Pattern Magic Challenge

Calling all adventurous, experimental and courageous sewists! Oh, and anyone fascinated by Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic. Have any of you made stuff based on the ideas in the books? How did it go? If you haven’t, would you like to give it a try, with a bit of hand-holding in the form of a group sewing challenge?

The Inspiration

When I bought the first Pattern Magic book, I hoped that this much praised and beautifully produced tome would throw some light on the relationship between the two-dimensional pattern and the three dimensional body. To some extent, it did that, but mostly I was awestruck by image after image of possibilites in garment design.

Some achievable, as I’d like to think these lumps and bumps on a bodice might be.

A dress for Björk, perhaps? She used to be in the Sugarcubes, you know.

Then there was the outlandish. This design of the Otoshiana almost freaked me out, bringing back supressed memories of Ring, the only genuinely creepy horror film I’ve ever seen!

I can laugh about it now, but only because I showed the book to my pattern-cutting tutor and far from being frightened, she reassured me that the pit would make a handy holder for one’s lunchtime Lucozade.

Other designs, such as the elegant Bamboo Shoots bodice, made me wistful for the day when I’d be grown up enough to attempt this pattern-drafting feat.

And as I waited for that day, guess what?! Two more Pattern Magic books came out….

Now I was taunted by even more designs of blatant originality. Like the Knots.

Some with a twist on the sophisticated and classic.

Some familiar but, er, more confrontational.

And some plain bonkers, like the Stingray. What a glorious celebration of fish and hips!

The Challenge

If you too have had enough of looking at the pictures and feel ready to try out one of the ideas in the book, then I’d love you to join me. Your project can be as simple or as complex as suits you. The only requirement is that your creation is inspired by what you’ve seen in one of Tomoko Nakamichi’s books.

Maybe you have a teen with endless legs that can accommodate the Shar Pei-like folds of the Apple Peel leggings?

Or how about incorporating a detail from the books into one of your already tried’n’tested patterns. The Pocket Vanishes?

Or one of my favourites: a modern take on the leg of mutton sleeves.

You’ve got plenty of time to decide, maybe even to practice.

Here are details:

The Deadline

Email me your images by the end of Saturday 10 November GMT. Your message should include your name, a link to your blog or picture gallery, and maybe a picture of the Pattern Magic design that inspired you (and I’ll email back to confirm receipt).

If you wish, tell me:

Why you chose that particular design,

The fabric you used,

How much drafting experience you’ve had,

Any other tidbits of info you’d like to share.

The “Catwalk”

I’ll compile our creations into a review to be posted on Wednesday 14 November.

The Button

If you’d like to display the Pattern Magic Challenge button in your blog, copy the text in the box below and paste it into a text box of your widget area.

Pattern Magic Challenge


In the meantime…

Please leave a comment below if you’d like to take part so that we can keep in touch – or, if you’ve already had a go at Pattern Magic, let us know how it went. As my blog is relatively new, I’d be very grateful if you could forward the details of the challenge to Pattern Magic enthusiasts you may know, as well as pattern-drafting students and fans of clothes that get talked about. I’ve taken part in some very lively and creative group challenges this year and though I realise that a Pattern Magic challenge might be intimidating to some people, this needn’t be an overly ambitious project. Give it a go and you never know – you might just get a sensational Christmas party outfit out of it!

“No, no hoodies. Oh, I am sorry… I thought you were wearing a hoodie”.