Pattern Magic Roundup

Marianna is holding a Pattern Magic Challenge, a sew along, for anyone interested in sewing anything from one of the three Pattern Magic books. I’ve made a few PM styles already, but there are several still on my to do list. Its going to be hard deciding which to do. The T shirt I made based on Loophole B in the Stretch Fabric book is a really useful, wearable idea.

This was one of the first I drafted, from the first Pattern Magic Book. It uses direct drafting – no blocks. I needed to change the size, and I changed the neck, which wasn’t comfortable on me. It became a staple for a while, once the draft is done, making it up is very quick. You have only one pattern piece which forms the back and front and both sleeves. In a stripe jersey, you got interesting effects. I made a couple of dresses too using the jersey top pattern and extending it, so it was a very versatile pattern. If you have never tried anything from the Pattern Magic books, this is a good one to start with. The drafting starts with a simple kimono shape in a half pattern. This is the stage where you need to enlarge it if the book pattern isn’t in your size. Then the pattern is flipped over for the other side, but dropped down 5 centimetres so as to make the twist in the final garment.  The front and back have the same draft and are joined together on one shoulder, the half sleeve of the other side being cut off and added to the other side. You can see from my sketch that the CF and CB end up at right angles to each other, that’s how you get something interesting going on with striped fabric.

I made a version of this one too, for one of my daughters, from the same book. Its one of three which uses gathering to pull fabric up round a hole creating a draping effect.  The sleeve draft, much simpler, is really useable too. I did another twist top and a couple of the bow bodices from this book as well.

Now I have a question about the more sculptural designs in the Pattern Magic books. Has anyone made these up to wear? I’m fascinated by pattern drafting, its a key reason I sew. But, much as I love to see extraordinary things done with fabric in the name of clothes on the catwalks, I still get to think that things like this are unresolved as garments, basically unwearable outside a fantasy movie. Even if I were small enough above the waist for it not to hang out like a tent, some humourist of my acquaintance would have dropped a nasty, probably live, surprise into in those pouches while I wasn’t looking – come to think of it, bits of lunch would end up there so the small rodent wouldn’t go hungry. The side of the dress would need an extra seat on the tube too. What do you think gentle readers? Have I failed miserably to see the possibilities?

I made some garments in this twelve day blogging hiatus, and took shamefully bad photos of them before rushing to the post.

A pencil skirt (not photographed) with a pleated godet insert, the hem of the godet turned up with a band of the red silk I made a cowl neck blouse in whilst in London.  A jacket with a cross over arrangement at the front, which folds back if worn open,  and a band of the silk where the cuff could turn back for a different look. You would think it would be a simple matter to get these bad thumbnails to sit in a reasonable area of this text, but, no, they go where they will, and resist all attempts at relocation; here’s another couple. The shift dress with a pleated asymmetric detail and band of velvet, getting in on the act as well. So, the jacket was a princess line with the middle panels ending in a point, and buttons on the sleeve, the dress has bust darts from the neck, waist shaping, a side zip. 



About jay

I design and draft patterns
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4 Responses to Pattern Magic Roundup

  1. sew2pro says:

    Oh dear, you’ve just made me add another project to my “must make” Pattern Magic list: the twisted top, in stripe as you suggest.

    I think many have reservations about Pattern Magic being unwearable. Sure, most of us sewistas like to dress a bit differently but we don’t necessarily want to make a statement at a 100 paces. My own objective in doing Pattern Magic is that I want it to demystify pattern drafting for me. I realise it’s not going to happen overnight but if I eventually become a little bit good at it, then I don’t mind occasionally wearing something structurally surprising.

    It’s all part of my big plan to grow old NOT wearing Per Una 😉


  2. Some patterns are purely conceptual I guess, not destined to be worn. I think they exist to show us what can bedone and broaden our horizons 🙂


  3. Pella says:

    Hmm maybe you’re right Lena, out of the box thinking.


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