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:
- standard terminology and pattern cutting techniques
- which essential tools and equipment are required in pattern cutting
- how to take measurements from a model professionally to create a master block
- how to create useable patterns from a master block
- how to make foundation pattern adaptions, including dart manipulation and adding volume
- how to create style lines and panelling
Introduction to Pattern Cutting: Before You Startwith Nina Redman
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.
Taking Measurements Professionallywith Nina Redman
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.
How to Make a Master Block for Garment Sewingwith Nina Redman
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.
Creating a Pattern from a Master Blockwith Nina Redman
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.
Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Dart Manipulationwith Nina Redman
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.
Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Adding Volumewith Nina Redman
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.
Common Pattern Cutting Techniques: Creating Style Lineswith Nina Redman
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.
Continue Your Pattern Cutting Learningwith Nina Redman
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.
Techniques for Cutting Back on Waste in Your Designswith Eve Tokens
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:
YouTube: The Creative Curator
Waste-Free Methods from Creative Pattern Cuttingwith Franki Campbell
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: