Pattern Magic Knot Bow Dress

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!

Pattern Magic Book 1 – The design shown in the book is certainly inspiring

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.

Knot bow dress form Pattern Magic 1

Here’s the detailed photo and the description. The sample shown in the book was done on a half scale dress form.

Details of the knot bow dress from the book

And here’s my version:

My pattern magic knot bow dress

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.

Bow untied – Pardon the wrinkles as I tried tying the bow a few times

Then I tied a knot to form soft folds at the bust. The knot is tied under the bust.

A knot is tied to hold the soft folds in place

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.

The bow tied

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.

Single folded bias tape sewn to the neckline. The bias tape is still to be pressed and turned. I’ve left the selvedge in for the centre back seam so there’s no need to have a seam finish.

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.

Side view of the dress

The bow detail – The trick is to tie tightly to keep the shape in place.

The cheapest garment so far

Boffi and my knot bow dress

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!


20 thoughts on “Pattern Magic Knot Bow Dress

  1. Beautiful dress! I love that series of books, looking forward to seeing more from them by you :) I’ve seen a bow tied a different way that ends up with even length ties, they tie the knot first then they make a loop in one hand (like normal) but then make a loop with the other tie in the other hand and tie the loops together…it’s kind of hard to explain sorry :/

  2. Pingback: Pattern Magic Flip Turn Dress Preview | sosewlovely

  3. Wow, this dress looks so cute!! I do have this book myself and love all of the techniques. Your attempt is pretty good, I am impressed very much so! Congratulations on making this dress! If you ever need advice on sewing garments then drop by my blog and leave me a comment. I am a fashion grad with experience in pattern cutting and sewing to a high-end standard. I am also following your blog too.

  4. This dress is fabulous. it looks really tricky! and your blog is so cute. I just found it today and will defiantly be a regular visiter for now on. and your cat is so cute!!

    • Thank you for the interest! My cats (mostly Skyline) love to disrupt my sewing but they are far too cute to be ignored. I try to blog at least once a week. See you around!

  5. I’m so glad I found this blog! The clothes you make are beautiful. I’m working on this dress myself too, and I’m so impressed with yours, because I’m already stuck at making the pattern (-_-). It says to ‘cut and open out’ at places where I want to drape the bow fabric; what exactly is cutting and opening out? (I’m such a novice, I know) If you could help me out here, I will literally be eternally grateful

  6. Pingback: Burda 12/2012 Retro Dress Mockup | sosewlovely

  7. Pingback: Pattern Magic Loophole Top | sosewlovely

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