cm size which is usually the largest size offered. Luckily, I happened to be organizing all of my sewing books and patterns and discovered that I’d purchased quite a few Ottobre issues back when I’d first caught the DIY bug. Look, the sizing goes up to 170cm!
I decided to try the simple Marja knit tunic in 134cm from the Spring 2009 issue. This was my first experience with Ottobre patterns, and I have mixed feelings. Ottobre Design hails from Finland and it’s a mystery why the magazine name is in Italian (it means October). At any rate, branching out to this Scandinavian publication confirmed a few things about myself.
First of all, I am an entirely visual learner when it comes to sewing. The instructions were sparse for this pattern and there were no illustrations or photos accompanying the constructions steps. None!! After reading through the instructions twice, I gave up trying to process the words and sewed it the way I normally would. It’s a good thing I’ve made dozens of tops like this and it’s no wonder that I love Japanese sewing books with their superb illustrations. I’ve always known that I’m a visual learner, but I didn’t know how utterly dependent I am on images to follow instructions.
Second, I used to be convinced that my perfectionism was unparalleled, but this top proves that I’ve become much more laissez faire. Or maybe just plain lazy. I initially missed cutting out the front bottom piece and seeing as to how I only had 3/4 yard of this lovely 95% cotton/5% spandex knit, I had to do away with the gathering and reduce the width of the bottom pieces to squeeze out the needed piece. I actually shrugged to myself and muttered, “oh well.” Believe me, a few years ago I would have scrapped the whole project at this point.
This top would have been much cuter with the gathers, but you know what? K likes it a bunch. I realize that her smiles up there look more like sneers, but she was actually singing the whole time I was snapping away with my camera, and singing always means thumb’s up.
Related to the easing of my perfectionism, but not exactly the same thing: I’ve relinquished all control of trying to style K’s outfits. That purple tiered skirt and the animal print headband would not have been my first choice (I had visions of pairing the tunic with grey leggings and a cute neutral scarf), but hey, the combo makes her dance — another good sign. She happily wore the top for the day and now it’s in the black hole we call the laundry basket. Who knows when we’ll see it again.
M tells me I’m uptight (in a way that’s not annoying, he adds. What??), but I beg to differ and feel that I’m practically Rastafarian these days. Case in point: I haven’t even bothered to make her a first day of school outfit mainly because I have no idea when the first day of school is. It was supposed to be today, but negotiations for salary increases and other amenities are underway and teachers are on the brink of going on strike as of this writing. Maybe when this post goes up, it’ll be resolved. I hope so.
Alright, the cafe where I’m typing this is closing so it’s a wrap. I leave you with this image — don’t the pocket edges look like closed eyes? I suppose this tunic would also make an excellent pajama top…