Review – Pattern Magic

So far I have been posting about the clothes I have been making but now I want to pay homage to the pattern cutting book that taught me all I know: Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi.


This book is invaluable to anyone who wants to move on from basic pattern cutting to creating really modern garments that are sure to stand out!

The reviews on Amazon praise this book but most caution against using it if you are not already a competent pattern cutter. I will admit that some things are not included (eg. instructions on how to draw a basic sleeve block) but these things can be found from a simple internet search so I would say this book is suitable for anyone happy with using shop bought patterns!

There are several projects in the book. Some are very complete (like the lovely “hide and seek” dress on page 77) and some are just suggestions of projects (like the bamboo shoot bodice). When I first got this book I spent hours and hours just looking through. It is so inspiring. The English translation is very well done and understandable even with the more technical instructions and the use of diagrams and pictures guides the reader gently through all the necessary steps whilst allowing room to add flare!

The book is separated into two sections although I can’t really see what distinction there is between them: both contain a mixture of techniques and projects. My favourite parts of the book are those dealing with the sculptural aspects of more stiff fabric such as the “drop hole” technique which I used in my Vortex – N -skirt.

If you are starting out you can easily follow the patterns in the book before moving on to designing your own things that are sure to turn heads! I can’t wait to get the rest of these books in this series but I have by no means exhausted all the possibilities I have in mind for the techniques I have learned so far.


241 skirt – completion

Martia and Venetia slept in shifts. This meant the mind was always active although the body still needed to rest. They hid out in abandoned warehouses down by the east river waiting for the moment they could slip onto a cargo hauler that would take them away. Away to one of the libertarian states where pluralism was encouraged.


The 241 skirt is finally complete! I overlayed the blue long skirt onto the red skirt I described in the last post:

I added a cotton webbing belt, fastened with a quick fasten luggage style clasp.


I made this skirt a size 6 UK and I must say it was a squeeze getting it on to model!

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This skirt will soon be up for sale in my Etsy shop:

I really loved the asymmetric style of this skirt and I already have an idea to use it again…. watch this space …

241 skirt – continued

It had been a tough decision for Martia to make: let Venetia die or condemn both of them to a life on the run. The first days after the procedure had been a haze as the two consciousnesses had begun claiming parts of the brain. Every time Venetia advanced through the neo-cortex Martia was pushed backwards. Her body felt drunk.


This past week I have been taken away from my sewing/designing as I had a workshop to attend in my other life as a Solar Physicist. This means I have not been able to complete this skirt so far but here is a nice little progress report to let you know how things are going!

The skirt is made up of two pieces: the underskirt that goes all the way round and is short (I chose a red pure cotton fabric for this) and the overksirt that is only half a skirt and is long (I chose a navy blue pure cotton fabric).

So far I have only made the red underskirt:

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I fitted a red zipper into the side seam and top-stitched round the waist.

It was such a lovely day up in Scotland today I couldn’t help but sit out in the garden to hand stitch the hem….. If only there was a way of using the sewing machine outside as well!

sewing on a sunny afternoon

241 skirt – design stage

It wasn’t safe after dark this side of town. They reached for the Sierpinski knife in their thigh holster, their impulses collided as they rushed down the spinal cord simultaneously.

Martia allowed herself to rest as her sister’s consciousness took over the body, her body.  Pluralism was against the law but her sister had been dying. Sharing wouldn’t even be so bad if they weren’t on the run…..


I always love the idea of contrasting parts of the same garment. Just like Martia’s body is shared between two, this skirt is split into two sides one long and one short. Here is my sketch:

241 skirt sketch

I have cut the pattern pieces and ordered the fabric, I intend to make it out of navy blue and red cotton fabric. I can’t wait to start work!

Bio-hacker top completion

Xyla was alone in her botany lab. The room was cluttered with her plant specimens and the climate control made the air hot and humid. For the past three years she had been working to build a biological computer. Two months ago she succeeded. The only problem… it was growing.

She took the vial from her pocket, it glowed in the UV light from the lamps overhead. She wandered deeper into the lab past creeping tendrils spreading out. Deeper and deeper until her way became blocked by the thick foliage. At the edges of her consciousness she could feel the computer reaching out to her… it shouldn’t be able to do that.


So, now the top is completed:


The fabric I chose was a charcoal grey stretch viscose blend. The holes are gathered so they required a lot of extra fabric. Here is the top inside out before the elastic was put in:


I left the seams to roll themselves so as to not stretch the fabric with overlocking. The pattern made up really quickly and looks better than I could have hoped.

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This will soon be up for sale at my etsy shop

Bio-hacker top – design stage

In the years following the Plague Wars, most people fear invasive technology, but among the new generation too young to remember, there are those that flaunt their cybernetic symbionts.

Freelance bio-hacker, Xyla, rubs her fingers against the vial in her pocket. She hopes it was worth the credits…


The idea of implants on the skin (much like 7 of 9 has in Star Trek Voyager) gave me the idea to make a top with cut out holes. Here is my sketch:


The gathers around the holes focus the eye onto the exposed skin.

I intend to make this top out of stretch viscose and have already cut the pattern…I’ll keep you posted as the top progresses!


Vortex – N skirt – completion

Location: colony – N, Neptune, Sol System, Year: 2291

She had never left earth before this assignment but had been glad for the chance to leave. The contaminated dust storms and floods had made most of earth uninhabitable and the cities were crowded and dank.

Neptune was no picnic though! Long days and endless complaints from the workers. She didn’t normally come down town but tonight she was meeting someone. A ‘business associate’ with plans she believed could revolutionise mining here. She waited …


I began making this skirt here:

Next it was time to lay all the pattern pieces out and start cutting:


Despite the large number of pieces the symmetry made it easy to put together and in no time at all I had the top layer done!


I lined it in a royal blue polycotton and inserted a red zipper all the way down the back at a statement. I turned the top corners down where the zipper is set in the add a bit of allure!


Here is the finished skirt:


…and the back:



This skirt will soon be available at my etsy shop:

Already my head is buzzing with ideas for the next project, I’ll keep you posted…