Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know

Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know

Every article of clothing has a pattern as its fundamental design guide. Read and learn the basic information about pattern making and then you can do it yourself.

It takes skill to draft patterns for the production of clothing. Each pattern is designed with precision and technique to ensure that there is little room for error in the production of the garments. After you’ve finished designing your clothing, technical drawings of your sketches must be made in order for patterns to be made.

To advance your initial sketches, look at some of the key components of this artwork.

What is Pattern Making?

In its simplest form, pattern making is the skill of turning a designer’s conceptual design for a piece of clothing into an actual article of clothing that flatteringly fits the human body. Some pattern makers prefer to stick with the tried-and-true methods that have been used for centuries in pattern making.

However, the art of pattern making has evolved thanks to generations of experience in creating design patterns. In the world of pattern making, any method that transforms a design sketch into an actual garment is acceptable, and many designers have since moved away from flat patterns in favor of creating three-dimensional patterns on mannequins or in the digital realm.

Further Reading: What Is Grainline In Pattern Making?

It is evident when you look at the entire apparel industry that pattern design takes on a variety of different forms, just as different design elements are used by different companies. But the fundamentals of pattern making remain the same: This procedure is all about making a designer’s visions a reality.

Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know

Why Patterns Are Essential in Clothing Manufacturing?

In essence, a precise profile of your clothing will result in the first fit sample from your collection.

The final garment must closely resemble this sample as is humanly possible. Otherwise, substantial changes will be required, which will result in expensive setbacks.

Methods of Pattern Making

Pattern making involves three methods-

  • Drafting
  • Draping
  • Flat paper patternmaking


It entails measurements obtained from sizing systems or precise measurements made on an individual, a piece of clothing, or a body form. To finish the pattern, construction lines are drawn and measurements for the chest, waist, hips, and so forth are marked on paper. To create fundamental, underlying, or design patterns, drafting is used.


In order to create a three-dimensional fabric pattern, a two-dimensional piece of fabric must be draped around a form and molded to fit its shape. To create the final pattern, this muslin is transferred to paper.

Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know

In order to make the clothing comfortable to wear, movement easements are added. The benefit of draping is that it allows the designer to see how the finished garment will look overall on the body form before the garment piece is cut and sewn. However, compared to flat pattern making, it is more expensive and time consuming.

Flat Pattern Making

It entails creating a basic fitted pattern that is comfortable and easy to fit a person or body form. Designing flat patterns begins with a sloper. The design is straightforward and gives the body just the right amount of ease to allow for comfort and movement (Shoben and Ward).

For women’s clothing, there are five fundamental pattern pieces. They consist of a basic neckline, a fitted front and back with darts and a snug-fitting bodice, a sleeve, and a fitted front and back with darts.

Women’s fashion, however, changes frequently because of this. In order to create fashions, these fundamental slopers are then altered.

Simple slopers don’t have seam allowances, which makes it easier to alter them to fit different styles. Only the construction lines are marked, and it lacks any design interest. An essential requirement for a sloper is that its fundamental design allow for simple adjustment. Accurate measurements are crucial for producing high-quality patterns.

What Information Do You Need before You Produce Patterns?

A Tech Pack is a useful tool to help with pattern creation. These specifications will give you everything you need, including fabrications and construction techniques, to support your fundamental design.

Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know

If you don’t give your pattern maker enough details, mistakes may be made. Only precise and detailed specs can be used to create a pattern, so make sure you do enough research in advance to avoid mistakes.

How to Start and Where to Start?

Success as a pattern maker can be achieved in a variety of ways. The only requirement for starting a career as a pattern maker is drive; this profession is only suitable for those who love fabric so much that they’re willing to work with it every day for years on end.

If you want to create patterns, having some sewing experience is typically a plus, and you should be knowledgeable about the various fabrics available. When you’re prepared to try your hand at this line of work, there are many simple ways to get started online.

For instance, there are a number of thorough guides that cover the fundamentals of pattern making and make it simple to practice this skill in your own living room or bedroom.

Some of the best pattern makers are self-taught, so attending traditional school may not be necessary for you to excel in this line of work.

Others, on the other hand, choose to dive right into pattern making without having much sewing experience, and some professionals who work in the fashion industry already pursue formal education in this field to advance their skills.

Where to Study Pattern Making?

Many aspiring designers choose to learn pattern making as part of their studies in fashion design; almost all fashion schools offer courses in pattern making, and some examples of the top fashion institutes around the world include:

Basics of Pattern Making: What You Need to Know
  • Central Saint Martins: London’s Central Saint Martins has long been regarded as one of the world’s top fashion institutions, and notable graduates include David Koma, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano. Pattern making courses are offered in the fashion design program at this school.
  • Parsons School of Design: Parsons School of Design is one of the renowned (and most expensive) fashion schools, with locations in both New York City and Paris. Graduates of Parsons include Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, and Donna Karan, and the fashion design undergraduate program there provides one of the best pattern-making educations available.
  • London College of Fashion: Numerous undergraduate programs are available at this fashion school, and London College of Fashion even offers a degree in fashion pattern cutting, which might make it the ideal place to start a career as a pattern maker.

But for a variety of reasons, attending pattern-making school might not be the best move. The main goal of expensive fashion school is to assist designers in obtaining well-rounded educations.

Conclusion: Learn How to Create Patterns

As was already mentioned, creating a finished garment requires the proper balance and knowledge from beginning to end. Learning to make your own patterns is an excellent way to increase your understanding of the production process.

There are numerous resources available, such as online courses, local workshops, and outside workshops. However, it does take time and dedication to learn this skill. You now have some knowledge of the fundamentals of pattern making and related information.

With regard to the fundamentals of pattern making, hopefully you now have a good understanding of what is required and how to begin with your own pattern making projects. Good luck and have fun!

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