I check through the latest creations on the Pattern Review website daily. Actually, I skim through, bypassing all the big name patterns and searching for those little gems from the smaller pattern companies and anything a bit unusual like the Japanese pattern books. Ahhh, the Japanese pattern books. I have one myself - Pattern Magic 1. I flick through it often before placing it back in the too-hard basket. The patterns have to be drafted by hand from pattern blocks you have also drafted to fit yourself. I'm all for making my own patterns to copy RTW (ready to wear) clothes or adapting existing patterns to create a different look, but taking all those measurements, making the block then making the pattern just seemed too long winded. I wanted to do it, I admired what others had made from these books (especially the inspirational Carolyn), but I just couldn't quite get around to it. So I took a short cut - well kind of. But more on that later.
Recently, a gorgeous bag caught my eye on Pattern Review. It used the bamboo shoot design from a top in Pattern Magic 1 but incorporated it into a bag instead of a top. A light bulb went on for me right then. I could incorporate Pattern Magic ideas into patterns I already had, rather than making my own blocks etc. That way I could try out some designs quickly before deciding if it was worth the effort to do it properly. Better still, the creator of this fine bag had set a 'Pattern Magic challenge' to make something from one of the three PM books and get together for a PM 'catwalk' on her blog in mid November. Before I could change my mind I signed up to be part of it, then grabbed PM1 and settled down to decide what to make.
The piece I chose was a vision of softly falling, curved loveliness. The process of making it was anything but lovely. I tore my hair out over it, along with many hundreds of stitches. I did get there in the end. Well, I kind of got there. Somewhere, at least.
Here is a peek
More to come when I have gathered my strength from this ordeal ;)