The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman

Summer always inspires me to create. And with the help of The Magic Pattern Book, by Amy Barickman, creating simple summer wearables is simple enough. Start out with 6 basic wardrobe pieces and end up with 36 different looks. Pieces included: tank top, skirt, dress, a cardigan, a coat, and an accessory (3 different hats, a scarf, and two bags/purses). Which is the whole concept behind the book, to take a single pattern and completely transform it or piece it together in different ways to 'magically' create different looks.

Barickman's book and concept are based on Mary Brooks Picken's 'Magic Patterns', feature in women's journals and magazines in the early 1900s. While fashion has changed since then, the concepts haven't, and Barickman uses Picken's advice and wisdom throughout.

The book comes with a CD with downloadable and printable pattern pieces for everything - my review copy didn't have these - but each are described in, and layed out, in the chapters. All supplemental pieces are provided for each of the unique looks. The pieces will be available online as well, but since the book isn't published yet, I couldn't check them out.

The book appeals to experienced seamstresses and newbies. The beginning of the book contains all the basic tools, question and answers, advice on textiles, and definitions you'll need to start any of the pieces, perfect for beginners. For those that know all that, each project has suggested fabrics for the finished garments - which I love since I'm in the corner that tends to make more than one garment from a pattern I like. Barickman also includes 'Make Your Own Magic' sidebars with tips on customization.

A great book for sewing some universal pieces, and the well-drawn illustrations and color photos provided are simply a bonus.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.
Renee Shelton.