The Magic Pattern: Book Sew 6 Patterns Into 36 Different Styles!
Introduction: Making Magic
CHAPTER 1 Sewing Basics: How to Make Magic
CHAPTER 2 The Tank Top (Magic Pattern A)
A1. The Alice tank top (REPURPOSED LOOK)
A2. The Avery tank top
A3. The Adelaide tank top
A4. The Alma tank top
A5. The Abigail tank dress
A6. The Anne tank dress
CHAPTER 3 The Skirt (Magic Pattern B)
B1. The Blythe skirt
B2. The Beatrice maxi skirt
B3. The Betsy skirt
B4. The Bridget skirt
B5. The Billie bias skirt
B6. The Bernadette miniskirt (REPURPOSED LOOK)
CHAPTER 4 The Dress (Magic Pattern C)
C1. The Cecelia dress
C2. The Camilla maxi dress
C3. The Charlotte shirt (REPURPOSED LOOK)
C4. The Chloe tank dress
C5. The Catherine shirt
C6. The Candace dress
CHAPTER 5 The Cardigan (Magic Pattern D)
D1. The Diana cardigan
D2. The Delia cropped jacket
D3. The Daisy cardigan (REPURPOSED LOOK)
D4. The Davina long cardigan
D5. The Daphne vest
D6. The Dorothy jacket
CHAPTER 6 The Coat (Magic Pattern E)
E1. The Estelle trench-style coat
E2. The Emma coat
E3. The Eloise wrap coat (REPURPOSED LOOK)
E4. The Edith coat
E5. The Evelyn cape
E6. The Evangeline cropped coat
CHAPTER 7 The Accessory (Magic Pattern F)
F1. The Freddie cap
F2. The Fiona scarf
F3. The Faith beret (REPURPOSED LOOK)
F4. The Frida sun hat
F5. The Farrah tote bag
F6. The Francesca handbag
Welcome to The Magic Pattern Book! If you sew, you’re already familiar with the concepts of sewing books and patterns, so the question you might be asking is really, what’s so magical about these? Quite simply, a magic pattern is a single set of pattern pieces that can be transformed and pieced together in different ways to yield an impressive array of finished pieces. And, like most magic, it can actually be explained through simple mathematics: There are 6 patterns included in this book that represent 6 basic wardrobe elements (tank top, skirt, dress, cardigan, coat, accessory); from the 6 patterns you can make 6 different looks each (for example, pocketed A-line skirt, a maxi skirt, pleated skirt, pencil wrap skirt, bias skirt, and miniskirt) for 36 different designs. Multiply that by the 6 fabric suggestions for each of the 36 designs, and you have 216 possible different looks—and that’s all before you bring your own hands and your own creativity to the equation.
Those hands of yours are capable of magic. And though sewing is not at all akin to waving a magic wand over some fabric (anyone who’s pricked a finger with a needle or sat hunched over a sewing machine for hours on end, or made an errant scissor snip through an amazing piece of silk knows this truth), there is something magical about the process of creating that is rather enchanting despite—or maybe because of—the amount of effort you put into it.
Although your hands (and mine!) may not be able to channel the creative genius of the great fashion designers, the power of expression is inherent in us all. By making your own clothes, you’re not limited when it comes to shapes, fabrics, or silhouettes. And with just a bit of guidance you’ll be creating your own one-of-a-kind garments in no time. The Magic Pattern Book will allow you to design a personal wardrobe that represents who you are. By selecting and then combining the color and texture of the fabric with the form and line of the design, you will learn how to implement your sewing skills while improving your design expertise. These pages are meant to serve as a handbook to refer to again and again. As fashions evolve, you can continue to turn to this book for reference and, with just a bit of creative impulse, be able to update the patterns in small but meaningful ways to stay au courant.
MARY’S MAGIC PATTERN:
(and Other Inspirations from the Fairy Godmother of Modern Sewing)
In 1990, while following my own passion for fashion, textiles, and design, I founded Indygo Junction, Inc., a pattern company that offers a range of designs and ideas for sewing enthusiasts. Through the years, I have been encouraged and inspired by so many of you who share the same passion. I continue to scour the globe for new resources, but I always return to my inspiration, Mary Brooks Picken, an extraordinary woman and teacher who founded the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in the early 1900s.
Her correspondence school attracted more than 300,000 students from around the world—women learning to enrich their lives through dressmaking, millinery, cooking, fashion design, beauty, and homemaking—and reached thousands more through its newsletters and other publications, making it the largest school in the history of the United States for home study of the home arts. Mary became a leading authority on fashion and dressmaking, and she consulted with brands like Singer and Coats & Clark to create educational materials, products, and marketing programs. Her weekly column on sewing was syndicated in 300 newspapers over the course of two decades. She was a founding member of the Fashion Group, the international organization for those engaged in all phases of fashion work, as well as one of the five original directors of the Costume Institute, now part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But perhaps her most significant achievement, in the context of this book, was penning the popular feature “Magic Patterns” in the Woman’s Institute’s Inspiration pamphlets and Fashion Service magazines. Her initial Magic Patterns were patterns you drew or cut yourself, or cut directly from the fabric using the measurements and diagrams that were provided in the textbooks. The spirit behind them, of course, was in the malleability of the design—they could become anything! The patterns I’ve developed for this book are my ode to Mary Brooks Picken’s original concept—and though my Magic Patterns have more structure (and they work like traditional patterns), the spirit is the same: Take what’s given, and add your own spark to it.
I can only imagine the type of reach Mary’s teachings and publications would have today. Poring over my vast collection of her newsletters and books, I’ve selected some of her timeless style advice and wisdom to share throughout the book in hopes that her words may inspire you as you read, design, and sew. She was one very talented, empowered, smart, and stylish lady, indeed, and I continue to turn to her teachings when I’m in need of guidance from my sewing fairy godmother.