Tag Archives: pattern drafting

Mrs. Stylebook (Summer 2011) Review

19 Aug

This issue is a disappointment compared to the last two that I reviewed.  The majority of the clothes featured are very loose and boxy and there is a lack of garments with innovating pattern drafting techniques.

There are about 100 patterns to draft.  Like the last issue, there are a lot of tunics, dresses and tops.  Included in this issue are twenty ready-made patterns of tops and dresses that are variations of six drafts with elements added on or taken away.

The A Group

Two dartless button-up blouse: (Left) Shorten at the waist and sleeves.  Cuff added onto the sleeves.

(Right) Hip length blouse with three-quarter length sleeves.

Using the same dartless blouse draft: (Bottom left) Button-up dress with ruffle collar and sleeves.  The front placket is decorated with trim.  There is an option of adding decorative trims along the front of the dress which isn’t shown in the photo.

(Top left) One buttoned blouse with ruching above the bust.

(Right) Pullover tunic with ruching below the bust, drawstring collar and double layer sleeves.

The B Group

Using a tent dress draft with neckline pleats: (Left) Pullover blouse with three button enclosure on the front.

(Right) Dress with mandarin collar and pin tuck pleats decorating the hemline.  There is the option of adding a tie around the waist that isn’t shown in the photo because it is belted.

The C Group

Using the shift dress draft with a series of single darts at the waist: (Left) Fitted blouse with zipper closure at the center back.

(Middle and Right) The two dresses are exactly the same in draft, just the sewing is varied.  The dress on the right has the waist darts sewn as tucks, while the middle dress has the waist darts sewn as darts.

The D Group

Using the princess line draft: (Left) Crop jacket with zipper closure.

(Middle) Sleeveless hip-length vest with ruching on the shoulder and hook and eye closures on the front.

(Right) Button up drop waist dress with three layers of ruffles.

Two collarless jacket using the princess line draft: (Left) Jacket with full length sleeves.  Self made ruche trims decorates the collar, the front and the sleeves of the jacket.

(Right) Jacket with three quarter length cuffed sleeves and false pockets.  Decorative frayed edges are used along the sleeve cuffs, pockets and front placket.

The E Group

The base draft for this group is a variation of a blouson draft with the right side dart removed and replaced with pleats on the right side of the neckline.  (Left) Short sleeve dress with gathers on the mid back and neck.

(Middle) Drawstring blouse decorated with lace trim on the collar and sleeves.

(Right) Lace tunic with gathered sleeves embellished with a bow.

The F Group

Both the blouse and the dress is exactly the same using the kimono draft as its base with the only change being the length.

My Picks

(Left) When I first saw this vest, it looked like a generic vest.  On closer inspection of the draft, it was far from generic.  The vest is a patchwork of different shades of black, color blocked in such a way that it gives it a geometric look reminiscent of a Mondrian painting.  It’s a shame they didn’t photograph the vest better because it looks so interesting on the draft.  Another thing I love about this vest is one size fit all and no sloper to draft from since it a bunch of rectangles sewn together.

(Right Top) Three tier blouse with expose front zipper.  There is an interesting detail by the zipper where two pieces of fabric is gathered and pleated to form what looks like two bows.

Exploring Fabric Types

There is a section on using different types of fabric with accompanying designs to go with it.

(Left) Jacket with zipper closure made from embroidery lace.  The neckline, waistline and center front are bound with satin bias tape.

(Right) Sheath dress with color blocking using art pique fabric and black woven fabric.

(Left) Jacket made from leno cloth with ruffles decorating the collar, front and hem.  I am not liking the polka dot ruffles.  It’s a bit too much with the stripes of the jacket.  (Right) Jacket and skirt sewn in seersucker fabric.  Fray trim decorate the neckline and front.

Matching Mother and Daughter Outfits

There is a two page spread on matching outfits for mother and daughter.  No sloper required for the kid’s clothes, just follow the measurements that are given and just draft.  From experience I can say drafting and sewing kid’s clothing is as simple as you get.

Experiment with Rectangle Pattern Drafting

When I first saw these four outfits I was like …ugg.  I know Mrs Stylebook likes to experiment with pattern drafting but these garments are not flattering at all.  I noticed the foundation of all four designs are based on the rectangle so I googled rectangle pattern drafting and discovered it was a drafting technique used before the late Renaissance in the construction of clothing.  As quoted from  http://www.renaissancetailor.com, “Rectangular Construction basically takes advantage of the ‘rectangular’ nature of fabric.  Most, if not all, pattern pieces are rectangular in shape, there is minimal fitting, and very few scraps left.”

This is Mrs Stylebook modern interpretation of this technique.  Even though I would never make any of these garments, I appreciate their attempt to pay tribute to this ancient method of clothing construction.

Another Baby Lock Wave Project!

Another Baby Lock Wave project that involves decorating a shirt with the wave stitch and alternating it with ruffles.  The shirt draft is included along with the instruction on how to apply the wave stitch.  I don’t like this look as much as the one featured in the last Mrs. Stylebook, but it shows another way of using the wave stitch as a design detail.


Mrs. Stylebook (Early Summer 2011) Review

14 Jul

There are about 98 patterns to draft.  Most of them comprise of tunics, tops and dresses.  The paper pattern for this issue is a blazer jacket styled four different ways with drafting instructions included.

Starting from the left is a ‘mannish’ styled  jacket sewn in a pinstripe fabric with zipper closure for the pockets and sleeves and also as a decorative trim around the collar.  Next is a ‘sporty’ styled jacket sewn up in a light blue cotton blend twill fabric with white piping.  Next is an ‘elegant’ styled jacket sewn up in a beige slub fabric with gold braiding for trims.  Lastly is a  ‘sweet’ styled jacket sewn up in a floral print devoid of any trims.  Below are some styling ideas for different ages on how to wear the jackets.


 I love the fabric on these two tunic designs.  The first one on the left is made in a sheer fabric like chiffon.  It is easy to draft and it also includes the drafting instruction for the camisole underneath the tunic.  The second tunic I am not quite sure what type of fabric it was constructed in.  I am guessing maybe a knit fabric because the pattern has no zipper or buttons.  I love the draping on the front of this tunic.  The picture doesn’t show it but the draping wraps around to the back in a similar fashion.


(Left) Lined yoke skirt with gathering below the yoke.  It is pretty simplistic in terms of sewing and drafting.  The jacket is also included in the draft.  Love the feminine take on the jean jacket.

(Middle) A-line skirt with two box pleats in the front with lace insert beneath the pleat.  No pleats in the back.

(Right) Ten tiers lined skirt with ruching and lace alternating on each tier.  Take a little more time to sew compare to the other two skirts but fairly easy to draft and sew.


(Left) Love the architectural draping on this jumper.

(Middle) Sleeveless top with piping on the princess line.  Neckline decorated with a long piece of twisted ribbon snaked along the front.

(Right) Long sleeveless peplum vest with wide lapels.  I am not a fan of this piece.  It reminds me of  an outfit a character from ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ (the TV show from the nineties) would wear.


(Left) Beautiful dress with small pleats in the center front bodice with short flutter sleeves done in two layers.  I love the eyelet fabric used for the skirt of the dress.

(Middle) Classic shirt dress with two front pockets.

(Right) Boat neck tunic with a long back.  Very similar to the blouse posted from Mrs. Stylebook Spring 2011 with the full back.


In every issues of Mrs. Stylebook they always have styling tips on how to wear the clothes that are featured in this magazine.  I have to admit that I feel some of the styling is a bit off for my taste.  I like some of the clothes that are featured.  I just wouldn’t wear it the way they have styled it.  Here are my picks:

I like the simplicity of the black shrug jacket featured in the left page.  The cascading ripples of the garment give it a structural look.  The draft is very easy.  It is just a large circle with sleeve holes put in.

On the right is a classic two piece suit.  The styling here is very good, it’s elegant and sophisticated.

On the left, the black carpi pant with fold over cuff, buttoned up with three buttons.  The fit on the model wearing the capri is perfect.  Not too tight or loose.  Ugg…  Not liking the poncho she is wearing with the capri.  It bothers me that they didn’t line up the stripes when cutting the poncho pattern.  If you like the poncho, the drafting instructions are included.

Great styling for the first outfit on the right page with the cargo jacket and short.  Drafting instructions are given for both garments.


This issue they have a feature on sewing with denim, showcasing four different designs with the sewing instructions included.  Included are discussions on different types of denim, what type of needles, threads, and notions to use and denim bleaching.

(Left) Denim jumper done in stretch denim.  Love the racer back detailing on the back.

(Right) Big shirt done in light weight denim.  A velvet ribbon tie is attached around the neckline.  Flared sleeves gathered at the cuff.

(Left) Love this deconstructed jacket with the crazy sleeves.  It reminds me of a Martin Margiela piece.  This jacket is easy to draft.  But figuring how to sew it is a puzzle in itself for a non Japanese reader like me.

(Right) Jacket with raglan sleeves and a back yoke.  The jacket has some interesting seaming and pocket placement on the front.


(Left) Stretch lace sleeveless top with one side ruched.  Underneath is a nude tank top done in a jersey fabric.  Easy to draft and sew both pieces.

(Right) Raglan sleeve blouse with front pleats radiating from the neckline.  The sleeves are tiered with five rows of scalloped lace.

Two origami styled blouses.  I love the complexity of the two designs shown in an understated manner.

(Left) Boat neck blouse with structured origami sleeves.  The draft is fairly easy and so are the instructions on how to fold the sleeves.  I wish they made the blouse a little bit more fitting.

(Right) Wrap blouse with an asymmetrical neckline tied to the side.  Drafting it doesn’t seem to difficult but constructing it may be bit of a challenge for a non-Japanese reader.


There are 50 designs showcasing Japanese designers/brands. All the garments featured are casual ready-to-wear.  A lot of the garments featured are loose fitting.  Personally I like more tailored garments so I will only be reviewing a select few that I find interesting.

Love the two bottoms featured here.  The pant on the left is a cargo capri with draw string bottoms and welt pockets on the back.

The Bermuda short on the right has interesting patch pockets on the side with crisscross detailing.

The dress on the right has crazy amount of pleating.  There are pleats all around the neckline and skirt.  The skirt has an interesting scalloping detail along the hip line where box pleats are sewn underneath the scalloping. The dress buttons up on the front and has raglan sleeves.

I like the interesting draping on the raglan shirt on the right. The pattern draft is fairly simple to follow.  The front is cut on the straight grain and the side is cut on a bias which gives it the draped look.


I found this section pretty interesting because it featured a 52 year old reader of Mrs Stylebook who has been sewing from the magazine for years.  In this article she chooses 7 pieces that she has sewn and has been a staple in her wardrobe.  The reader models her own garments for the photos but I am not sure if she styled the look herself.  Since all the garments featured were from previous issues of Mrs Stylebook, the magazine has included the drafting instruction for all seven garments.


There are seven examples given in this section on taking existing garments to make into new garments.  Lots of picture diagrams that are easy to follow for non-Japanese reader.  Here are two recycling alteration projects:


For those that have the baby lock wave machine this project is for you, a blouse using the decorative wave stitch on the front of the blouse.  There are instructions on how to do the embellishment on the fabric and how to draft this lovely top.  Sigh… I want a wave machine just to do this project.

Mrs. Stylebook (Spring 2011) Review

22 Jun

I finally collected my three Mrs. Style Books from a Japanese vendor that orders them for me.  I have the spring, early summer and summer issues.  Today’s post will be on the spring 2011 issue.

There are about 90 drafting patterns in this issue.  The paper pattern included for this issue are for four dresses with the sewing instructions included.

The first two dresses have an unusual design detail using tucks in place of darts.  I love how the first dress creates the illusion of an hour glass figure with the tucks v-ing into the center front of the bodice and the skirt tucks flaring out.  The third dress is a shirt dress with a yoke back, drawstring waist, rolled up tab sleeve and a peter pan collar.  The fourth dress is a romantic puff sleeve dress with interesting pleating in the back.  For those who like to draft their own patterns, the instructions for the drafts are included.



Two trench coats: the red one is double breasted with pointed collar, the pink one is single breasted with rounded collar.

The light pink coat is a dress coat with 3/4 puff sleeves.  No collar and no closures.  Extremely easy to draft and sew.  I recommend this coat for novice drafter.


Interesting detailing on the neckline of the Chanel like suit on the left, a silk scarf is weaved into the neckline.  The scarf could be worn loose or tied up.  Middle outfit you have a jewel neckline jacket with bermuda shorts.  Last outfit on the right reminds me of a vintage Valentino jacket with the bows and rosettes on the front.


On the left there are two classic style dresses, one in a classic sheath and the other one in a variation of the sheath with a lower neckline.  I love the drafting technique on the dress on the right.  The front of the dress is in one piece.  The right side of the dress folds over to the left, pleating the fabric underneath.  The dress is fasten by two snaps.  Love the masculine avant-garde look of this dress.


Three jackets sewn in lace.  I like the one on the left.  That jacket would go well with  one of the sheath dresses featured above.  The middle jacket is too boudoir for me and the one on the right is a bit frou frou for me with the puff sleeves and satin paneling.


On the left is a cute military jacket.  The pant the model is wearing is also included in the draft.  Can’t decide which stripes to sew in?   Two double breasted jackets one with a collar and one without, sewn in nautical and swinging sixties striped fabric.


Two drafts for sheer knits, one is for a loose cardigan made up in a leopard heart print fabric and the second is for a peasant blouse made up in a lavender fabric.


There is a section on using kasuri fabric in garments.  I am not familiar with this type of fabric so I googled the word kasuri to find out.  This is Wikipedia’s definition:

Kasuri ()is a Japanese word for fabric that has been woven with fibers dyed specifically to create patterns and images in the fabric. It is an ikat technique. Kasuri is weft ikat; the warp threads can be a solid color or resist dyed as well, and the weft thread is resist-tied in a specific pattern and dyed with indigo to form a picture when the cloth is woven. When the woven pattern creates an image it is referred to as picture kasuri or E-gasuri.  Japanese ikats are generally weft ikats or double ikats.

I only posted two of the kasuri designs here.  These two are the most interesting in terms of fabric and design.  I especially like the kasuri fabric on the right with its triangular pattern of stagger lines.


There are a lot of designs in this magazine so here are a few that I found to be interesting from a pattern drafting stand point maybe not on the wear ability factor for some people.

(Left) Shirt when buttoned all of the way up turns into a funnel collar.  Have it left unbuttoned looks like a regular shirt collar.

(Right) A little bit too baggy for my taste, but like the pleated ruffle along the neckline and found the curved waistline interesting but not flattering.

(Left) Asymmetrical zip jacket reminiscent of a motorcycle jacket and a trench mashed together.

(Right)  Oddly enough I like this blouse even though I probably won’t be able to pull off this look.  The fullness in the back of the blouse reminds me of a sack-back gown or robe a la francaise from the 18th century.

Not liking the ruffle placement on this skirt.  I would remove all the ruffles or have the ruffles circling the bottom of the skirt.

(Left) Sailor front skirt with lace trims.

(Right) Open blouse with tie.


Included in this issue is a lovely crochet pattern for a bag.


There is a whole section on drafting pants starting with the pant block.  From the block it shows you how to alter the legs to get bell bottom, skinny, slim, straight, flare, wide, culottes, and easy pants. Below are two version of the skinny pant: the first one is taken in in the thigh and ankle, the second one is taken in the thigh, calf and ankle.
Aside from drafting different pants, it shows how to draft various pant pockets and waistbands with their placement.

At the end of the lesson it shows how you can apply your pant knowledge into creating other pant styles.  Here is a cute jumpsuit with a cowl neck and suspender back.