Introduction to Pattern Cutting

with our industry experts

Creating patterns for clothing and accessories production is a skilled practice. The detail and technique behind each pattern ensure that products are made to specification with a minimal margin of error. If you lack the technical skill or time needed to transform creative vision into an actual product, you may opt to hire a professional pattern cutter.

At the Sustainable Fashion Collective, we believe that a basic understanding of pattern cutting will enrich your ability as a designer running a business, ultimately, saving you both time and money. As you develop a more in-depth understanding of three-dimensional form, you can begin to drape fabric and design unique products, masterful in their execution and support your design process with the freedom to create technically challenging products.

We're excited to bring you this step-by-step Introduction to Pattern Cutting Masterclass to guide you through essential techniques for creating patterns for clothes.

In this Masterclass, you will learn:


  • Introduction to Pattern Cutting: Before You Start

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    In the introduction to this Masterclass, discover the vital things to know before you start your pattern cutting journey. We take you through essential pattern cutting equipment, an explanation of the standard terms you'll hear when working with patterns, and an overview of the different methods out there.

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  • Taking Measurements Professionally

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    Taking accurate body measurements is crucial for a great fit.  

    Whether you make your pattern block from a commercial fitting pattern or draft it from measurements, having precise measurements is critical to a well-fitting block, and in turn, of everything you make. 

    Professional pattern cutter, Nina Redman, demonstrates on a mannequin how to take the following measurements: chest and back, shoulder, neckline, nape to waist, front shoulder to waist, armscye and sleeve length.

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  • How to Make a Master Block for Garment Sewing

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    A master block, sometimes called a 'master pattern', 'basic block', or 'sloper', is considered the parent pattern from which you draft your garments and drafted to a perfect fit of your model.  The block lacks intricate design details or styling; there are no fancy necklines, pockets, ruffles, pleats, gathers of any kind. The only purpose of a block is to fit the figure or the dress form properly. 

    Time saved on first creating a correctly fitting basic block before creating your patterns is critical. Too often, inexperienced designers learn the hard way when an entire design must be scrapped because of the lack of a properly fitted foundation pattern. Developing master patterns, basic blocks, or slopers as some may call them, is also one of the first steps in learning about pattern making and how the flat pattern relates to the 3D body form. 

    Following drafting instructions, however, can be an extremely frustrating process, as it's so easy to get lost and make mistakes along the way. In this session, you can follow along with Nina as she demonstrates clear and easy-to-follow drafting instructions for a bodice block.


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  • Creating a Pattern from a Master Block

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    Now that you've created your master block, learn how to transfer it to a functional pattern by adding seam allowance, hems and more. We also explain pattern terms, such as seam allowance, notches and grainline.

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  • Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Dart Manipulation

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    Sometimes, a block or pattern will have a dart that could be better placed functionally or aesthetically. Understanding how to quickly move a dart can make a world of difference. In this session, we take you through this easy-to-do, miracle pattern cutting technique.

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  • Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Adding Volume

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    Adding volume to a pattern is one of the most commonly used pattern cutting techniques. In this session, learn how to add pleats, gathers and flare to a design.

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  • Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Creating Style Lines

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    The final part of our common pattern cutting techniques tutorial; learn how to add princess lines and panelling to your patterns. Once you've mastered these, you can add style lines anywhere.

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  • Continue Your Pattern Cutting Learning

    with Nina Redman
    Summary

    Now that you've worked your way through the Masterclass, you'll undoubtedly have pattern cutting fever and will be itching to learn as much as you can about the topic.  In this final video, Nina talks through how you can continue your learning and discusses her favourite pattern cutting books covering pattern blocks and more advanced pattern cutting techniques.

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  • Techniques for Cutting Back on Waste in Your Designs

    with Eve Tokens
    Summary

    Working towards a zero-waste practice means going back to basics, sometimes relearning what we think we already know, and taking time to consider new ways to work with our materials. 

    Eve Tokens, aka The Creative Curator, is a trained fashion designer and pattern cutter, who teaches creative pattern cutting in her YouTube tutorials and blog posts. We’re revisiting this fantastic demo with her from 2017 for this month’s masterclass, all about zero waste, in which she shares her techniques for zero-waste cutting, eliminating waste right from the design stage.

    About the speaker:

    Eve Tokens is a trained fashion designer and creative pattern cutter, the mastermind behind The Creative Curator, a blog and YouTube channel. She teaches others how to create their own unique and stunning clothes, advocating a sustainable, waste-free approach to fashion.

    Find Eve at:

    www.thecreativecurator.com

    YouTube: The Creative Curator

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  • Waste-Free Methods from Creative Pattern Cutting

    with Franki Campbell
    Summary

    Gain insight into the world of creative pattern cutting, a profession that demands strong creative vision and problem-solving skills, and how a pattern cutter’s capabilities can be applied to reducing waste right from the design stage.

    We revisit this episode from 2017 with Franki Campbell, whose approach to zero waste pattern cutting is pushing boundaries. Driven by her passion for sustainability, she has developed patterns optimised to cut down as much waste as possible using smart techniques and a holistic approach to how textiles are used in the studio.

     About the speaker:

    Franki Campbell is a Creative Pattern Cutter. An early interest in sewing and garment construction led her to undertake courses in corsetry, costume and bespoke pattern. After graduating from the PGC in Innovative Pattern Cutting at Central Saint Martins, her interest in sustainable fashion found her interning at Safia Minney’s label People Tree. Today she works freelance, making patterns for multiple fashion lines. 

    Find Franki at:

    www.frankicampbell.co.uk

    Instagram: @franki.creativepatterncutter

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Interviews


Technical Tutorials



Additional Reading

Eco producers, manufacturers and innovators at Première Vision September 2019

Monday Sep 30th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Fabric Sourcing
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Production
  • Design
  • Yarn Production
  • Fabric Production
  • Leather

Tips for attending fabric trade shows like Première Vision

Monday Sep 30th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Design
  • Fabric Sourcing
  • Fabric Production

The sustainable brands redefining luxury with made-to-order business models

Monday Sep 16th, 2019
  • Business In Fashion & Interiors
  • Business Plans
  • Case Study
  • Clothing
  • Design
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Trends

Start treating your offcuts with respect with these creative upcycling ideas for fabric scraps

Monday Aug 19th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Garment Making
  • Upcycling
  • Pattern Cutting
  • Zero Waste

Recycling for Fashion: Should We Give Plastics a Second Chance?

Monday Jul 22nd, 2019
  • Upcycling
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Clothing
  • Eco Designers
  • Fabric

The Rise of Fashion's Obsession with Plastic Fibres

Monday Jul 8th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Garment Making
  • Marketing

What is banana fibre and how do you make textiles from it?

Monday Jun 3rd, 2019
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Fabric
  • Fair Trade
  • Types Of Eco Fabric
  • Garment Making

What Is Zero Waste Fashion Design All About?

Wednesday Apr 26th, 2017
  • Garment Making
  • Pattern Cutting
  • Production

Sorona: Amazing Dupont Technologies Creates Sustainable Fabric to Replace Nasty Synthetic Ones!

Thursday Apr 6th, 2017
  • Design

Zara Clothing Gets Eco - The 'Join Life' Collection

Tuesday Nov 8th, 2016
  • Business In Fashion & Interiors
  • Design
  • Eco Designers
  • Fabric
  • Garment Making
  • Trends
  • Types Of Eco Fabric