Friday, December 21, 2007

BWOF & Ottobre

I received my first Ottobre Woman magazine. It arrived from SewZanne’s in less than one week. Nothing will ever replace BWOF for me – I’m a die-hard fan. But, I am looking for more pattern company options so I did a little "compare & contrast."
  • I decided to try Ottobre because I’d read most of their designs go up to size 52. Burda only has five or six plus size offerings per issue. The Fall/Winter Ottobre has 16 (out of 20) designs up to size 52.
  • Ottobre Woman is published only twice a year. A subscription to BWOF brings new patterns to my door every month!
  • I've compared the measurement charts to BWOF and Ottobre runs a little smaller than BWOF. The difference is 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch. But I'll be making a muslin when I make my first Ottobre garment to assess the how much difference the 1/2 to 3/8 inch makes.
  • Ottobre's pattern sheet is smaller and more manageable than BWOF’s and the paper is sturdier. Even though I’m familiar with BWOF’s pattern sheet, the Ottobre pattern sheet looks more intimidating. BWOF uses different lines, i.e. dashed or dotted, to differentiate sizes. No so with Ottobre. Sizes are marked at two or three places along the cutting line, though, so you can find you way back if you get lost.
  • Ottobre's directions are slightly more detailed than BWOF's directions. It seems as though they were translated by someone who understands English. However, measurements within the directions are given only in the metric system.
  • The models in Ottobre look like real women. Some are over 30 years old, under 6 feet tall and weigh more than 100 pounds. And, they are posed so you can actually see the clothes. BWOF seems to have forgotten how to do that.
  • The biggest difference is Ottobre’s designs. They are more classic and not as trendy and fashion-forward as BWOF. That won’t be a problem for me since I'm a classic woman. Furthermore, the simplicity of the designs will allow me to make design changes.
I'm looking forward to working on my first Ottobre pattern. Despite these minor differences between BWOF & Ottobre, but I don't expect to have any problem with the construction. If there are no major fit issues, Ottobre may become my second favorite pattern company. BWOF & Ottobre should compliment each other nicely in terms of building my wardrobe.


  1. Thanks for this great information. I've watched your successes with BWOF and while I haven't ventured there yet, but I will with your encouragement! Your observations here will make me seriously consider Ottobre as well.

  2. I'll be interested to see how your new Ottobre garment comes out - I've considered Ottobre and have heard good things.

  3. I have yet to try out Ottobre patterns and I'll be very interested in seeing your results!

  4. Your comparison info was very interesting. I can't wait to see your first garment!

  5. Can't wait to see your first muslin from an Ottobre pattern...I have only seen tees made from these patterns so I would be interested in seeing what else they have to offer. And I thought that BWOF was a fashion magazine and the patterns were a bonus! *wicked smile*

  6. Great comparison. I can't wait to see what you come up with and what you think of their processes. I had no idea about their sizing and how many "plus-sizes" are in each issues--a definite plus!

  7. I'm catching up again, and love your comparison. Much needed after hearing so much about this company.