I’ve got the Pattern Magic books (all 3 of them) for a while and read the books from cover to cover a few times. Since I have an architectural background, I’m okay with understanding the pattern instructions and drafting the patterns. However, I couldn’t get my head around how the garments would be sewn and finished – time to seek help!
I joined the Patten Magic evening class at Morley College two weeks ago (they’ve got new class coming out for Autumn this year). At the class we drafted a basic block using the Bunka method and our body dimensions. All students practiced using the bamboo shoot top then moved onto other projects. I chose this A-line dress with a big bow under the bust.
Here’s the detailed photo and the description. The sample shown in the book was done on a half scale dress form.
And here’s my version:
I didn’t want to make a calico (muslin) mockup with this dress as there shouldn’t be much fitting issues. I used a very cheap cotton poplin with crosswise stretch to make a wearable mockup instead. The pattern itself was not difficult to draft but sewing around the curves at the bow extensions was tricky. The dress, when untied looks like this.
Then I tied a knot to form soft folds at the bust. The knot is tied under the bust.
Lastly, tie a good size bow. The photo in the Pattern Magic book seems to have equal length extensions to the bow but mine are uneven probably due to the way I tied it.
As the Pattern Magic book’s focus is on making the pattern rather than sewing, there are very little information on how to finish the dress. I had to be creative about finishing the seam allowance, neckline and armholes. The seam allowances were hand overcast so I can get to the very tricky curves behind the bow. The armholes and necklines were finished in single folded bias tape made with self fabric.
I’m quite pleased with the result. This dress’s materials cost me about £6, it’s officially the the cheapest garment I’ve ever made.
I’ve read the Pattern Magic books again and drafted some more patterns but there are still a lot of questions about sewing up. I would definitely consider joining the same class again in Autumn so I can learn to sew the design.
Next garment to make would be the flip turn dress featured in Pattern Magic 2!