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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Technical Tutorials



Additional Reading