Unlocking the Secrets of Pattern Magic

Liz H. was intrigued by Tomoko Nakamichi’s book, Pattern Magic, which inspired a cult following here in the US long before the English translation was published. She decided to replicate the book’s Bamboo Shoot bodice to incorporate into a dress. She accomplished her objective, noting along the way that the instructions in the book are less than comprehensive. Liz demonstrated the steps she used at a recent Sew Chicago meeting and modeled her dress in the ASG Chicago fashion show.

Here are some of the steps Liz demonstrated:

Liz began with a pattern that had a bust dart and a waistline seam, both essential for this design. After fitting the pattern, she made a full front bodice pattern on tracing paper, removed the seam allowances and cut out the bust dart wedge to the apex (not the dart point).

After drawing a center front line, Liz drew the desired “bamboo shoot” lines.

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The dart wedge is then closed (dart rotation 101) and the lines spread apart – the farther apart they are spread, the more dramatic the effect.

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Here is what the pattern looks like when it is taped back together.

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And here is the final product. Beautiful.

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