Magic Pattern


Magic Pattern Book: Sew 6 Patterns into 36 Different Styles – Amy Barickman – Workman Publishing Company – Published 12 August 2014



Home sewing is booming again. Inspired by sites like Etsy, Craftsy, Pinterest, and CreativeBug, by the continuing popularity of Project Runway and other fashion shows, and by the ever-growing DIY movement, there are more than 35 million sewists in America. Now, for this new generation that wants to make their own clothes, express their fashion sense, look great, be creative—and save money, to boot—comes Amy Barickman’s The Magic Pattern Book, an illustrated guide to creating a one-of-a-kind wardrobe from six magic patterns.

What makes a sewing pattern magic? It’s a simple equation: One “magic” pattern can be transformed into six different looks—for example, The Skirt (pattern B) yields an A-line skirt, a maxi skirt, a pleated hem skirt, a pencil wrap skirt, a flared bias skirt, and a ruffled mini. Then comes even more magic—there are six magic patterns in The Magic Pattern Book, resulting in thirty-six different looks. Following each look are suggestions for specific fabrics, many of them repurposed items, for a total of 216 garments and accessories. The skill level is basic, and patterns are bundled onto a CD in an envelope in the back of the book, and also found online (to be downloaded and printed out on 81/2″ x 11″ paper).

What makes a book magic? Another simple equation: great value, a great promise, a great package, and a great author.

My thoughts

What an amazingly cool and clever resource. The premise is simple, six patterns which can each be slightly altered to create a total of 36 different pieces. Add your own creativity and your choice of fabric and you can create endless outfit possibilities. The book gives a comprehensive introduction to sewing tools, fabric types and techniques such as sizing, measuring, preparing, altering and using the patterns, preparing your fabric, making alterations, and finishing techniques. I felt this introductory section made this book a perfect resource for both beginner and advanced sewers. It would be great as a tool for sewing educators and as a general reference guide. Each pattern is then introduced along with its five alternatives. Each pattern has comprehensive yet simple instructions on preparing the pattern, preparing the fabric, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, pictures of the finished products and suggested fabric alternatives.

But what I love most about this resource? That the patterns are in pdf format on a cd included at the back of the book from which you then print onto A4 paper. This means you have to do a bit of piecing together to create each pattern piece but I think it is great as most people have access to an A4 printer and it makes it easier to create alterations. Further, this means this book is a perfect resource for lending, unlike many other sewing books with patterns that get cut-up, lost or removed.

The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

More information

Category: Non-fiction

Themes: Sewing. Patterns. Clothing. Craft and Hobbies.

Published: 12 August 2014 by Workman Publishing Company

Format:  Paperback, ebook. 320 pages. Colour illustrations.

Author website:  Amy Barickman

Find it on Goodreads