A few months ago I helped a friend workshop her one-woman play. As a thank you, she very generously sent me a book voucher so I went out and bought Hisako Sato’s beautiful pattern book, Drape Drape 2. About a week later, I bought the first book, Drape Drape. And they are awesome. So much so that using an exclamation mark after that last statement would just cheapen it. Really!
I’d read a lot about these books and seen some beautiful projects made but I couldn’t quite get my head around it until I got my hands on it. I’m used to dealing with more traditional patterns so using a pattern book was new to me and something I was keen to try. There are 17 in the first book and 12 in book 2 for tops, dresses and trousers. The designs are beautifully photographed and each project provides concise written instructions alongside clear diagrams. Now, I’m the type of person who usually throws written instructions out immediately but they were so straightforward and not overly wordy, that I actually read them.
Unlike more trad patterns, the full-sized patterns attached at the back of the books are all printed on 2 double-sided, huge (A1-size?) pieces of paper. The pattern pieces all overlap, it looks like chaos but it’s not as bad as it looks.. The pattern pages look like this…
This made me laugh. Yes, yes, it’s very juvenile…
You’ll need tracing paper, I use tissue paper as it’s cheaper at 5p per A1 sheet (from that Art supply store off Brick Lane). Be aware that some pattern pieces are quite big so get more paper than you think you’ll need. Paper over the pattern page and get tracing. The most difficult part is deciding which project to start first.
A final comment on Drape Drape, it assumes you have basic sewing skills but when I say basic, I mean “you’re able to sew two pieces of fabric together”. Those new to sewing should not be put off. The projects come together pretty quickly and most involve two or three seams and finishing raw edges.
If you have a big enough table to work on, I envy you, I spend a lot of time crawling round on the floor of my living room trying to convince our three cats to leave me alone for five minutes.