I’m a sucker for Japanese pattern books – but I have to admit that Pattern Magic has always stumped me. They have sat on my shelves looking pretty and I get them out every now and again to drool on the pictures. And then I spotted this course at my local college! The course was called Creative Pattern Cutting but is based on the Pattern Magic book - the first one mainly but the techniques we went through are valid for all three books. It took place over two Saturdays in November and December of 2011, at Morley College, near Waterloo in South London.
I love this book - and have it in both Japanese and English. That said, I have not made anything out of the books as they just seemed a bit too complicated - yes, even in English. They are not like the other Japanese pattern books I use - there is not Burda-style pattern pull-out.
The course was very much based on creating your own patterns from the drafting instructions given in the book. Most of the time it was like a technical drawing class rather than a sewing class – but these outfits are what the fashion editors would call “architectural” so you have to concentrate on the patterns – the sewing is then the easy bit.
On the first of the Saturdays - we drafted out two of the patterns from the book.
Bamboo shoot front top
Stage 1 - the unaltered front bodice
Stage 2 - Adding the new cutting lines
My finished pattern
The Deppari Shirt
I'm afraid I was getting into this so much I forgot to take any photos as I was going along!
Day 2 course saw even more creativity from the Pattern Magic books.
I drafted the sleeve pattern – nothing weird and wacky on this but good basic pattern drafting practice.
This was followed by an attempt at the crossover front top – I’ve always loved this pattern in the book.
Here’s how it looks on paper halfway through the process – it’s a real leap of faith that it is going to turn into anything resembling clothes!
And here is it made up in muslin. I only did the front so it’s just pinned to my top – but I think you can definitely make out the beginnings of a wearable item.
I wholeheartedly recommend this class - it has really transformed the books for me. Previously, even though I had read through them several times, I just didn’t “get” it. Now I feel I have the confidence to attempt any of designs – no matter how complicated.
The instructor – Mons (Monisola Omotoso) was great. A wonderfully experienced designer and pattern cutter who has had her own lines selling to the likes of Paul Smith. She really got me to see the “science” of the drafting. She is running another weekend class in February 2012 at Morley College. If you live in London and have always wanted to attempt these books, I would say BOOK NOW!
My only small criticism would be the large class size (12) and the class ability range. We started the lesson going around the table and talking about our experience and I got nervous when a number of the people there were semi-professional. However, the reality was very different and I found some of the people on the course unbelievably slow - a pain when everyone needs to move ahead together. That said, the course is an amazing £48 for the two days including all our materials (although not the book of course!).