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Learn the Basics of Pattern Making

by George Blitzer September 13, 2017

Learn the Basics of Pattern Making

As you probably know, the development of a garment consists of various processes. The fit is the most important aspect, as it leads to the final stage of a garment – the acceptance of the rejection of it. Therefore, the fit must be designed into the original pattern that you follow during the development of the garment, and it must be designed through subtleties in the pattern that give fullness at appropriate locations to accommodate body bulges in a pleasing manner. The good customized fit of a garment is depending on the pattern drafting that incorporates several shapes and proportions of the individual customer. Standardized patterns are essential for the success of the final garment.

Maybe you didn’t think about pattern making like this before, but it is an art. Pattern making encompasses handling and shaping a flat piece of fabric to make it resemble the human figure, with its curves. You can also consider pattern making as a bridge function between design and production. You can turn a sketch into a garment with the help of a pattern that unravels the design in the form of the clothing elements.

Although the body is not flat, the pattern is. As you know, the human body has height, width, and depth. The body also has curves and bulges, which the pattern maker needs to take into consideration. You need to know that darts are essential in pattern making. They are meant to turn a flat piece of garment into a three-dimensional form, which folds on the curves and bulges of the body.

Generally, a pattern maker creates a pattern from a plain sketch with measurements or from a two-dimensional image. The basic pattern is one of an essential thing upon which relies the pattern making, fit, and design. It is considered to be the starting point for flat pattern designing. The basic pattern is simple and it fits the body with the necessary ease of movement and comfort.

There are three methods involved in the pattern making:

  1. Drafting

Drafting involves measurements copied from sizing systems or accurate measurements of a person, dress or body form. The pattern maker marks measurements for chest, waist, hips, and others, as well as ease allowances on a paper and draws construction lines to complete the pattern. Drafting is meant to create basic, foundation or design patterns.

  1. Draping

Draping refers to the draping of a two-dimensional piece of fabric around a form, imitating its shape to create a three-dimensional fabric pattern. The pattern maker transfers the muslin to paper to use it as the final pattern. To make the garment comfortable to wear, the pattern maker adds ease allowances for movement. Draping allows the designer to see the overall effect that the design has on the finished garment on the body form, prior to cut and sew the garment pieces.

  1. Flat pattern making
Flat pattern making includes the development of a fitted basic pattern with comfort ease to fit a body form or a person. The starting point for flat pattern designing is the sloper. It is a simple pattern that fits the body, while it also allows enough ease for movement and comfort. For women garments, there are five basic pattern pieces used, and they include a snug-fitting bodice front and back with darts and a basic neckline, a sleeve, as well as a fitted skirt front and back with darts. However, the style changes constantly, as the fashion also changes. The basic slopers are biased to create fashions.


George Blitzer
George Blitzer

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