Pattern puzzle: Danielle 2

Danielle follows up with yesterday’s entry with three photos, saying:

Here are some more descriptive pictures of the shirt. There are two front views, both with the pocket turned inside out and another with the pocket outside in. If I could suggest the “puzzle” part of it, I have been pondering how to create a symmetrical shirt that has two self-forming pockets, maybe F-I readers could come up with their own ideas on that one.

[In the first photo, in the lower right corner, you can see Sly chewing on Danielle’s thumb. Sly died last August. Poor Sly. Poor Danielle. So sad. I couldn’t look at that photo without remembering. Also, this being a blog, it’s obligatory to observe all things cats.]

Here’s a crude way my brain wants to do something like this. Here’s my cruddy drawing to illustrate it. You’ll just have to put up with it, my illustrator is off being fashioney just now. Take a sheet of paper and fold it twice. In the corner, at the juncture of folds, draw in your pattern piece.

Then cut it out. Unfolded, it’ll look something like the piece below.

The sections marked with an “X”, you want in their entirety. The rest you want to trim away (below).

That’s a crude approximation. By the way, the first person I’ve found who did this along the lines of what I call ouroboros pattern drafting (here too), was Erte. I’ve reverse engineered some of his patterns from sketches. Some of it was cool! Most of his designs were never actually sewn up. I don’t think many could figure it out and he wasn’t exactly a pattern maker himself or had the time for it. It’s fun to draw quarter scale pieces from his illustrations (Dover reprints is the best source). The man could do sleeves.

Regarding this example, obviously you’d need to add some length beyond the desired finish length to encompass folding. Also, Danielle has hers bowing outwards rather than inward. You can do any number of fancy twisty stuff including holes to twist through like Danielle did but I think you get the general idea.

Issey Miyake (among others) have done similar pieces. I found one I liked after Gorgeous Ann reviewed it on Pattern Review (larger photo) and she was nice enough to lend it to me but I haven’t done anything with it yet beyond playing with the pattern pieces. Here’s the line sketch (Vogue 2814).

And here’s the pattern pieces.

I laid those pieces together, lining them up (1 and 1A) but I don’t see a difference between them. Either Vogue fudged on the quarter scales or I’ll have to go full scale to see the differences. Otherwise, a cursory examination finds these a two per.

That’s going to have to be it for today. I have a visitor coming today so I have to clean up and make nice. I’m having a Japanese translator coming from the college. I’m paying her to watch me browse and translate titles. I found the most awesomest Japanese pattern books on ebay but the seller wants a lot more for them than I know I’d pay on YesAsia. She has one Vionnet drafting book listed for 25 pounds and I know Bunka doesn’t put out anything that pricey. The problem is, while you can browse in English on YesAsia, none of the titles in which I’m potentially interested are translated so I don’t know if it’s really what I want. I was going to ask Massa or Teijo if they’d do it but then I thought it’d be too much of an imposition going back and forth, no this, no that, how much, what, where and but. I’ll tell you what I’ve found tomorrow. Some certain yummies are a children’s wear drafting book and one on Vionnet’s work. I’ve also decided I just have to have one of these, whatever it is.

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Tiffany says:

    Funny looking at yesterday’s post about Danielle’s t shirt made me revisit the pattern majic post. And her it is mentioned in today’s post. I simply must get that book.

  2. /anne... says:

    I bought the Vionnet one a couple of weeks ago!
    25 pounds plus postage is too much; I think it was about $70-oddAUD including postage, which probably makes it about $60USD.

    I couldn’t find it on YesAsia (I search by the ISBN, which mostly works), so I got it from Amazon Japan. It has 28 patterns; some are a bit dated now, but most are amazing.

    Do you have the Betty Kirke one? I’m not sure what the differences are.

    You also might like to read the Misses Stylebook discussion list:

    which covers using Japanese pattern books.

  3. Danielle says:

    Oh, that is Mac, my other cat, not Sly… I took those pictures this morning. I do miss Sly though… and she didn’t bite either.

    Also, the hole in the pattern is the hem of the shirt. I’ll sketch my plan of how to make a 2-pocket shirt tomorrow.

  4. Marie-Christine says:

    I’ve made the Miyake a couple times, short and long-sleeved. It’s incredible. Different but not so wild you can’t wear it at work, and a topological delight. The halves are the same, just flipped and mirrored, only you can’t have a seam there because it’d be really ugly. The constraint with the pattern is the width of the paper, not of the fabric. You cut it on a single layer of fabric, but both sides show in the end. It’s a 30mn top once you have it worked out, but it did take me 2 whole days of contemplation to add bust fullness :-). Anyway, do it!

  5. Helen says:

    This series of posts is reminding me very much of “Return to Flatland” and some of the fun topology contained within. E.g.: What is the difference between a teacup and a teapot? A teapot has two holes but a teacup only has one. Think about it.

    But gosh darnit; taking a two dimensional shape and giving it an extra dimension? You’re going to have me playing with funny shaped bits of paper all day!

    P.S.: “Most awesomest” is a grammar no-no. Shame!

  6. trish says:

    My students (El Paso Community College, Fashion Technology) and I have been really enjoying this thread… I did buy the Pattern Magic book and I love it. I also love sharing it with my students.

    Speaking of mobius scarves and Threads issue #91, the article on Isabel Toledo is wonderful and she has many garments much like the ideas of Jullian and Sophie… so check it out if you archive like I archive, LOL.

    Kathleen, thanks for the ever-wonderful blog!!!!!

  7. Ann says:

    Helen, dear…have you not identified the intellect of the person to whom you are speaking? Your parting shot of ‘P.S.: “Most awesomest” is a grammar no-no. Shame!’ …irritates the hell out of me. Erg…is that in the freaking dictionary???

    If this was an inside joke, please excuse me.


  8. Kathleen says:

    I don’t think Helen was joking but she is a love, a genuine pleasure, so generous and kind and I enjoy her immensely. I know she only has my best interests at heart; she is a truly lovely person and no one should be offended by her comment. I found her PS to be very funny!!! It was one of those things that I laughed about all day long, lightening my day. I thought I made my deliberate word-warping more obvious -as a device- but I guess not. I don’t know if it was an inside joke but I guess it is now :). I can only hope she’s not mad about that!

  9. Helen says:

    Oh dear; it was a joke! I am very sorry to have offended anyone partaking of this lovely dialogue with my clumsy stabs at humor. Ann, I’m sorry to have annoyed you. I would be terrified to provoke Kathleen’s intellect into any sort of joust but I fear it may be too late.
    God help me.

  10. anir says:

    Thanks for posting both Danielle’s experiements and the Miyake pattern draft. I’ve had a lot of fun working out how the Miyake top would make-up, although I’ve had to look at the examples on PatternReview to really get it.
    PS: Marie-Christine are you saying that there should not be a seam down the middle where Kathleen shows a break?

    I’ve also thought about how Danielle could make a two pocket T. In my process she’d need an extra seam or two–but I only worked it out in my head–haven’t tried it with fabric.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.