But no pictures yet.
Someone reminded me about Ottobre, which is a pattern magazine out of Finland. They have children's sizes up to 170, and even a women's magazine each year. There is a way to subscribe in the states, but it's easier to use their website to browse through issues of their magazines, and find one that has things you might want to make. Then, Sewzanne's and a few other online retailers have back issues of the magazine.
There are good things about Ottobre. They tend to be fashion conscious, especially in the larger sizes. There are always different ideas for embellishments which could be applied in many sewing projects. The patterns do not have seam allowances, which actually makes it easier to cut up pattern pieces for adding flare or to do alterations.
There are problems with Ottobre. Their patterns make more sense when you are already fairly experienced at sewing. The instructions are slim, and there are pertinent details scattered through the pattern sheets and project section of the magazine. Being fashion conscious means they have many patterns for knit fabrics, which are relatively hard to come by in good quality prints or colors. (I think in Finland, and maybe elsewhere, they have stores where you can buy their specific fabrics.) The patterns are very cleverly included on the sheets that have MANY patterns, each in a different color, on a single side of the paper. This means you MUST trace the patterns in order to use them.
All of the "bad" things are also part of what make these magazines so great. I'm not sure of a better way to include all they include in a single magazine. And the patterns really do turn out pretty well, especially if you have some sense regarding nice ways to finish a garment. Though I had forgotten the size range, I did use these magazines a few years back with pretty good success and quite limited sewing experience. I would say the patterns and instructions are still much better than any Simplicity pattern I've had the misfortune to use.
They also end up being a learning opportunity for me. For example, I made Phaedra a lined skirt. It was the first lined thing I've made. It's fitted, so I also altered the pattern successfully with the help of this book, which by the way is pretty darned awesome for information. Another thing I learned is that the weight of the fabrics is terrifically important. The pattern was for a heavy satin, and I used corduroy. The skirt doesn't hang quite right; if I had just done the pleats slightly differently, it would look fine. It's my opinion that the thin instructions free one up to experiment this way; I just happen to have trouble experimenting in the middle of a project.
So, back I go to the shirt I'm making to go with the skirt. The shirt is from this book, which I have had trouble with in the past. However, my new skill with alterations should make a success. I also did a step I've never done before; I made a mock up of the bodice out of an old sheet to be sure the shirt will fit. This step is totally worth it! Pictures to come...