Today’s book review is a book I bought without having any idea what is inside. I bought it purely because of the description on the cover. (Note that there aren’t any real photos of the completed pieces unless you count the tiny ones on the bottom right hand corner)
From the top – You are also a designer – From Shirts to Coats, make with freedom
Main title – In a magazine. Pattern School.
Vol. 1 – Tops edition
In the red circle – Sizes 5-21, 9 sizes in all
Actual size pattern (for basic bodice and basic sleeve)
Formula at the bottom of the page
Bodice 22 x Sleeves 26 x Collars 40 + alpha (for arrangement) = Infinite Designs!
Ok, I was totally sold by the last line – the formula
So I knew that it would be some kind of pattern making book, and not one with full patterns. I was kind of right. The book is kind of a textbook/pattern resource guide, all in one. The basic bodice block and sleeve blocks are provided in an actual size pattern sheet, so you don’t have to draft from scratch (although it does include a guide on how to draft from scratch). This book is more about using the basic blocks and modifying it to the different styles and shapes, so that you can use your creativity and combine the different patterns to create your very own design.
It’s a little like Mrs Stylebook, except that the pieces in Mrs Stylebook have been designed for you already. This book on the other hand, allows you to be the designer. Kind of like lego pattern building.
The book starts off with 3 basic lectures – Bodice patterns, Sleeve Patterns and Collar Patterns.
Bodice – There are supposed to be 22 different bodice variations but the contents page only shows the 8 main groups. For each group there are further variants. For example, the Yoke seam pattern comes with 6 different variants which require different bodice modifications and therefore count as 6 different patterns.
Here is an example of the pattern variation page. The instructions and construction diagram are given, as well as photos of the finished piece.
The other two section on Sleeves and Collars are presented in the same way.
Sleeves – 10 main groups with a total of 26 variants.
Collars – 11 main groups with a total of 44 variants.
Other than the main components of bodice, sleeve and collar, there are also a series of “16 lectures” on special topics, here are a few examples.
Different types of cuffs and how to make them.
Comparison of lengths, garment lengths, sleeve lengths etc. This will help you visualize the final design.
Another interesting lesson – comparing the difference in the final appearance of the sleeves based on the position of the bottom of the armhole.
There are lots more lessons like this one, which are very insightful especially when I’m trying to create my own designs and drafting my own patterns.
The next section in the book is the “Practical” section, where they actually demonstrate how easy it is to combine and apply different patterns to create a brand new design of your own.
The last section is for people who want to draft their own patterns from scratch. There is a detailed guide for drafting the basic bodice block, sleeves and collars, plus detailed lessons on markings, seam allowances, lots and lots of details.
The actual size pattern sheet for the basic bodice and basic sleeve is provided. There are 9 different sizes from 5-21 which makes it very useful for a lot more people. Most pattern books come in the more average sizes of 9-13.
Unfortunately everything is in Japanese. It is quite a balance mix of photos + text though which makes it not too difficult to understand. For those of you expert drafters and all you need are the dimensions and diagrams, this will be a great resource.
Title : 誌上。パタン塾 – Vol.1 トップ編
ISBN : 978-4579073429
Publisher : Bunka Publishing