Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tying a Bow

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and amongst the wonderful gifts i got this book* - Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi:

*i just want to mention to you that I have just added a link to Tomoko's book using an amazon affiliate link which means you can support me if you decided you wanted to get this book. But it has not influenced this blog post in any way and has been added long after writing. But it is a gem of a book.

It is a wonderful book to help me build on my pattern cutting skills. As you can see from the cover picture, it has some really amazing designs and shows how to draw the patterns to make your own.

One of my aims for my holiday was to have a go at one of the patterns myself while i have lots of time to spend on it and yesterday proved to be the perfect day for it.

The first task was to draw a japanese style Bunka block (she calls the block a sloper, as i think these are made up in paper in 3D, but i kept to flat pattern drawing as you will see).

This actually ended up not dissimilar to my english style block which I am used to working with, but the the drawing experience was quite different, following a diagram rather than a full step by step that Winifred gives. It looked quite daunting to begin with but in the end i really preferred this method. Another difference was that with Winifred there are a great number of measurements to work with, where for the bunka style the whole block is based on the bust, waist and body length measurements only. Tomoko also gives a chart with every calculation worked out for each section of the block which really saved me trouble doing the arithmatic myself. it was all very clever and very pleasing.

And here is my finished bunka style block:

(compared to my english close fitting block incase you wonder how they differ):

The design i wanted to have a go at is called tying a bow. There are a few variations but the one i wanted to do looks like this:

a pretty and vintage style.

I followed the instructions for block adaptation which again take the form of a diagram. This is what i was aiming for (eek!):

and here are my finished pattern pieces:

and so the moment of truth came with the toile. and i'm pleased to say it all came together wonderfully:

 here is the untied front as in the book:

and my untied toile as modelled by Harriet:

and the moment of truth:

I fear i have not tied my bow as neatly as the book, but nonetheless I am so so pleased!  The photo doesn't really do this achievement justice at all and the reality is very lovely. And I have tried it on and it fits so wonderfully which is a real triumph. 

My next step will be to make a dress i think, using this pattern i've made as the basis so I will be back with news of this. I have a rather good stash of fabric for just such a project.

Yours bow tied,

Emilia. xx

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