An October tunic from Ottobre magazine

Ottobre magazine: New Bohéme Tunic by Ivy Arch

Next to the latest edition of Angling Times in my local newsagent, I saw a copy of Ottobre Design. It's a title I'd not heard of before – a Finnish sewing magazine with bold, contemporary fashions for women. It looked positively other-worldly up there on the top shelf next to the mundane publications either side, a cheerful middle-aged woman with short white blond hair and trendy geek specs wearing a bright yellow zip-up jacket on the glossy front cover. A quick flick through and it went straight into my shopping basket.

Ottobre Design Woman: Autumn/Winter 5/2014 

I love that Ottobre's models are healthy-looking women of all ages and sizes. There are so many designs in this issue I'd like to make: the Art Teacher linen dress; Sammalikko printed leggings, Clean Lines techno jersey dress; but I started with the New Bohéme jersey tunic, mostly because I already had some suitable fabric so could get going straight away.

New Bohéme Tunic, Ottobre Design Woman

When I turned to the pull-out pattern sheet in the back I realised it was not going to be such a quick make. 

Just follow the green line...

Confronted with an unfathomable mess of different coloured lines I did my best to follow and trace out the green line, while pausing to have a moan about it on Twitter. Angela came to my rescue for future pattern tracings directing me to Melissa Fehr's blog where she recommends using a tracing wheel with the pattern map placed on top of a piece of paper laid on a carpet or other soft surface so the tracing wheel has something to get its teeth into! This would've made the whole procedure easy-peasy and I'll be using this technique for future pattern tracings.

New Bohéme Tunic by Ivy Arch

I used a knitted woolly textured fabric bought from the fabric stall at Worthing's Wednesday market, it has plenty of ease for this design and I wanted to make something that would be warm to wear. Ottobre's sewing instructions are clear and easy to follow and the tunic came together very quickly. It looked great on my mannequin but when I tried it on I could only just squeeze my arms into it. It looked and felt awful on me. I realised I must have followed one of the wrong lines in tracing the sleeve, so I lopped off the too-tight arms and just had enough fabric left to cut some wider sleeves (though a bit short of the required length). I unpicked the side seams then sewed on the re-cut sleeves Cappuccino dress style. I'm still annoyed that I drafted them out wrong but the finished dress is very wearable. Sleeve error apart it's a good looking garment and armed with a tracing wheel I will definitely attempt a second (third, fourth?) outfit from this ace magazine. 

A dress for October, from Ottobre
New Bohéme tunic details