Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yo Mama Is So Cheap…

Sorry, I seem to be on a late-80’s Yo Mama kick lately.  Must be midlife nostalgia of some sort (although why Yo Mama jokes would make me feel nostalgic, I have no idea).

So this weekend I rushed rushed rushed (always a bad idea) and made up this little jacket for TLo.  The idea was for her to get to wear it for Thanksgiving dinner, but of course I just finished it tonight.  This is, basically, the story of our  lives.

I used Ottobre 4-2008 #4 “Hiippa” jacket.  Actually, this jacket pattern is shown two ways in the magazine and I sort of cherry-picked from both versions.  The second was 4-2008 #7 “Venny” jacket.

4-2008-4 4-2008-7


Now, the observant amongst you might be saying to yourselves, “Those models looks suspiciously like babies”.  You would, in fact, be right.  They are babies.   This pattern was sized 62 cm – 92 cm.  TLo wears at bare minimum a 110 cm.  She’s better in a 114-116 cm for width.   But this is the pattern that I was dead convinced would be the only one in my voluminous collection of patterns that would work with my fabric.  What to do, what to do? 

(sigh)  Grade it up.

I have to do a lot of size alterations on my own clothes but I’ve never done anything this extensive for the kids.  Still, unwilling to put aside my dogged pattern convictions, I didn’t have much other choice.

In a nutshell, I used the “how to upsize a pattern that is ludicrously below your own pattern size” instructions from Barbara Deckert in her lovely book Sewing for Plus Sizes: Design, Fit, and Construction for Ample Apparel.   (I’ve never actually needed to try this technique before since, although I definitely do wear a “plus” size,  I only need a size 14 at the upper chest measurement so I have ample pattern choices to alter from.  Her technique is really geared for altering beyond the standard pattern size ranges, which made it perfect for this project.)  Here’s the result on the front bodice pattern.  


The concept is to slice-and-dice the pattern into a sort of grid and spread apart the pieces by however much extra you need.  In this case I theorized that I needed about 4” in width and 2” in length across the entire garment.  I based this theory on subtracting the differences in body measurements between a size 92 and a size 110 (based on the size chart in the magazine) and adding a little more for ease.   

Essentially, all the other pattern pieces had the same frankenpattern chic going for them when I was done.  You don’t even want to know what grisly remains were left of the sleeve pattern.  I had to retrace that one completely once it was altered.

It took me a crazy-long time to get the pattern all sorted out.  Then I finally was able to cut out the fabric and sew it up, which took relatively little time at all.  I didn’t finish the inside very nicely, but since this is made from Christmas fabric and can only be worn for the next  30 days, I didn’t figure it really mattered.

And speaking of the fabric: “Yo mama is so cheap…  that she made two whole sweaters out of a minky sofa throw that she got at WalMart for $7.50.”   Here’s the first one.

Ottobre-4-2008-4-finished Ottobre-4-2008-4-finished-2

Not brilliant pictures.  TLo isn’t feeling so great and in the end my upsizing theory wasn’t spot-on.  I needed to add more than 4” to the width in the chest and this one just fits.  But it’s too bad we don’t have Feel-O-Vision, because that minky fleece fabric is To. Die. For. Soft.


  1. TLo looks cute as a button in her new outfit! And look at that toothy grin too, she is adorable. In ten years she will be embarassed, in twenty and beyond her heart will warm when she sees it.
    Wow, that was courageous/determined of you to grade up a baby pattern. I have that book and the grading up section is fantastic. What a trooper you are to apply it to a kid's pattern. Wow!

  2. Way cute!! Nice work grading that pattern. I've only done it once and the results weren't particularly good. You're on it!

  3. I have given you a blog award. Come by my blog ( to see it!

  4. What a really cute jacket. It looks like it fits well. I hope your little one feels better soon.

  5. I now have a total of three Ottobres, and have yet to use a single pattern! Gotta get moving for Christmas!


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