Pattern Magic – Attempt 1

So, I mentioned in an earlier post that I was interested in having a look at Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic books. The ideas/projects in this book are so interesting! The project I was most most interested in was Musubu: Bow B, after seeing Very Prairie’s amazing green Bow B dress. Thanks to Diane lending me her copy of the English translation of “Pattern Magic”, I was able to give the Bow B top a go!

Now, for someone who has never had/used a block or drafted a pattern (or even traced a pattern for that matter!), this project was taking me WAY outside my comfort zone. But… what the hell! I’m all for trying new things!

Since I had never done anything with a block, ever… I used the pattern pieces from the one simple pattern I had recently used (and okay which had fit) – Colette Pattern’s ‘Sorbetto’ top. I followed the instructions/illustrations to redraft the pattern, and came up with this –

The angle of the tie (sticking out to the right) is not quite right (it doesn’t quite match the pictures)… but that’s just how it ended up. Hmmm… :-S But I went on.

I cut the pattern out of some light checkered fabric out of my stash. But I think the pattern will be better made out of a heavier fabric (linen next time, methinks), to help the piece better hold its shape. Then I sewed the top together.  I even made my own bias  binding to finish the raw edges of this ‘muslin’. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how else I could finish the edges – given I couldn’t get the fabric to fold around the curves. Anyone got any other thoughts on this?

So, here’s what I ended up with – 
It’s not all bad, right? Figuring out how to get the bow to sit right was one hell of a challenge though! But, here’s the problem I’ve got:

I feel like the pattern needs to be re-jigged slightly so that it doesn’t cut so low – as the picture shows… there’s a massive boob hole (hence the singlet underneath – got to keep it decent)! The bow/boob hole I’ve cut seems to be the right size according to the pattern – but it does seem a little ridiculous! I’m wondering now whether I could just cut the boob hole an inch higher without upsetting how the top sits. Hmmm… things to think about before I give this top my next attempt. I’ve got some white linen-blend which I want to use next time…

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6 thoughts on “Pattern Magic – Attempt 1

  1. Irene says:

    I like it (I didn´t notice the boob hole until you pointed out) but have you eaten with it? I have the feeling that it is not the right the shirt for a date in restaurant….I can see myself dipping the bow into the plate 🙂

    • sarahscustard says:

      Haha, this made me laugh! I haven’t tried eating in the top yet… but it actually is a good thing to think about! The white linen-blend version of this top that I put together last night will be worn for work… and, being white, would go particularly badly with soup/tomato pasta!

  2. kaitui_kiwi says:

    I think your magic top is super cute (and gingham?! Everyone loves gingham, even if it is a muslin), I really have to give these books a go myself, I have them in Japanese but I know a little bit and there seem to be lots of diagrams.

    • sarahscustard says:

      I was lucky enough to borrow an English language version of the first book from Dianne at the last meet. But, whilst it makes the patterns feel *much* less daunting, I didn’t actually find the instructions in the book to be very helpful at all – the pictures were generally enough to draft the new pattern. I also felt the book really is for advanced sewists – you have to know/determine the best techniques to use to construct the item – ie. constructing facings, attaching bias binding etc, because the book gives *zero* suggestions about how to do these things. As a result, I’m sure I may not have picked the best ways to do things in order to get the best results!

      Must remember to take some photos of the new top I’ve made from my slightly adjusted pattern… 🙂

  3. jacquie says:

    It’s amazing Sarah. Can’t wait to see the white one. I’m in awe – I’ve always like the looks of these books but they look a bit daunting.

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