Welcome to day one of The Magic Pattern Book Blog Tour! I’m so excited to follow along for the next two weeks and see the reaction to The Magic Pattern Book from some of the most talented bloggers in the sewing world.
The idea for The Magic Pattern Book actually came about when I was writing Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion & Fun. That book had been inspired by the work of my muse, Mary Brooks Picken, who founded The Woman’s Institute of The Domestic Arts and Sciences, which started a correspondence course that taught thousands of women across the United States dressmaking, cooking, fashion and entrepreneurial skills.
The Institute published two fashion newsletters, Inspiration and Fashion Service, which housed a column by Mary called The Magic Page, which were instructions for creating patterns from diagrams for garments and accessories. I included some of Mary’s original Magic Patterns in Vintage Notions, but knew that I wanted to revisit Magic Patterns in the future.
Mary’s philosophy of fashion was to express your individual style, and she encouraged that by offering different options for her patterns. I expanded this idea into the concept of using a single simple pattern design to create multiple unique projects, thus The Magic Pattern Book! If you are interested in learning more about Mary and how her work inspired The Magic Pattern Book, check out my post on The Magic Pattern Story: Inspiration.
Once I committed to creating The Magic Pattern Book, I started collaborating with long-time Indygo Junction designer Mary Ann Donze. We decided that the book would contain 6 chapters; The Tank, The Skirt, The Dress, The Cardigan, The Coat and The Accessory. We created a master pattern for each chapter and designed 6 different styles for each chapter based on the master pattern. So, for instance, The Tank Top chapter has 6 completely unique patterns, all created off the same base pattern. When the pattern designs were confirmed, we started the process of sewing the samples for the book. Mary Ann and I drove to Topeka to The Sewing Workshop to find garment fabric. See more about our adventure in Topeka in my post The Magic Pattern Story: Process.
When the samples were complete I was lucky enough to go to New York City to collaborate with my publisher, Workman, on the photography for the book. I had a fantastic time watching the professionals style and shoot the Magic Pattern garments. I wish I could go back and do it again! For more details on the shoot, check out The Magic Pattern Story: The Photo Shoot.
Now that the book has been released, I am embarking on a new Magic Pattern journey – this time I am hitting the road with The Magic Pattern Fashion Show! We have created all new Magic Pattern samples which will be presented at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, which travels across the country this fall and next spring. The Magic Pattern Fashion Show will be at each Expo stop, and I will be appearing at some of the stops myself to lecture and emcee the fashion show. Check out my full traveling schedule here – stop by and see me! If you aren’t able to visit the Magic Fashion Show at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, we also have The Magic Pattern Trunk Show arriving in stores across the country soon – see the schedule here.
I hope The Magic Pattern Book inspires you to create a new wardrobe in your unique style. Contest Closed.