Pattern Magic 2: wearing a square

Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square

Pattern Magic 2 by Tomoko Nakamichi has been in our bookshelf for some time, but I’ve just made my first garment from it.  Wearing a square is a top made from, not a square, but a rectangle of fabric, with some clever cutting.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square book cover


If you like sculptural clothes, and quirky, interesting patternmaking, you’ll love this book.  Wearing a square is considered one of the easier and most wearable styles in it.

You could probably draft Wearing a square straight onto the fabric -some people have, but I like to make a pattern.  I didn’t test it though -just went straight to the fabric.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square pattern sketch 1

The pattern looks like this, which looks absolutely nothing like a jacket “should” look like.  You can see it’s  a rectangle with just two pieces missing from the lower corners.



Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square pattern sketch 2

The four triangular pieces are cut out and turned around to make gussets for under the arms.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square pattern sketch 3

The garment is folded over along the sleeve/shoulder line, and the side/gusset/underarm seam is sewn.  Very smart!



Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square front gussets

The effect is almost a batwing shape.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square back gussets

The back is the same.  See how the stripes perform around the body?  The sleeve is on the bias, and the stripes are in a different direction front and back.


Wearing a square is intended to be a pullover, but the ones I’ve seen on other people’s blogs have been made as jackets, with front zips.  I had planned to put buttons and loops on mine, because I thought a zip would be too plain.  However, at the haberdashery counter I couldn’t find the “right” buttons, so I changed my mind about them and bought a zip instead.


The fabric is a beautiful soft herringbone wool from the op shop.  I don’t even think I paid for it, because there were holes in one end from moths, so it was free.  For the lining I used two identical scarfs from the same op shop.  They’re made in Italy, of 100% pure polyester.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square the scarf I used as lining

The scarves were exactly the right size.  I joined them together to give me a centre back seam with a pleat.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square inside of jacket

The scarves in the jacket.  I think it looks spectacular!  Notice how the scarves aren’t symmetrical?


I put interfacing in the front facing, sleeve hems, body hems and at the tops of the gussets.


Pattern Magic 2 wearing a square fusing circles at the underarm points

The top point of the gussets have a circle of fusing to reinforce them, since the seam allowance gets snipped.  I did this for the lining, too.


On the fit: I could have made the sleeves wider.  The book says 20cm wide sleeves, but that seemed too narrow even for my skinny arms.  I made mine 25cm but could easily have made them 30cm.  There isn’t much room to move one’s arms up in this jacket, in spite of the loose fabric around the armholes.  Maybe I could have made the gussets smaller?  Still, I like the look of it and see myself wearing it at an arty-type function, like an exhibition or something.




  1. Val on July 4, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Love the finished product. Did the pattern have any measurements?

    • lizhaywood on July 5, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Thanks, yes, there’s a draft in the book and you make it to your own measurements.

  2. Anthea Martin on July 5, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Loved your jacket. Your are so clever and artistic. What a wonderful use of the ‘op shop’ fabric!
    Enjoy wearing it!
    Much love Anthea

  3. LeeAnne on July 12, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I love your jacket and you look lovely in it! How wonderful to not waste a thing! Thank you for sharing!

    • lizhaywood on July 12, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Hi LeeAnne, thanks for visiting and commenting,

  4. Damar on May 16, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Liz,

    I also like how your piece and LOVE that you make a lining… my first try of this pattern where also close in the front and you are right, it can be uncomfortable, that’s why I decided to make the second one with the front open and I like it more, although I should say it is still not 100% comfortable but I love how it looks.


    • lizhaywood on May 17, 2019 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Damar. I think I would like to make this pattern again after seeing yours. I liked the longer length and open front on yours.
      Your sustainable fashion and upcycling posts are very inspiring.

  5. Anita McAdam on January 6, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Love this jacket. I’m thinking of making mine in a wool ponti. If I can mange it I’d like that drape around the neck to be softer. But like all pattern testing you really don’t know until the garment is finished.

    • lizhaywood on January 6, 2023 at 5:23 pm

      It was really fun to make, however, I don’t have it anymore. I just couldn’t seem to “work it into my wardrobe” and gave it away. Maybe it was the colour? I’m not good with beige. You’ll enjoy making this pattern and I’m sure you’ll put your own creative twist on it.

Leave a Comment