Draft Along – Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics

I’m working through some of the pattern drafts in Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics. Anyone care to join me? Or look over my shoulder, while I have a stab at these?

I’m trying these initially in half scale, using the blocks in the book, but will also consider how they might be adapted to fit other figure types. I’m choosing to work in half scale because its quick to get a result, see how the draft works, and figure out some possible style adaptations.

Today, its Page 75. Tomoko Nakamichi has called it Sharp and Snappy B.

Image (sorry for the fuzzy quality, I didn’t want to squash my book spine), is taken from Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics by Tomoko Nakamichi, pub. Laurence King.

This draft uses only the front block. The blocks in this book are drafted to Japanese sizes, for many Westerners they may need adapting, certainly do for me! More about that later.

For going through the method, these half scales, provided at the back of the book along with full scales in three sizes, are very handy. You just need to remember to halve all the measurements given in the book. Its so easy to forget that part way through a draft.

This draft is one of the simpler ones. You start by drawing round the front block, reversing it, and drawing round it again, so you have both sides of the garment. You cut your hemline  measuring up 5 cms from the hipline. If you only use Imperial, that’s near as dammit 2 inches. You need to mark the waistline.

The measurements for lowering the neckline and the shoulder width are on the first of the book diagrams. 5 cms (2″), and make the shoulders 4 cms(1 5/8″)

The underarm point is dropped by 1cm (3/8″), also shown in the first diagram. There’s one slash line across the waistline, and measurements are given for the position of the second one, 10cms (4″) tapering to 2.5cms (1″) on the left.

These diagrams are very clear in the book. The instructions are brief.

Here, the block front is on the left, the first stage of the draft, showing the slashes, is on the right.

The next stage has you open the slashes, taking the first one out at 105° and then hinging the other one in the reverse direction at 55°. You’ll need a protractor, though I would like to bet you could play around with how much you open these to get different effects, and the measurements may not be so critical here. I’ve photographed my initial pattern split and arranged on the table as it will be placed to get the final pattern.

On another sheet of paper, you arrange the pieces, and then join the points you opened up with straight lines. The longer of these two lines has a rectangle drafted onto it, 18cms (7″) deep, and the shorter line has an isosceles triangle drafted onto it, with a height of 16cms (6 1/4″). See the rectangle bottom left, and the triangle poking up beside the bodice?

That’s all there is to the front pattern, and the back is obtained by reversing the front, changing the neckline and shoulder slightly. The neck has to be 5cms (2″) higher and the shoulders are moved out 1 cm (3/8″). Its a good idea to mark the hem at this stage –  where the original hemline ended up. Being eager to get to see how it would look, I didn’t bother to cut a back pattern for this half scale, just winged it chopping the neck a bit higher.

There are no sewing instructions, but what you now have is two more or less matching pieces to be seamed together, and as long as you haven’t forgotten which edge is the hem you can’t go wrong. Here’s how it looks on the dress form.

This is made in a medium weight jersey with a lot of stretch, no finish to neck and armholes yet, and not trimmed or pressed inside those points. I like the way the diagonal folds form, in this fabric the points don’t hold out sharply – and wouldn’t on full scale where this fabric would seem lighter. I took some other views to give you more of an idea of the garment in the round. Point looking less good from the side.

The back again has nice diagonals, but I feel the point falls between two stools – at least in this example. It doesn’t quite make it as a formal shape, which it looks like it could be from the front, and it doesn’t quite work as a scrunchy jersey shape. What do you think?

I tried pinning out the point on one side.That’s definitely a look I could go for. Neither one is exactly like the photo in the book though, which most likely has a lot to do with what fabric you use, and how you arrange the garment when its on. Tomoko Nakamichi’s looks softer, and as if the fabric has a little more body.

Next post – some ideas about adapting the style to different figure types, and probably playing around with those points.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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10 Responses to Draft Along – Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics

  1. prttynpnk says:

    Oh, oh! How cool is that ! I’m so impressed I’m reverting to teen-speak.


  2. Bela S says:

    This is great! I just got this book yesterday and was so impressed. You’ve really made this wearable particularly with the current peplum trend. I’ll be following your posts- thanks!


  3. Pella says:

    Ha! Well I could do with a teen body to wear some of these styles.


  4. Sweeeeet! Your version beats the book version by a good couple of light years (Metric) XD


  5. I much prefer the one point version and I’d wear it too. Isn’t knit interesting – you’d have to chose your fabric rather carefully to get the right crispness, if possible, on the point ….. Oh dear, I suspect I’m looking at another book purchase, to the despair of my project list.


    • Pella says:

      Yes, the fabric would be critical. I wonder if it would be possible to interface just the point? Or, other thought, draft a woven version?


      • Would a second row of stitching just inside the seam allowance on the inside do it? The interface would have to match the fabric else you will have issues, I guess? A woven version would be fab, crisp etc.


      • Pella says:

        The stitching inside would be worth a try. I’m leaning towards a woven for the crisper effect, though its going in the opposite direction to what the designer intended.


  6. sewstashsew says:

    Incredible – those books really are magic! Looks great!


  7. mrsmole says:

    I like your finished version better than the book one. Who cares if you have points and peaks instead of wrinkles? Fabrics change everything and your next version will probably have a life of its own. How fun that you had time to re-create this and share it with us…thanks for the morning jump-start!


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