It’s time for the first tutorial! As promised, I’ll now explain some of the basic techniques behind the Pattern Magic -inspired pieces I’ve made. To start, I chose the knots, which in my opinion is one of the most wearable details you can add to your garments. Knot or bow, your choice!


Basic idea

This technique is fairly simple. To explain it briefly, you add volume to the pattern, which you then gather with the knot. If there are darts in the pattern, you can use their volume. If not, you can just add it where you want the gathers to go. After that you draw the ”sash-part”. It’s best not to make it too wide. So don’t exaggerate when adding volume, except if your fabric is really lightweight. If you want a bow, make the sash longer.

I made three different examples in half-scale to demonstrate how this works. You’ll need a basic bodice pattern.


First example

The first one is similar to what you can find in the Pattern Magic -book. I added a bow in the front using the volume of the darts and then adding some more volume by slashing and opening.

Here are the steps:

1. Draw the lines. One of them has to pass through the dart-point.

2.Cut the first line that goes to the dart-point and close the dart.

3. Cut the rest of the lines and add volume.

4.Draw the sash. Mine is 40 cm long so I could tie this bow. In the picture you can also see the facing.

As you can see, in this case it’s impossible to avoid the centre-front seam. To fix it partly, you can fiddle with the amount and placement of the volume.


Second example

In the second example I involved all the darts and the back-piece, too. The knot goes to the side, a little bit more towards the front. This would look nice as a dress. Well, obviously it would have to be longer and maybe shaped a bit differently!

Here’s how to make this:

1. Draw the lines like I did here, passing through all the dart-points. You’ll have to adjust the dashed lines after.

2. Cut the waist-line and the lines that go to the first darts. Close the darts. Now you can adjust the remaining lines.

3. Cut the remaining lines and close the darts. 

4. Draw the sash. This time I didn’t want a bow, so the bit is shorter.


Third example

Lastly, the knot is in front of a dartless bodice. It’s like one of those tie up boleros.

The how-to -part:

1. This time there are no darts to absorb, so I got the volume by slashing and opening. First draw the lines as usual.

(the dashed line is not for volume but for the shape!)

2. Cut open and add volume. The amounts are just an idea. You can choose how much you want to gather with the knot.

3. Draw the sash. At this point I also shaped the pattern a bit (the dashed line + modified the waistline).


How to finish the edges?

There are a couple of different ways to do that. You can cut everything twice to get a lining for the whole thing. Alternatively you could just add a facing to the sash-part. Or you can hem it. If you choose the facing, it would be better to stitch it down somehow at the widest part, too.


I hope that with these instructions you are now ready to experiment. Try adding a bow to some garment! Make toiles. The final look also depends a lot from your fabric choice. And then let me know what you came up with. Happy sewing!

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    • shapesoffabric Reply

      I’m glad you found it helpful. Other tutorials are on their way! 🙂

  1. this is really nice, and easy to understand. Looking forward to more tutorials.

  2. This is really easy to understand. Looking forward to more tutorials

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      That’s great! 🙂 New tutorials are on their way.

  3. At first I couldn’t get it but then I got it – you add volume and don’t sew the blue parts together – just the middle part!

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      That’s right. 🙂 The blue part creates the gathered effect.

  4. I am a student at FIT which is number one Fashion College in the Us and second in the world. I wish they would teach us all the modern patterns you do .Can you come and be a professor here ?Its in New York and NY is awesome!:)
    You are so talented and have an amazing way of making complicated things easy to understand and follow.

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Wow, thank you! I’m so glad you’re learning new tricks from my blog. New York sounds definitely awesome. 🙂

  5. Glad i came across ur blog today, being seing dis and wondering how it was achieve, i was able to understand it better with ur illustartions but am still confuced as to how to put it together, that is how to achieve the cf joining without holding the slash line excess.

    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Welcome to my blog. 🙂 You mean the first example? Don’t worry about the extra volume of fabric you get, because it serves to create all the little folds around the bow once you tie it. Just sew the little bit underneath the bow (see the two tacks?) and then sew the two halves of the front piece together. If you make it with a lining, you don’t need to worry about how to finish the edge of the facing.

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