Pattern Making: Everything You Need To Know

Whenever we go clothes shopping, our eyes are instantly attracted to a design because of its pattern. Something about it speaks to us and makes us decide that the apparel will increase our fashion sense.

In a roundabout way, we’re saying thank you to the designers when we purchase a product. For designers, getting their products purchased is a good sign that they’re doing something right.

Patterns have always been an important factor in separating one brand from the next, which is why pattern making is an essential tool to learn if you’re designing clothing. There are intricate processes involved to help your sketch become a reality.

If you’re a new designer and are curious about pattern making, continue reading to learn more. We’ll break what it is and the tools you’ll need.

What Is Pattern Making?

Pattern making is the art of manipulating a piece of fabric to conform to the shape of an individual. It’s the step between design and production. The goal is to turn a sketch into a piece of fitted clothing that a customer will be happy with when they buy it.

Patterns are used as an outline for the dimensions of the garment. When designing clothing, designers have to consider different factors, such as:

  • Body curves
  • Height
  • Depth

These are essential to the final production of a piece. Without the proper dimensions, clothes will turn out sloppy and unappealing. To avoid any bad pieces of clothing, designers follow a series of steps throughout the production process.

Related: How To Start A T-shirt Business: A Complete Guide

1. Gathering Tools

Before any design gets done, it’s vital that you have all of the necessary tools to limit any hiccups during pattern making. You’ll need to have:

  • Pencils and erasers
  • Flexible and gridded rulers
  • Patterning paper
  • Awls
  • Hip and arm styling curve

Each of these tools is vital for clothing production. They’ll help with visualization and edits of your product throughout the process.

Check out this article from POND Threads to learn how to hire a T-shirt designer for your apparel company!

2. Taking the Correct Measurements

Patterns can be made for either an individual customer or a broader base. Regardless, the correct measurements will need to be taken to ensure that the clothes will fit properly. You’ll need to take measures such as:

  • Height -Have the individual stand against the wall with their feet slightly apart to get an accurate measurement
  • Bust -Ask the customer to relax their arms after you put the tape measure around their chest
  • In-seam -This measurement is from an individual’s groin to their ankles
  • Waist - Put the tape around the customer’s waist without pulling to get an accurate measurement of their natural body
  • Arm - Have the customer bend their arms at a 90-degree angle and place their hands on their hips. Measure from the back of their neck, down to their elbows, and then their wrists
  • Rise - This measurement includes the center back of an individual’s natural hips to their groin

The reason you measure in increments rather than whole is that some people may have disproportional body parts. By measuring each individually, you’ll be able to get more accurate measurements. It may take a while to learn how to measure correctly, so don’t worry too much if you mess up in the early stages.

Related: Print on Demand: Everything You Need To Know


Fashion designer using a sewing machine

3. Adding Style to Your Designs

Once measurements are taken, next is adding style to your designs. This step is what separates designers. It’s possible to turn a generic design into an iconic look by adding different elements to your piece.

You could add flares to a pair of pants or maybe wrinkles to arm sleeves; whatever you decide, make sure that your original design won’t be affected too much. You’ll still need to consider the initial measurements you took before makes additional edits.

4. Pattern Grading

Now that you have all of the elements you need for your clothing, it’s time to talk about pattern grading. It helps eliminate the need to do the previous steps over again.

Instead of retaking measurements, you’ll use the basic patterns to make adjustments for other sizes. It’s a great tool, mainly when you need to produce a large quantity of clothing.

5. Time For Draping

Congrats! You’ve officially created your first patterns for your piece, which is a great accomplishment. But now, the real work begins. You’ll need to transfer your two-dimensional images to a three-dimensional figure.

It will help you see how the patterns will look on an actual figure. That way, if adjustments need to be made, you can make them to a customer’s specifications.


A mannequin and other pattern-making tools

Do you want to raise the profile of your online apparel store? Then check out these marketing strategies from POND Threads!

Choose POND Threads For Your Apparel Needs

As you can see, pattern making requires following a series of steps to make the best product possible. Although you may be proficient in clothing production, it can get overwhelming at times. So what can you do? Enlist the help of POND Threads.

Based in Southern California, we’re one of the leading apparel printing and design companies in the world. When customers come to us, we’ll help them:

  • Stay on top of current fashion trends
  • Get merchandise out quick to maximize profits

Customers will also be able to use our pattern-making and design services if they hit a snag in creativity. Whatever you need, POND Threads will make sure that your design and production needs are met.

Contact us here to give us some brief information about your business so we can help with your apparel business right away. You can also check out our website for other tips relating to eCommerce and clothing ventures.

Related: How To Start A Fashion Brand In 8 Simple Steps