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Pattern Magic Paperback – October 6, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Laurence King Publishing (October 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856697053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856697057
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After serving many years as a professor at Bunka Fashion College, Ms. Nakamichi currently delivers lectures and holds courses on fashion design, both in Japan and overseas. This book brings together the results of the research on garment patterns she has carried out to help instruct her students.

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Customer Reviews

This book has some great ideas and very clear, detailed instructions.
Teresa A. Dennison
I think Pattern Magic is a great book for serious designers & sewing people who already have some pattern drafting and sewing experience.
Ramona
It has been a long time since I have found a pattern making book that I have found as exciting as this book.
Donald McCunn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 195 people found the following review helpful By Donald McCunn on October 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been a long time since I have found a pattern making book that I have found as exciting as this book.

Once you get beyond the basics of creating patterns that fit, commonly called slopers, what do you do with them? Most designs I see on the street, in catalogs, and in the stores are so easy to execute that the design process is not challenging at all.

But there are a few designs that have me scratching my head thinking "How did they do that?" I have taken to calling them "Pattern Puzzles." This book is full of these designs. Each one is uniquely different but beautifully illustrated and explained in anywhere from one to three page spreads. Tomoko never takes more than three pages of illustrations to show how to make even the most complex and unusual design from a fitted sloper.

I am pleased to see her using the front bodice sloper for women that I now use in my online patternmaking classes. It has one dart for the bust to the waist and one to the armscye (arm hole). In my experience this configuration for the darts provides the optimum way of achieving an accurate custom fit. I also believe it is the best sloper for visualizing how to create the lines of original designs so you can convert from a two dimensional form to a three dimensional one.

She uses a technique for evaluating pattern shapes that I have found invaluable in my teaching which is to prototype design ideas in paper so you can assemble the shape before you even touch needle and thread.

Tomoko also shares another passion of mine for developing design ideas using dress forms in scale. All the photos in this book are of the designs on a half scale manikin.

Caveat #1: These designs are unusual. If you are looking for the conventional, this is not for you.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By SSB on March 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am not sure why I bought this book since I do not sew anymore (arthritis) and I do not particularly like to look at or to wear modern Japanese clothing. The cover caught my eye, I guess. I have always been curious about the structure of some of the more complicated Japanese designs. This is an amazing book. The clothing is amazing, if largely unwearable, but could be the springboard for your own interesting designs. Many of the ideas could be adapted to Western clothing.

Even though I have 60 years sewing experience and a tech degree in pattern design, I don't think that I could readily draft or adapt any of the patterns, not to mention making most of them. While there is ample information about drafting the pattern, there is no instruction about sewing the garment, appropriate understructure, interfacing etc. The notation on the patterns is a little different that what I was taught so I found it a little confusing. One generally needs to sew a complicated garment in a specific sequence that is not given in the book. If one is going to make the dress on page 55, for example, out of a "soft woolen georgette", one is going to need to underline and interline. That is not mentioned. I suppose a seasoned pro would know. Have plenty of muslin on hand if you try these garments.

The book is not for beginners. If you are very experienced with pattern drafting and sewing, go for it. If you are not, buy the book and admire the skill and ingenuity that has gone into drafting these patterns and making these garments. I would call this a sewing equivalent of a beautiful coffee table book, hardly practical but very interesting and, perhaps, inspirational. Four stars for the inspiration. While I know that pattern books rarely mention these things, I subtracted a star for the lack of information regarding structure and construction since these designs are so very complex.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Costume Designer on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant book. You must know how to sew and have some experience to truly take advantage of this book. If you are into patterning you will love it because it takes you in an incredibly creative and unusual direction. I thought I knew how to move darts and then I read this book!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Williams on October 31, 2010
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Love this book! This is great for anyone who loves patternmaking. The methods described here are definitely worth a try. As someone who learned patternmaking years ago, the approach is quite fresh and different from methods learned in the U.S. Very interesting take on how far one can go w/ making garments. I highly recommend this.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you've fitted your own bodice, or are even far beyond slopers, you'll find the excellent diagrams in this Japanese book rich and thought provoking. No, I don't plan to wear square blocks above my bust but the conception leads to other ideas. For example, another page's palm-leaf (style) bodice plaiting prompted my own idea toward a front plaited evening coat, now easily conceived understanding the concept diagrams. Like Colette Wolff's "Art of Manipulating Fabric", Tomoko Nakarnichi's "Pattern Magic" (and "More Pattern Magic") are a wonderful additions to one's pattern design library. Great fun and full of unexpected ideas to prompt yours.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Kiffe on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tend to be very conservative in what I wear, and while I found some of the garments *beyond* hideous, it was the techniques that were important, as once you learn the technique, you can do whatever you please. I was thrilled to see this available in English; I have collected Japanese-language craft books for decades, since I discovered these astonishing creations while living there. The books were so carefully and beautifully done that you could use them to make wonderful things even if you could not read a word. Crafts there are about care, not mass production, and the books are delights to behold. No matter what you are creating, that attention to detail is what makes it something you use and treasure the rest of your life.

The section on adding a built-in bow to the bodice was worth the money of the book alone, and the beautiful bodice with alternating folds up the front, somewhat like a wheat stalk, was lovely. Note that this was not just some fancy cutting and stitching, for which fit is sacrificed; the darts were simply rotated and incorporated into the design.

And not all of the techniques must start with a sloper; some can simply be incorporated as modifications to an existing pattern of the appropriate type that fits well.

Flat-pattern drafting is well within the reach of anyone who understands the basics of sewing very well, such as the effects of grainline changes for different types of fabrics and the importance of darts (as well as how different types of darts are used to control fullness).

All in all, this is a wonderful addition to a field in which there are not enough books, largely due to unwarranted fear on the part of many who sew.
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