Pattern Drafting Book Review Series – Part 8 – Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi
I have officially saved the best review for last. I love all of these books equally. I currently own all 4 in the series Pattern Magic by Tomoko Nakamichi. When I first stumbled upon this book, it was only available in Japanese. I was teaching in San Francisco at the time and I used to bring it in as an inspirational “you can do this.”
Because the book was in Japanese and in metric, I did not understand that these were all drafted on the half scale, so I made the double collar on page 94 in the first book and my collar was microscopic. I still didn’t realize it was supposed to be double even after the draft.
After a semester of owning this, my Japanese edition walked off from my desk never to be heard from again. A few month after I filed a missing persons report for my beloved book, I found it in English. I was relieved to learn that I was supposed to have doubled the measurements from that initial draft for my own slopers.
I was finally able to work my way through almost all the samples in the book (to the best of my ability). Then the second book came out! I used to bring it to my sewing labs at school and draft from it to inspire my students.
The stretch fabric book came out next, but I was then teaching full time in LA and didn’t have much time to concentrate on it as I was working on my own series of pattern drafting books on lingerie design – Bare Essentials: Underwear and Bare Essentials: Bras. I still bought it and brought it to school to inspire my students. This example was something I had my students drape, not draft. It made for a fun class
The final book in the series came out when I had moved on from FIDM and was running my own shop and school out in Redlands, CA. My daughter was a few years old and I literally lacked time to brush my hair, let alone draft for fun. I hope to one day draft from these last too books. Maybe I’ll film it too.
What I love about these books: They are so creative and really shows what a pattern maker is possible of drafting. Sometimes when students start on this path, they only see the boring basic stuff and lose interest, but these books were great and kept my students inspired despite their lackluster fundamental course work.
What I dislike about these books: That its in metric. That is the only thing I don’t like, but for me that was not a game changer. It is easy enough to translate measurements.
This book is not for beginners at all, but at their price points, I recommend adding these to your collection early on as they can be that constant reminder that you can do it one day. You need to have a foundation in pattern drafting knowledge. I started playing with these books around the time I started teaching, but I think an intermediate pattern maker can attempt one or two. They may seem complicated at first, but taking each step one at a time, I think it is manageable.
These are currently the last books in my review series for drafting books, but if you know of any others I should get my hands on, feel free to let me know what they are. I have so many books and I think I will be doing reviews on nearly all of them at some point, but my goal was to explain what I loved and didn’t love in all of these books. Stay tuned for the release of my very own introductory pattern drafting book titled Pattern Design.
Here are links to add these books to your collection. Note that these are affiliate links. Affiliate links help support my small business. Pattern Magic Pattern Magic 2 Pattern Magic 3 Pattern Magic: Stretch Fabrics