Pattern Magic shirt

Hmmm. I really hadn’t expected to take so long before I was able to show you my Pattern Magic shirt with the special collar. I have no excuses – I have just been unreasonably slow. But here it is!

Collar with two expressions

Collar with two expressions

This was my first attempt at anything using the Bunka block drawn out on my course at Morley College. This block was made using three (yes, three) measurements from my body. Bust, waist and back length. That’s all. Winnie Aldrich uses nine measures for her bodice block which I still had to adjust significantly. I confess I had little faith in this Bunka block being remotely close with only three points of reference – and also I am hardly a typical ‘Japanese’ figure. So prepare to be amazed. IT FITS!

I made few alterations to the body – the dart into the armhole was left there, I lengthened the body to hip to allow tucking, and I put a little shaping into the back so I wasn’t entirely shapeless. I can’t quite believe that it has worked so well – I would only want to narrow the shoulders a tiny bit if I when I use this again. I will also use a bit of seaming to lose the darts and add a bit more waist shaping. Other than that this is a winner.

The fabric is cotton with a little elastane which came from stash. It has lurked for a while as I was unsure of the colour – almost exactly the colour of Blu-Tack. There was already a matching thread in my stock, and even more amazingly I had enough abalone shell buttons in the right shade and size to complete the job. Who would have believed it – I didn’t need to buy anything for this project!

Collar with two expressions

Collar with two expressions – detail.

When I make this style again I will slightly reduce the size of the lower collar section as it is a bit big (It makes me think Travolta in Saturday Night Fever). The main collar section that sits over the top has to be a little bit larger than the two underpieces or it pulls a bit. I did use all the drafts from the pattern magic book but in all honesty it would probably have been a lot easier to just draft the collar to fit  a tried and tested blouse/shirt pattern. I know that without the time at Morley I would still just be stroking and admiring these books but I can see them getting out more now. I did struggle a bit to use their instructions for the sleeve block so when I work out the best way to explain what I did I will post. That doesn’t mean it is necessarily the ‘right’ way of doing the sleeve but it worked for me. Hopefully it will take less time than this post!

I am calling this SAM8 – and drawing a line under the SAM2012 as I think I have taken long enough. It would be embarrassing to still be finishing these after January. Still four short but since I am a glass half full sort of gal -Hey! I made eight shirts last year!

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16 Comments on “Pattern Magic shirt”

  1. Velosewer says:

    This is a beautiful piece of work. I’d love to have attended your class but I was able to work through this collar with the help of a couple of sewing friends instead.
    I hope to see more PM work on your blog soon.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Love the collar but I see where the width might be a bit “Travolta”. My question is…with only 3 measurements how do you know where the end of the dart will be? It is assuming that all bust cups are the same and is there any accounting for age/drooping boobs?

  3. It´s fabulous – well done to you!

  4. CherryPix says:

    Wow. This worked beautifully! I’ve been just stroking the cover of my copy of PM…but I’m soon to start a Pattern Making course..so perhaps I’ll soon be able to work this out!

  5. sewbussted says:

    I love the collar and see no traces of Travolta! Sometimes time taken results in perfection. A shirt to be very proud of!

  6. Angela says:

    Great job, good way to use what you already had! Hope you get lots of wear out of it.

  7. Dixie says:

    This is a really smart shirt. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to make garments that fit well? So satisfying!

  8. You did an absolutely fantastic job!! The collar looks perfect. I love Pattern Magic designs too.. this one has been on my wish list since I bought the book!

  9. WELL DONE!!!!!!! I have the whole collection of Pattern Magic books! Your blog is amazing! So you are training at Morley? I graduated with 2 degree’s in fashion – one in design and management and the other in pattern cutting. By trade, I am now an experienced pattern cutter, fabric sample cutter and designer within the buzzing fashion industry. I also carry out manual grading. 🙂 Stitch mode blogger

    • The course at Morley was only a 2 day short course – but it did have a wonderful tutor who made sense of the markings etc. in the Pattern Magic book. I have been using Winnie Aldrich, Hilary Campbell, and Natalie Bray who are all much more traditional. Pattern Magic has taken a whole new thought process but has been fun!
      I hope you have been making more use of your Pattern Magic books than I have so far.

      • Yes, the Pattern Magic books are wonderful! The Winnie Aldrich are personally not my cup of tea. I much prefer the attention to detail with Natalie Bray. I have the set of 3 Natalie Bray books too and I strongly recommend those to anyone.
        Also, another brand of books you might want to try which all tend to focus on jersey material and feature some very contemporary silhouettes, embracing simplicity and Rei Kawakubo’s aesthetic. The name is called Drape Drape. So far 2 editions have been released, and 3rd one is upcoming! You will be pleased to discover these books come with patterns included, in sizes too. I would trace off your size on to a large sheet of paper before cutting, otherwise you’ll loose the other sizes for that style. Good luck! 🙂

  10. Petra says:

    Hi! Absolutely fantastic work! I’m very impressed, you’re incredible! I haven’t done anything since I did the course (with you), but I did sew up the Bunka block and I too can report a (darn near) perfect fit – I couldn’t believe it! I’m very thankful for all the info here about other drafting people, as the course has made me so much more interested in these techniques. I’ve signed up for the next one, hope to see you there!
    Petra (I’m sorry for this comment being a little late!)

    • Hi Petra! I think we are all surprised at the fit from so few measurements – and we were all different shapes. I’m not sure about PM2 at Morley but I hope to do the stretch course in June. Maybe see you then?

  11. sosewlovely says:

    Well done! I did Morley’s Pattern magic 1 class and was thinking of doing the 2nd one to focus on construction but time didn’t permit. I’ll definitely take a look at this collar design again and see if I can figure it out on my own. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Pella says:

    I love the collar on this shirt! I’m not getting Travolta from the photos, but realise that sometimes looking at the actual garment suggests minor changes. I can see why you would want to use the pattern again, it makes an original twist on a classic.


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