5 Steps in Pattern Making

What is Pattern Making ?

Pattern making is definitely the art of express a design on fabric to incorporate people’s figure. In order to get a perfect customized fit, we must focus on measuring accurate shape and proportions of customer before drafting the pattern. Pattern making is a two-dimensional visual on the paper, we make the pattern fitting customer’s body size and shape and also modify it by adding some specific designs before next step.

Pattern making is always like a blueprint to guide us which part extra fabric needs be cut off to fit the customer’s figure. One of the most popular method for pattern making is – Flat Pattern Making, and we can easily study and accomplish in 5 steps:

1. Pattern Making Tools

Different pattern makers have their own choice for the pattern making tools, but normally speaking, everyone still have a basic requirement for below types tools, no matter you are a new beginner or experienced fashion designers, here are the recommendation:

Pencil and Eraser:

When drafting a pattern on the paper, we always keep modify it for error parts, or just like to improve it with new great ideas. So even experience pattern makers also prefer to use pencil and eraser, as an non-erasable marking pens will definitely make them into trouble when designing a new style patterns.

Patterning Paper

Ordinary sketching paper should be good, but professional patterning patter is much better. The patterning paper is marked with inches, lengths and sizes for a better visualization of the draft. You can use it to design patterns much easier and save time.

Pattern Making Rulers

The straight clear ruler is always a great tool for pattern making, here we recommend the Kearing brand 18 inch short ruler and 24 inch long ruler. The short ruler is more convenient for checking precise measurement, and long ruler is handy when marking or measuring patterns in bigger size.

Flexible Curve Ruler

The Kearing brand 60cm & 24’’ flexible curve ruler is a good choice, as it can be bent in various shapes to measure curve lines and other non-straight parts.


Hip Curve Ruler & Armhole Curve Ruler

The hip curve ruler and armhole curve ruler is a necessary tool which help to design and measure curves and angles once the pattern has been sketched out. The Kearing 24 inch hip curve and 12 inch armhole curve rulers for reference.

Tailor Awls

2 different tailor awls as recommendation, they are used for scoring, pivoting, and marking designs during process of shaping the design to customer’s body.

2. Body Measurements

We must pay 100% attention for body’s measurement, as patterns are either a customized work for individual client or a general sizes for a larger consumers on the market. Flat pattern making requires fashion designers to take accurate measurements to get perfect fit on the model. It is important to ensure whether the final clothes is loose or tight as it supposed to be.

3. Adding Styles and Designs

This mainly includes adding flared sleeves, changing necklines, and so on.

Fashion designers always make original patterns according to the customer’s body size, what they do is incorporate different styles into the design and turn it into a fashion statement.

4. Grading Your Design

Grading is a necessary process to readjust paper patterns to fit different sizes by using the same pattern template. When we need add or adjust the patterns, the paper grading is a great method of creating multiple sizes by maximizing or minimizing one drafted template. Just easily trace the original design on another patterning paper to adjust the dimensions for other sizes.

5. Moving onto Draping

Draping means the process to channge two-dimensional patterns into a three-dimensional one to make the final changes to visualize how it will looks like on the body. Once the pattern has been made, it can be traced out onto a piece of fabric and attached temporarily in place with needles. Draping refers to styling a customer (or more accurately covering them) with the cut-out fabric based on your drafted design.

For everyone who loves pattern making, it is definitely a great thing to follow in whole life. It is high efficiency, long lasting, and luxury customization. Patterns are useful for customized designs or fast-fashion markets. It is a success begin for either self-employed seamstress or a mass-market clothing industry !

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KEARING was born in 1995, from the passion and tenacity of its founder, Jason Zhao, who started its journey from a remote country village in China …

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