Alter Apparel Designs with Magic Patterns

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Alter Apparel Designs with Magic Patterns

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Building on ideas that originated over 90 years ago, you will be amazed at the magic used to create a variety of sewing patterns. During the next two Sewing With Nancy programs my guest Amy Barickman and I will be showing Magic Patterns. The concept was originally published by Mary Brooks Picken, founder of the Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, back in the ‘20s. The designs of Amy Barickman and her staff are an ode to Mary’s original concept, which is to take what’s given and add your own spark!

The Magic Tank Top Pattern

From retro to modern, the first Magic Pattern, a tank top, can be easily changed by adding gathers, ruffles, or using vintage fabric. The sewing is designed to take just the minimum of time with a maximum of style. Watch online as Amy and I show you a few of the variations of this pattern.

Avery—a touch of gathering at the neckline and bias trim is what sets this pattern version apart from the rest.

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Adelaide—add flounces, it is easier than you think!

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Alice—upcycle using vintage fabric. The featured fabric is bark cloth, once used for home décor, now repurposed for this modern tank top.

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy ZiemanThe Magic Skirt Pattern

Onward to skirts—learn how to stretch your creativity and make the magic swirl skirt. We start with the basics. Learn how to sew a waistband, add a pleat, and repurpose menswear for another charmed style.

Billie—This is the basic skirt pattern. If it has been awhile since you’ve sewn a skirt, give this a try!

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Blythe—with a little pattern magic, learn how easy it is to add a pleat to the center front.

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

Bridget—Repurposed menswear is the fabric of choice for this skirt. I think you’ll enjoy seeing how the pattern pieces are placed on the “fabric.” Clever.

Magic Patterns by Amy Barickman as seen on Sewing With Nancy Zieman

The Magic Pattern Book

This book features 6 magic patterns that can be transformed into 36 different styles, with 216 different looks. This easy-to-follow book shows how 6 patterns x 6 looks x 6 fabric suggestions (for each look) results in a complete wardrobe. The book has beautiful full-color photos, step-by-step instructions, and a CD of printable patterns. Amy and Nancy guide you on how to tile the patterns, which are featured on the CD in the book.

Magic pattern

I’m also happy to share with you, Amy’s latest endeavor:

Vintage Notions Monthly with Amy Barickman of Indygo Junction

This is the continuation of the story Amy told in her book, Vintage Notions. This book shared a small piece of the history of her muse, Mary Brooks Picken, and the school she founded, The Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences.

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Institute this year, Amy will be releasing a series of magazines, Vintage Notions Monthly, which will feature a curated collection of Woman’s Institute materials including:
  • Excerpts from the Institute’s newsletter—Inspiration, and its magazine—Fashion Service
  • Vintage fashion illustrations
  • Inspiring stories and testimonials
  • Sewing lessons & techniques
  • A monthly Magic Pattern—a fashion sewing pattern created from personal measurements instead of pattern pieces.

The sewing lessons, vintage wisdom and beautiful (and fun to color!) illustrations will appeal to the modern sewists in our industry who love to buy, share, and enjoy inspiration.
To view the video & preview a free sample issue, visit: http://amybarickman.com/vintage-notions-monthly-magazine/

Cover1 AmyBarickman

Watch Magic Patterns (Part One and Part Two on Sewing With Nancy online.

MagicPatterns 1 SewingWithNancy

Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

Content in this feed is © copyright 2016 by Nancy Zieman and may not be republished without written permission. You’re welcome to forward the email to a friend or colleague but it’s not okay to add the RSS feed automatically as content on a blog or other website.
Make sure you are subscribed to my enews mailing list so you won’t miss a thing. Sign up here. Join us on Facebook, plus a host of other social media channels. Connect With Nancy today!
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120 Comments

  • Debbie Lake
    March 24, 2016

    Would love to try the tank top pattern, in the Magic Pattern series. As always Thank you for offering such GREAT products.

  • Maureen Elsey
    March 24, 2016

    What a great idea, I would try to make the cardigan and tank top.

  • Diane Wilson
    March 24, 2016

    I’d love to try the Adelaide or the Alice. They are both gorgeous. Thank you.

  • Evelyn Fitzpatrick
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to make the vest and the skirt. This is a good idea.

  • Pam Hopp
    March 24, 2016

    What a fabulous concept! Looking forward to watching the series.

  • Laura Petrack
    March 24, 2016

    Love this! I would start by trying out the tank top versions.

  • Gail Mandel
    March 24, 2016

    I would make the jacket

  • Scarlett Miller
    March 24, 2016

    I am new to sewing, I look forward to watching and leaning.

  • Carol P
    March 24, 2016

    The top that Avery is wearing is beautiful. I would start with that one and then make the pleated skirt for a cute outfit.

  • Brenda Ridern
    March 24, 2016

    I will start with the skirt made from menswear. …..love the change in texture and re-use idea!

  • Sally Johnson
    March 24, 2016

    This would be awesome for the tank and skirt.
    Thank you for the chance to win.

  • Elaine Watt
    March 24, 2016

    I’d like to try the Alice pattern and use barkcloth, which I just happen to have waiting for a really neat project!

  • Lorij
    March 24, 2016

    I like the green skirt and the tank top.

  • Sue Crosier
    March 24, 2016

    I love the all the tops !!! I have this book saved to buy ! Would love to win it !!! Thanks for a great site and program!

  • Cyndi
    March 24, 2016

    These are great ideas, for those new to sewing and those of use that would like a refresher! I love when you up cycle something we already have and improve on it, adjusting a fit, adding a new neckline, replacing a zipper!

    Thank you for the give away!

  • MaryEllen
    March 24, 2016

    I’d love to try the Alice . It looks like a great top to dress up or down.
    Thanks for a great giveaway !

  • Debra Williams
    March 24, 2016

    I love the flouncy tank! I think I would tackle that first. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Patty Sack
    March 24, 2016

    I would make the Avery tank and the Blythe skirt. I love this idea.

  • Christine
    March 24, 2016

    I would make the Alice. It’s very current for right now, and looks like you could crank one out quickly for a special night out. AND it looks like it would be cool and breezy for summer.

  • Carlotta England
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to make the Alice and well as the cardigan.

  • Teresa O'Guin
    March 24, 2016

    I would love to win The Magic Pattern book! My daughter and I are wanting to start “wardrobing” instead of having closets full of items that do not work together…Thanks for all you do Nancy!

  • Rosamond Corwin
    March 24, 2016

    I would make the Alice. It’s beautiful!

  • Joyce
    March 24, 2016

    I would probably start with the Alice, but I see more I would like to make.

  • Cate MacLean
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to make the Avery and the Alice tanks and the Billie skirt. I’ve watched your show for years. Every episode is full of information. Thank you very much!

  • Caroline
    March 24, 2016

    I have been looking for a tank top pattern that is different from the one I usually make and I think Alice is it. I love the look and I can use up some vintage fabric I have stored away.

  • LauraRG
    March 24, 2016

    I love repurposing fabrics and would enjoy using some of the light weight men’s suiting I have stashed away to make the pleated skirt. I remember this style of pattern making from years ago and it is good to see it updated!

  • stella
    March 24, 2016

    I’d definitely start with the tank. It is amazing how one pattern can be made into different styles with just a few changes. I want to learn more!

  • Gloria C
    March 24, 2016

    Adalaide is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Flounce adds a bit of femininity without being over poufy.

  • Zana Lawson
    March 24, 2016

    I love the Avery tank pattern. I’m just starting to sew clothes for myself again and need tops without sleeves.

  • Kathy Trebac
    March 24, 2016

    I would start with the tank as it is so versatile. As a retired Home Economics teacher, I enjoy vintage fashion and how it revolves and repeats itself.

  • Jennifer P
    March 24, 2016

    I love the flouncy tank but would have to alter the top to allow some sleeves as my bat wing arms are not anything the public should see! such a cute idea though and so worth trying to make. Thanks

  • Diane C
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to make Alice

  • Tina
    March 24, 2016

    I love Adelaide and Alice. They are so cute. Thanks for showing such great variations on the patterns.

  • Lillian Bradley
    March 24, 2016

    I love the Alice. The style is so popular now. It looks fast, easy, and cool for summer. So timely!

  • Randi Grover
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to try the different variations of the tank top.

  • Robbie Lloyd
    March 24, 2016

    Love the tank top but would add sleeves, the flounce is so cute. But I like the skirts too! Guess I like them all.

  • Kelly Sasman
    March 24, 2016

    So enjoyed watching the Magic Pattern show with Amy Barickman this morning. The Adelaide tank top is so in style right now and that is the pattern I would love to sew. Just put the book in my Amazon wish list in case I am not lucky enough to win it. 🙂

  • Kim H
    March 24, 2016

    I love the tank top with the gathering at the front neckline!

  • Nellie
    March 24, 2016

    The Tank Top has it all! I would make several variations for this spring and summer. Then in the fall I would do it all again with long sleeves for the cooler weather.

  • Beverly Smith
    March 24, 2016

    Amazing how Amy comes up with EZ ideas for changing and repurposing garments as in the Magic Pattern Book. A big help to busy ladies of today who want great fashion
    quickly. Nancy continues to bring us wonderful updates. Thank you Nancy!

  • Patti Van Dyke
    March 24, 2016

    Love your Magic Pattern ideas! Would love to play with the tank tops (adding a little cap to the sleeves for additional interest) & the never ending options of embroidery from your site. Thank you for sparking my love of sewing!

  • Patti Gentry
    March 24, 2016

    Love Alice and the idea of up cycling!

  • Karla Tschida
    March 24, 2016

    I would make Adelaide with the flounces! How cute!

  • Martha
    March 24, 2016

    The cardigan is so cute in all it’s variations. I am always cold so a stylish cover-up is perfect. What a great idea to have all these patterns in one place.

  • Diana Andrews
    March 24, 2016

    I want to make Bridget! What a cute skirt! Thanks, Nancy and Amy!

  • Jan
    March 24, 2016

    I would choose what appeared to be the “easiest” pattern. Hopefully it would not be too difficult for me to complete successfully and would inspire me to sew for myself and my daughter. Thank you.

  • Mary McConnell
    March 24, 2016

    I plan to make several variations using the tank top. It is a simple and easy fit for anyone to make, especially a 70 yr. old “grannie” who prefers comfort with style.

  • Pat
    March 24, 2016

    I love the tank top with the flounces. That would definitely be my first choice.

  • Judie Z
    March 24, 2016

    I want to add ruffles to a tank top. It ceertainly makes an ordinary top extra special!

  • Debby
    March 24, 2016

    I think I want to try them all! I love vintage and vintage inspired patterns.

  • Judy G
    March 24, 2016

    I really like the fresh new look the “Alice” version gives to a traditional tank! Love it!

  • Karen Lyles
    March 24, 2016

    I’d love to win the top pattern because once I get a top to fit (after shoulder and FBA) then I could make several styles….always a challenge!

  • dorothy Carbone
    March 24, 2016

    add flonces, want to learn how
    also
    the neckline of the tank top
    i need sleves– at 85 yold i must wear sleeves.

  • dorothy Carbone
    March 24, 2016

    add flonces, want to learn how
    also
    the neckline of the tank top
    i need sleves– at 85 yr old i must wear sleeves.

  • Sharon
    March 24, 2016

    I would love to try the tank top, in several variations. What a great concept! Thanks so much for this giveaway!

  • Karen B.
    March 24, 2016

    I really like to “change up” patterns. For one, to make things fit. The jacket and tank would be the first thing I’d make. Thanks so much.

  • Jean P
    March 24, 2016

    Since I can never find skirts long enough, I make most of my own. I remember my grandmother taking my grandfathers trousers apart and making skirts out of the legs…your technique brings back fond memories that I had forgotten. I think that would be the garments I would like to try first if I had your book. Thank you.

  • Doris G
    March 24, 2016

    I love basic patterns with ideas how to personalize them. I really like the lines of the skirt and would love to be able to make that in different fabrics.

  • Margaret Seiser
    March 24, 2016

    This is what sewing is all about for me. Taking a simple pattern, altering it for my personal style and fabrics time and time again. This looks like I have tons of patterns, but the truth is, it is all in the change and ways to reuse something over and over again to make it new.

  • Florence D
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to make the tank top. I haven’t sewn clothes in awhile, just been making quilts and a few other sown crafts. The skirt looks nice also. I am retired so I don’t dress up much but would be nice to make one for when I need to dress up.

  • Janee
    March 24, 2016

    Skirts, skirts, skirts! Love the waistband demo. I like a variety of skirts for Sunday mornings. I am an interpreter for the Deaf, and need my skirts to be modest, but not boring.

  • NANCY KILEY
    March 24, 2016

    I would make the tank top with gathered neckline. Looks like a great show. I’ll be watching on Iowa Public television. Thank you!

  • Sandra Guillemette
    March 24, 2016

    I first want to thank your for find this book and creating the series to go with it stops one from getting lost. Next as far as I am able to handle today I would make the top with the flounce but tomorrow it would be followed by the matching skirt. Then of course my daughter after seeing those two would want to learn how to sew them too and then I might make a jacket or three.

  • Joan Vinette
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to see how to make the Bridget from mens suiting.

  • Duane Wiley
    March 24, 2016

    I love the patterns that are so versatile! Looking at the video today, I would pick the Tank Top because I live in a hot climate and use a lot of these T’s. Thanks!

  • Joyce Fitzgerald
    March 24, 2016

    My granddaughter over spring break made her a skirt and vest from a pair of ladies trousers , so much fun, she is just learning to change patterns what a great gift for me to give her.

  • Renea
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to try to make all three of the tops you shared. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Wendy Weber
    March 24, 2016

    I love the tops – can’t have too many tank tops in Phoenix. But I need to make some new skirts – preferably mid-calf to full length – for performing and being comfortable – and I hope they have pockets. Never know when you need a tissue. Thanks. Wendy

  • Maria Hart
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to sew the coat using huge buttons like you did, Nancy.
    Take care….

  • Linda Gleason
    March 24, 2016

    Interested in any skirt pattern variation.

  • Kerry
    March 24, 2016

    They’re all gorgeous, but I’d start with the Adelaide tank top!

  • Susan
    March 24, 2016

    This is great. I think the tank would be most valuable to me as with lot of variations…could be tunic or a jumper even ! Thanks

  • Becky Payne
    March 24, 2016

    I love the Avery tank top. It would be perfect for our hot summers in the south!

  • Arlene Aughey
    March 24, 2016

    i already have and use this lovely book. My personal favorite is the Alice tank. I made a bunch in soft rayon prints for the Summertime, and I have also put it together with a sleeve pattern and made some with long-sleeves for Winter! (A soft red jacquard double-knit got a lot of uses and compliments over the Christmas holidays.)

  • JaneH
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to try the Alice tank in the longer version with leggings or jeggings. I like the idea of one pattern with lots of alternatives.

  • Kris
    March 24, 2016

    I made the Blythe skirt out of a patterned jeans fabric. It turned out so cute, and I loved the waist construction. Very cool!!

  • Amy Brant
    March 24, 2016

    Skirts, Skirts, Skirts. Retail tanktops are relatively easy to find and inecpensive to purchase; well-fitting fashionable skirts, not so much.

  • Isabel Olsen
    March 24, 2016

    I would love to start sewing clothes again–but I do need sleeves. Time does surprising things to upper arms.

  • Betty Elsner
    March 24, 2016

    I’d make the skirt

  • Marti Morgan
    March 24, 2016

    I NEED to make a few skirts to wear on my trip to Rome. So I suppose it will be skirts.

  • Linda Lott
    March 24, 2016

    I actually have the magic pattern book and have made one item the Diana. I would be interested in making the tank and the skirt as well as several other items. But find it extremely tedious to have to tape the pattern pieces together. I wish Amy would make the patterns available as printed patterns, that could be ordered online, once you had the book.

  • Brenda
    March 24, 2016

    I would like to try the Avery top. It looks simple but very nice.

  • Mitzi Peters
    March 24, 2016

    So excited to see a book with basic patterns and ways to alter and customize them. I’ve sewn for over 50 years for myself and then for our 5 daughters. I now have 9 grandchildren to sew for and believe the tips in this book would be helpful in customizing outfits for them. Thanks for all your years of sewing programs….

  • Linda
    March 24, 2016

    I would try the tank top first–I love all the variations that you are showing…what a great set of patterns and ideas….Thanks for the chance to win…

  • Deb wheeler
    March 24, 2016

    Adelaide It looks interesting with the layers

  • PamB
    March 24, 2016

    I would love to try the skirt and the variations.

  • Bonnie
    March 24, 2016

    What a versatile pattern book! I love the skirt variations and would definitely add them to my wardrobe. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Beulah Caswell
    March 24, 2016

    I’m waiting for the vest patterns!!
    I have 3 of Mary Brooks Picken’s books which were some of my mother’s text books when she was in “Normal School”
    (Teacher’s College) in the 1920’s!!

  • Karen payton
    March 24, 2016

    What a clever idea! I really like the look of the pleated tank top

  • DIANA
    March 25, 2016

    Wow! What a great selection of fashion choices….I would like to sew the modern tank….thank you for bring this set of patterns and shows to us.
    DIANA

  • Lynn Hopper
    March 25, 2016

    With warm weather on th way, I would like to make some tank tops.

  • Lynn Poulin
    March 25, 2016

    I would like to sew one of the tank tops. I especially like the Avery variation.

  • Ruth L
    March 25, 2016

    I love Amy’s work and her thoughtful preservation these patterns from long ago. I would start with the basic Billie Skirt and then the variations. I love skirts and wear them everyday in the warm and humid summer months of Florida.

  • Laurie Konrad
    March 25, 2016

    I have used Nancy’s method of fitting by taking my measurement from “armpit to armpit”. I measured 15 1/2″. This corresponds to size 18 or 20. The bust measurement for these sizes is about 42. My bust measures 50! So, according to Nancy’s method, I have to add 8″ to the bust measurement! With princess seams, this means 2″ to each seam. That seems like a lot, but I DO wear a size 18/20 ready to wear. I’m afraid it will look really odd when adding that much.

  • Renee Nicovich
    March 25, 2016

    I want to make them all! But I want to start with the tank, I love the Avery and the Adelaide.

  • Diane S.
    March 25, 2016

    I would love to learn how to change a pattern for different looks instead of altering a myriad of patterns to complement a wardrobe.

  • Peg Sullivan
    March 25, 2016

    I love the tee redo. I taught a serger class last summer and would love to revisit with classmates and makae New shirts. What fun.

  • Sue Barton
    March 25, 2016

    Everything old is new again! This isn’t old, but the ideas are ageless! This is a book to keep and re-read again. It will be well worth the cover price.

  • Anne Brzycki
    March 25, 2016

    I would like to make the Blythe skirt! Or any of the tops.

  • Flo
    March 25, 2016

    I would choose the magic skirt pattern with the added front pleat to make for myself. I love to take simple or medium-hard patterns and alter them by adding different construction details or embellishments so magic patterns are ideal for new! Thank you!

  • Marty
    March 25, 2016

    Need to make a skirt so will first try the “Billie”.

  • Katie B
    March 26, 2016

    Difficult decisions, but I think I need to try the skirt with the elasticized back and smooth front – with a pleat!

  • Katie B
    March 26, 2016

    Difficult decision, but I’d start with a skirt – I’m anxious to try the waistband with the elastic in the back!

  • Ginger
    March 26, 2016

    I would start with the Blythe. It looks like a fun summer skirt. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  • Deb J
    March 26, 2016

    I think that I would start with the tank top. I liked the variations that I saw.

  • Leah W.
    March 26, 2016

    I liked the top using the scarf and the Bridget skirt.

  • Kari
    March 27, 2016

    I loved them all…..very clever ideas! I’d start with the skirt for the comfort waist factor!

  • Sam Morris
    March 27, 2016

    With summer on it’s way, I’d like to try the tank top and variations.

  • Sam Morris
    March 27, 2016

    with summer on it’s way I’d like to try the tank top and variations.

  • M.R. Beat
    March 27, 2016

    I would start with the tank top because I do NOT like a neckline that falls away when I bend, even slightly, over. I hope the gathered neckline works to keep the “peep” show under control. 🙂

  • mindi
    March 27, 2016

    That tank with the flounces is so cute! Also like the skirt with the center pleat and pockets. I enjoyed watchig the video. This book looks fabulous! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  • Juanita Iwamoto
    March 28, 2016

    I haven’t worn skirts in a while. I would love to try the skirt with the pleat. It looks very sporty/

  • Pat West
    March 28, 2016

    Avery is my classic favorite. The design is so simple and adaptable! I can sew a closetfull to pair with jackets and other garments.

  • Harikleia Sirmans
    March 29, 2016

    I would like to make the Magic Pattern skirt. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Nancy Matus
    March 31, 2016

    I love the tank top–so many ways to customize it! This is a wonderful, creative concept!

  • Dorothy C.
    March 31, 2016

    Love the ideas, and I’m sure all my granddaughters would too. Haven’t sewn for awhile and these are a good incentive!

  • Donna
    April 9, 2016

    I love the ideas in the photos but I am unable to access either part 1 or part 2 of the magic patterns. I’ll have to check with my library and see if they have the book. I would like to know more about the concepts prior to purchasing the book.

  • susan
    April 10, 2016

    This would be a great book to use with my grandaughter’s 4-H project, both for fit and design.

  • Deon
    April 15, 2016

    As the blog noted, it’s been a while since I sewed a skirt. With summer coming up, it’s probably time I give it a whirl.

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