I’m Drafting…

Well, a little. I can’t bear to show you more snow photos. But, we did get 20 more inches on top of the 27 inches prior. For Baltimore, that’s crazy. We average 18 inches a year. So far, we’re at 60 something. We shoveled the street out for the second time today. Thank you June for the Aleve tip. Much, much better than the 1200 mg of ibuprofen I was taking.

I hate to say this. But, they are calling for another 4 to 8 inches on Monday.

But, all this cold and wet made me crave a new jacket.  Enter, the $478 Kensington jacket by Anthropologie. To be fair, I’m quite sure this is well beyond my skill set.

But, will make for an interesting long-term project. I know there’s a BWOF with the back flaps, I just need to go through and find it.

I’m using Burda 9-2006-103 as the base and drafting a new puff sleeve,

contour waistband and full/ gathered bottom half (thanks Mom and Dad for those drafting classes last year). If I can make it to Anthropologie this weekend I’ll try and get a close look at the jacket.

What do you think the skirt is? Princess seam and A-line at the front and the back is just gathered in the center back panel with princess seams, no?

More Mail Goodness

Let’s not talk about the dress for a bit, eh?

I wanted to show another really cool item that Grace from Bad Mom, Good Mom sent recently. Her timing was impeccable as she asked for my addy on my birfday. She sent me a copy of the Japanese language Pattern Magic (I) published by Bunka. If you don’t know, Bunka is a school and supply company in Japan. They also apparently take US students, if you speak Japanese.

It’s similar to the drafting in Mrs. Stylebook. I know this book has been around for a bit, but it was so completely over my head that I just didn’t bother even looking at a copy. Hmmm, same thing with Threads Magazine. I really should subscribe.

Now, I have a better grasp of the concepts. What I find amazing is how unbelievably creative the book is.

Why is this funny? Well, when I was growing up and Americans were just starting to buy Japanese cars, by dear dad would always say, “Americans are the innovators. Everyone else just  copies.”  Well, I beg to differ. There are some extremely creative types outside the US :)

The book does include directions for drafting your  sloper. It also includes a lovely 1/2 scale dress form for you to copy to practice with. I also imagine you could blow this up and have a workable sloper too.

Since this is how we’ve been doing it in school, I like this way first to work out the design elements.

I’m totally making this knit top. And tracking down Pattern Magic II.

Thanks Grace!

Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting Book

There was a lot of interest in the English/Japanese pattern drafting book. I’m not sure if it was because of the instructions or because it has actual patterns. I have two others I really like. One is Patternless Fashions which I talked about in May. That and Pattern Drafting, I think are the best for showing you how to read the Mrs. Stylebook patterns.

The other is Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking. I might have paid $5 including shipping and handling for my copy. I think this is the best of the lot for instructions on making your sloper and how to make variations in a pattern. It doesn’t seem to have as much in teaching you how to read the pattern schematics that you find in MSB.

There’s a great eBay guide on pattern drafting that refers to this book.
Linda at Patterns, Fabric and Thread — Oh My, wrote about it too.

Check out this newspaper article (click to enlarge) I found taped to the inside. It’s an interesting read if you want to hear about the then growing $2.3 billion home sewing industry back in the early 70s.

Table of contents:

While fashion diagrams are included these are very basic patterns with variations on a theme.

Like Pattern Drafting, it walks you through taking your measurements and developing a sloper or block.

Using this, it shows you how to add and subtract to create different looks.


I think this a good companion to Mrs. Stylebook. But, I like to think between the three I have the most complete picture.

Now, I just need to make something.

Japanese Pattern Drafting by Dressmaking

ETA: I’m sorry, but the second copy is no longer available. I’ll keep this post up though so you can find more information about the books.

Other recommended titles:

Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking (Originally Published as The Oriental Method of Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking)

Patternless Fashion by Diehl Lewis and May Loh. I wrote about this in May.

Earlier this year Tany posted about two Pattern Drafting books. I became mildy obsessed with tracking down copies as they were the Asian method and directions came in both English and Japanese.

I ordered three different copies with vague descriptions. There are three editions and I thought the sewing gods would be with me and send me the three different versions. Alas, they did not.

Today I received two copies of the same Pattern Drafting (no author but sometimes listed as Dressmaking), published by Kamakura-Shobo Publishing Co., Ltd in Tokyo, Japan. Publishing date is 1967.

The 204 page book includes step-by-step directions on drafting patterns for women, men and children. Over 200 different diagrams are included. If you are interested in Mrs. Stylebook or drafting your own patterns this is the book for you.

Table of Contents:

Not only does the book show you how to draft, it also gives you directions on fixing common fitting errors like sloped shoulders, etc. Also, there are construction tecnhiques like making a bound buttonhole, explanation of fabrics, how to make gathers, sewing darts, attaching an inner belt and working with prints — just to name a few.

Check out this review of the books on eBay and here on PatternReview.com

ETA: I’m sorry, but the second copy is no longer available. I’ll keep this post up though so you can find more information about the books.