Black Fog

My current sewing project selection process is to simply sew whatever seems interesting to me at the moment. I’ve given up on making sewing plans since I never stick to them. I think when I’m in the process of planning, I tend to be very practical, privileging whatever projects I would most benefit from having in my (very lean) closet. But then when it comes time to actually sew, I find myself completely bored by the practical. The other thing that kills my plans is that my style is changing a bit. When I’m making plans, I end up talking myself out of some of the different cuts and style lines that I find myself drawn to right now and instead come up with lists of projects that reflect the kinds of things that I’ve been safely wearing for years but am now bored with.

ottobre 02-2016

Anyway. When I got the newest issue of Ottobre Woman, I was a little put off because it was pretty much full of things that I cannot ever imagine wearing. Skirts and dresses are always a hard pass for me, but I also hate jumpsuits, anything with a peplum, and especially any kind of cold-shoulder shirt. There are a couple of basic designs in this issue that I might make at some point if I come across the right fabric, but the only thing that immediately jumped out at me was design #5—the Fog Jersey Blouse.

Ottobre Woman 02/2016 Fog Jersey Blouse

This shirt is an A-line tee with a shaped hemline that is basically cropped length at the front. It also has invisible zippers at the side seams, so you can open the side seams up for a deep split. I’m not really sure what drew me to this design, except that I liked the way it hung with the zippers open and that it seemed to strike a nice balance of minimalist with a bit of interest. Regardless, it was what I was interested in sewing, so I didn’t think too hard about the practicality of zippers at the side seams or the fact that I would probably never try on a shirt like this in the store or about whether the neckline was deep enough to be “flattering” for me. I just traced the pattern off and sewed it up in some black cotton jersey I had on hand.


As far as sizing goes, I traced a size 46 for the shoulders and blended out to a 48 under the arm. The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to shorten the sleeves by 2” to get a true ¾ sleeve length. The magazine describes the sleeves as “cropped,” which I think means that they are sort of bracelet length? It’s hard to tell because the sleeves are pushed up on the model.


Neckline detail, complete with all the fuzzies black fabric inevitably attracts


Invisible zipper, partially undone

The neckline is faced with a strip of binding, which results in a nice, clean look. (And it turns out that I really like the shape of the neckline, even if it is higher than I normally wear.) Constructing most of the shirt was a no-brainer. The most time-consuming step was, of course, installing the zippers at the side. I’ve never actually sewn an invisible zipper before. It turns out that what everyone says is true—if you have an invisible zipper foot, it pretty much does all of the work for you. When the zippers are done up, they are actually invisible (although there is some reinforcing stitching at the tops of the zippers, per the pattern instructions, so that definitely makes them less invisible). Of course, I intend to wear the shirt with the zippers open, so no one will really appreciate my work, but that doesn’t make me any less pleased with the outcome on my first two invisible zips.


This is how the shirt hangs when the sides are zipped up

The shirt is fairly short at the front—all the shorter on me than on the model in the magazine because I didn’t do an FBA to add any length for the bust. But I always planned to wear a tank top or something underneath this, so it’s not a big problem. This isn’t the kind of pattern that I see myself making over and over again, but I do like the shape of it, and I’m glad I gave it a try. Plus, now I can mark “invisible zipper” off my sewing-skills-to-learn list!

Ottobre Woman 02/2016 Fog Jersey Blouse


7 thoughts on “Black Fog

  1. INVISIBLE ZIPPER! And not one, but TWO! Rock on! Also, please explain to me how people who make/wear #8 manage to use the bathroom throughout the day. I find this garment thoroughly bizarre and a bit infantilizing. Yet I understand the appeal of an entire outfit in one garment since dressing decisions would be a snap (and great for packing light for travel). Anyway, the idea of basically completely undressing in a public bathroom is not appealing to me AT ALL.

    • I really don’t know. I, too, can understand the appeal. I have to come up with a non-dress wedding-appropriate outfit for October, which is already stressing me out, and briefly considered a jumpsuit as an option. But, like you, the idea of basically having to undress to go to the bathroom is enough to turn me off the plan. Plus, there are so many factors that it seems like they would be difficult to fit well and I have a hard time not seeing a jumpsuit/romper as toddler clothing.

      I actually came across another jumpsuit pattern that I kind of liked the look of, but it has a zipper at the side instead of the back. I don’t think I’m capable of the acrobatics it would require to get in and out of it. It’s here, about half way down the page, if you’re curious:

      • I guess you’re just going to have to learn how to sew in a catheter or a Stadium Pal (TM)… Or…since you’ve mastered invisible zippers, put a few zippers in all over! Zipper away!

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  3. I LOVE this. I didn’t even look twice at this in the magazine but it looks incredible on you. I love it both zipped and unzipped, which surprised me because usually I find things like this are gimmicky and only look good one way.

    I felt similarly about this issue. I only am interested in one pattern – the cut on sleeve #13. But I have often thought there was nothing for me in an Ottobre and then later ended up loving one pattern or another. I suppose that’s the benefit of them having good basics – there’s often something as a good base ot mod or hack. And I do think they are a bit ahead of the trend curve, while still being solidly wearable. So while I don’t buy into trends too often it will affect what kinds of things I feel comfortable wearing out of the house, and there’s often something in there that is a hidden gem, which is why I keep getting the magazine even though I’m often initially disappointed when I get it.

    I am so impressed by your zippers, too! I have put quite a few in but I’m not sure how I’d go doing it in a knit! Although perhaps it’s one of those things that seems hard but is fine if you just are careful and go slow (my two biggest failings! :P)

  4. Hello from Germany!
    I like your ‘fog’top a lot! I think it suits you really terrific and you put in the zippers that neat! Well done!
    Yours B

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