• The Role of a Pattern Maker

    Pattern making is a very technical field of fashion. I remember being told by a mentor that it is more important to be a good pattern maker than it is to be a good designer. I can say it truly is an art to be able to interpret sketches and images, and then bring them to life in a flat pattern. Some people call pattern makers in Melbourne “fashion engineers” – in my opinion, that is 100% correct! Read on to learn more about what the role of a pattern maker entails.

    What Does Pattern Making Involve?

    The key to great pattern making is to have an understanding of fit.  This refers to both men’s and ladies wear, but particularly the female body, because it has lots of curves. This means lots of shaping needs to be used in design lines and darts for a close fit. Pattern making for fitted styles starts with a basic drafting block and often requires the shifting of darts to interpret the style. This is called dart manipulation, which is the process of moving darts from the standard drafting block to other places to shape and fit the body.

    Darts can be moved around to become part of a design element of a style. For example, the side bust dart of a ladies’ drafting block can be shifted into the neckline to create a top with a gathered neck that will still fit around the bust. This method of shifting the dart shaping is called slash and open. Literally the pattern draft is slashed from the neck to the bust point (the end of the dart) and the side bust dart is folded closed. This creates volume at the neckline, which will become gathers, or even pleats – perhaps into a collar stand or a narrow bind.

    Limited Only by Imagination

    Design elements are unlimited when it comes to pattern making. It is up the imagination of the designer, who often draws inspiration from an image or a combination of images to create a blueprint for the style they want. My skill as a pattern maker in Melbourne is to understand what is required and get creative! It is a very rewarding career being a pattern maker, and a source of constant satisfaction to be able to see my patterns made into well-fitting garments that interpret the design brief given to me.

    For more information on pattern making or the role of a pattern maker, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 0407 855 334 or emailing info@patternsplus.com.au.


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