My projects,  Patternreview,  Sewing

Ottobre design woman 2/2018 10. Norma blouse

The newest Ottobre design woman magazine was full of vintage inspired patterns. This suits me perfectly since the arrival of the spring has filled me with vintage feels. I don’t know why. Perhaps, because it is no longer cold to wear a skirt or a short sleeved blouse (at least indoors!). As long as the snow persists on the ground I have plenty of time to create my spring wardrobe. The first pattern that I wanted to try was 10. Norma blouse.

Ottobre design woman 2/2018 10. Norma blouse.

This pattern is 1940s inspired blouse with short sleeves, notched collar and nice gathers at the front shoulders. The front and back darts make sure that the blouse hugs the curves without being too tight.

Ottobre design 2/2018 10. Norma blouse diagram.

Sizing and modifications

The sizes for this pattern range from European 34 to 52. My mother already made her version and that looked good on her. Unlike her, I haven’t tried Ottobre woman patterns before so I was more worried about the fit. My measurements were between the sizes 36 and 38. Since the pattern didn’t appear too tight and because my shoulders are narrow I went with the size 36.

I discussed the sleeves with my mother and we both thought that the blouse would look better with slightly shorter sleeves. (My mother was thinking of shortening her sleeves, too.) After trying the blouse on, I chopped about 8 cm off the sleeves.

I am fond of Peter Pan collars and other similar collars so in a whim I rounded the collar patterns. I think it adds a bit of girlyness to the blouse that I like.

The only other change I made was that I made double back yoke and hid the seam allowances inside of it, which is my usual way of doing blouses with back yokes.


This pattern needs somewhere between 105 and 145 cm of cotton shirting fabric (140 cm wide). So even with bigger sizes this is not an expensive project to make.

This pattern has been designed for cotton but it might looks nice also on softer fabrics like viscose/rayon crepe. I found this blue and white cotton seersucker fabric in the remnants section of Eurokangas and went with it. The buttons are recycled buttons that I found in the local recycling center Kierrätyskeskus. They have a nice star shaped design that I like a lot.

Sewing the Norma blouse

I sewed most of the blouse live on Facebook, so check it out on my FB page if you are interested. The video is in Finnish. I was hoping to be able to finish the blouse before the kids came back home from school but was a bit too optimistic. So I had to cut the video off before I was able to sew the collar on.

Anyway, I think that this blouse is a bit easier than a classic button up, since the collar comes in just two pieces and because the short sleeves don’t have vents or cuffs. Even the buttoning placket is the easiest possible one with a facing, so you don’t have to measure the folds accurately. I did stumble a bit especially at the beginning but finally think that it was just my absentmindedness. The instructions for this pattern were clear and I for once did read most of them. This is not a beginner pattern but suits well for anyone with a little sewing experience.

The resulting Norma blouse

I really like this blouse. I am not sure whether I should have used the size 38 below my shoulder area since the buttons are pulling a bit in some pictures. It depends how I stand and how my posture is.

Ottobre design woman 2/2018 10. Norma blouse finished.

I think that the shortened sleeves look much better than the original ones. I like the original width, though. I was a bit afraid that the sleeves might be too wide, but these are nice and balanced.

The shortened sleeves of the Norma blouse.

From the back the Norma blouse looks like this. The darts give the back a little shape but there is still enough ease for the blouse to be comfortable. This is important since my fabric doesn’t have any stretch to it.

The Ottobre design woman 2/2018 10. Norma blouse from the back.


I can warmly recommend the Norma blouse pattern for everyone with a bit sewing experience behind them. I will probably use this pattern several times. Furthermore, now that I managed to get a fit this good I think I will start eyeing the Ottobre design woman magazine more to find more nice patterns.

My finished Ottobre design Norma blouse.

I thank you for visitin my blog and I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy sewing!





I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.


  • irisarctica

    Thanks for your detailed review! Your blouse looks lovely and I can see this pattern working in many different fabrics. Being quite fond of vintage styles myself, I bought this Ottobre issue too and hope to make this blouse soon. It will be my first time working with Ottobre Woman and I was wondering if the sizing is very different from Burdastyle’s?

    • kk

      Well, I have a lot of trouble with Burdastyle patterns. They just don’t fit me. I think that my shoulders are a bit too narrow or something. I think that at least this Ottobre pattern was quite true to size and quite close to the RTW sizing, perhaps slightly smaller. If I were you, I’d lay a trusted pattern on top of this one and see how the sizes differ. Just note that (at least in the Finnish magazine) the seam allowances aren’t included!

  • irisarctica

    Thanks for your quick response! Comparing it with a trusted pattern sounds like a good idea. The size charts in Burdastyle and Ottobre both indicate that I should pick a size a couple of sizes larger than my RTW size, but with Burdastyle I usually take my RTW size as a starting point and then make some adjustments. In my case, the shoulders/back/sleeves in Burdastyle patterns usually fit fine, but I sometimes have a hard time adjusting the bust and waist. I guess we all have our fitting challenges and I am very curious to find out how Ottobre fits me!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.