Career as a Fashion Design - Pattern Maker (Clothing)


Clothing pattern makers interpret clothing designs and measurements, draw outlines of clothing pieces and create paper patterns from them. Patternmakers are a vital part of the fashion and manufacturing industries. In some companies the job title for a patternmaker may be apparel patternmaker or fabric patternmaker. It is the job of the patternmaker to create a pattern either free-hand or with computer-aided drafting software. Patternmakers use their knowledge of fabrics, sewing skills and ability to alter garments to draft a pattern that replicates a design concept. Eventually, a patternmaker's pattern is used by an apparel manufacturer to mass produce the garment for clothing retailers.

Conceptualizing, measuring, drawing, and cutting out the pieces of a pattern, however, is not usually the end of a patternmaker’s job. The majority of patternmakers, for instance, will also usually help decide which type and color of fabric should be used to make the garment as well.

Once a pattern is complete, the majority of patternmakers will then sew together a test garment. Making this garment helps ensure that a pattern is useful and accurate. In some cases, a garment may not go together correctly, and a patternmaker may need to adjust the pieces of the pattern

Apparel patterns, or garment patterns, are shapes that are cut out before a garment is made, and one pattern can often be used to make several garments. Patterns can be cut out of several different materials, including fabric and plastic, but a thin paper known as pattern paper is typically the most common type of material.

Pattern makers often use computer software, CAD and 3D imaging to create patterns and develop specifications. Pattern making skills can be learned on the job, by earning a specialized degree in fashion design, or through a technical training program.

Work Environment

Pattern Makers usually work normal hours in comfortable offices, but are sometimes required to work long hours to meet deadlines. Pattern makers work for fashion designers, retail companies, textile companies, design studios, and other manufacturing facilities. Some pattern makers are self-employed, so they might work for multiple clients at a time.

Entry Level Education

  • A Bachelor degree in Fashion Designing or related field.
  • Diploma /Certificate course in Pattern making.

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