Japanese pattern books 2

Ruth reminds me to remind you about the group buy of Japanese pattern books. Let’s set a deadline for this, oh, next Friday the 4th of January. Teijo has graciously agreed to facilitate this so we can reduce our shipping costs which are quite high, often more than the cost of the book for single titles.

Other than the one listed above, here is a list of books that may interest you. Pick from these or add others you know about (include the link from Amazon JP or YesAsia). I’ll definitely be getting the Vionnet one. It’d be a big help if you could do your own math calculating the total (less shipping for now) and figure the exchange rate. Please put “group buy” in the subject line of your email if you don’t use this link to email me and I’ll send you a paypal invoice or you can reimburse me by phone with visa/mc. Include your shipping address and phone number.

Here’s some tantalyzing details from the newest Pattern Magic, vol 2 (illustrated above, also see Pattern Magic if you don’t have the first one). PM2 has a few exercises, nothing new, to illustrate some of the concepts. Below is a simple exercise, I think you can follow it easily. Or maybe not. There are no English translations. Somebody wrote me asking for those. I don’t anticipate learning Japanese anytime soon.

Here’s the sample concept:

Below is the sample draft of the concept (your basic cowl). Unstated (in English anyway) is that the author is only working with half the draft. Is this clear? There’s no measures for the amount to spread; it’s one of those things you eyeball (the art component of drafting).

Below is a suggested use of the concept, followed by the needed draft to obtain the effect. The draft of design B is illustrated. For the inner cowling effect (A), you’d flatten the tail (tie end) of that spread as in the concept example shown above this one.

I thought this top was very lovely and sedate (below):

Before I forget, you can see many more samples from the book here.

I thought several of the drafts were very interesting. Here’s a pocket detail (below). Not really a pocket, more of a mock pocket but if you stuck a pocket bag in there, you’d have a real one. I think these design effects would be more apparent if the samples had been done in color blocks but then, the muslin works in these photographs from an artsy standpoint.

You can’t tell from the photo above (I don’t know why the scan came out so badly) but there’s a little pooch at the bottom left of the design detail, it’s not ideal. This is owing to a dart being “created” in that draft you see above. The way you’d get around this would be to use a darted block and rotate the dart into usable space to create this effect. That’d be the cleaner way to do it. That pocket wouldn’t necessarily have to be over boob central, not if you rotated it into a horizontal position from the CF line and shortened it a tad. Dart lines don’t need to be straight continuous lines, just joined ones. Maybe I’m all wet. I’ll have to play with this one.

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  1. Amazing! I was in the Miyake store in NYC a few weeks ago and just went nuts with lust. I don’t aspire to do these things, but I aspire to OWN them. As I read in The Book, home sewers (me) tend to limit their designs by what they can sew. So true as I wouldn’t design something like these, but now maybe I will…and let someone with the interest and skills (like Kathleen) make the pattern (and let someone else sew it!).


  2. Andrew says:

    I ordered Pattern Magic 2 from YesAsia after reading about it here yesterday (I have volume 1 – also from YesAsia – so it was an easy choice to make).
    The postage to the UK is only £2.57 so it seemed reasonable. The total, including postage was about £14 ($28).
    I guess it seems more reasonable due to the Pound-Dollar conversion, but £14 for a pretty unique book posted from Japan seems pretty cheap.
    If you spend about £2 more than one copy of Pattern Magic, you get free postage, so if any UK readers want two or more copies, they can save a few pounds.
    The postage from Amazon.co.jp was over twice the cost of the book!

  3. Kathleen says:

    Based on incoming emails:
    I reiterate, these are NOT in English. No, I cannot link you to translated editions. There is no such thing.

    Please don’t ask me to send you a list of books with links to pick from including prices. I linked to a list of suggested titles, pick from those if you want suggestions. I’m not selling these. Please figure out your totals.

    One last item: Many of you are overlooking (I think) the Japanese Vionnet book. When I get mine, I will be reviewing it and then you’ll all want it. Better get it now :).

  4. nadine says:

    I just picked up this book at our local japanese bookstore (Kinokuniya is in SF, LA, NYC and has this book in stock). I was very excited when I saw that the author showed a couple of exercises for understanding the pattern concept. I don’t make clothing but believe it or not I try to translate these concepts into working with leather. I am a huge fan of another book by Colette Wolf “The Art of Manipulating Fabric”. A surprising majority of the the techniques can translate to leather. Even origami can translate to leather. Most of you garment people already understand rotating darts and flat pattern methods for pleats, gathers and ruffles but in the leather accessories world these concepts haven’t been applied much until recently. As the style of bags has dictated more soft and slouchy shapes most of the patternmaking is moving into draping and other methods to create volumetric space. I introduced my students to a lot of these concepts which literally blew their minds and they went berserk creating pleated patterns over and over again. Their designs really took a step up and looked a lot more professional. I’m teaching an experimental handbag class next semester so I am very excited to see if the pattern magic books can be an inspiration for my students designs. If anyone has any books to recommend which cover dart rotation I’d be interested in the suggestion.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my!!! It is difficult for me to not want to go crazy and buy everything I remotely want. I already know this is my newest obsession.

    I have a really dumb question, on yesasia and amazon.jp I qualify for free shipping on most things or if I spent over 1500 y, so why would I bother going through the group buy? Would I get the books faster? De you get a benefit? (That is reason enough for me.)

  6. Kathleen says:

    Suzanne, I know it says free shipping but no one -in the US/CD- has gotten it yet. Eric spent well over the 1500 Y but still ended up paying a lot more than that for “free” shipping that wasn’t.

    There’s no benefit to me personally to do the group buy. I’ll be buying enough on my own to make the shipping charge on my order cost effective. It’d be less time and hassle to do my own order. I just thought others might appreciate the price break on shipping for single titles.

  7. Suzanne says:

    You are very generous to include us in a group buy. I know that doing that kind of thing can be a major headache!

    If you did get a benefit for us ordering through you, and that was the only difference, that would be enough for me.

    As it is, I am going to take you up on your generosity and am working up my list right now. :-D

  8. marietta says:

    (found you via ravelry and blog-hopping)

    as a theatrical cutter/draper – i really am enjoying the content found here on your blog and intend to keep going through the archives.
    i appreciate your group ordering idea as i have ordered items from overseas before – and though they say freee shipping, you have to pay customs costs. I will send you an email before the deadline – thank you so much.

  9. Drew says:

    VOLUME 2! Awesome. I prdered the first volume after reading about it here. I checked YesAsia for volume 2, and it didn’t seem to be available there. Where could order this book from? I’m so excited about it! ^_^


  10. Elin says:

    Hello All –

    I was in San Francisco this past weekend and found Pattern Magic (volumes 1 & 2) at the Kinokuniya bookstore on Webster St. It might be possible – and cheaper – to order directly from them. There are Kinokuniya stores throughout the West Coast as well as in New York. Below is the link to their U.S. stores / contact info:


    Best wishes & Happy New Year!

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