Different Methods of Patternmaking in the Apparel Industry

February 22, 2018

In its most basic form, a pattern is a paper template – a model on which pieces of fabric are traced to individual garment components..

A Bit about Patternmaking

Patternmaking is an art form. It is the process of designing and shaping a flat piece of fabric in a way that ultimately fits perfectly onto the curves of the human body.

Patternmaking serves as a bridge between design and sample making.

Patterns are flat, while human bodies are three-dimensional. This is where the skill of the patternmaker is thoroughly tested.

Methods of Patternmaking

There are three popular methods of patternmaking. Let’s elaborate on them:


Drafting is the simplest method of patternmaking. It involves taking accurate measurements of a person, dress or dummy and then creating patterns accordingly.

Measurements of different areas like chest, waist and hip are taken to ensure accuracy. This involves basic designing on a piece of paper.


Instead of a two-dimensional drawing on a piece of paper, draping involves putting cloth on a human body or mannequin.

Draping the structure with unfinished fabric gives the patternmaker a three-dimensional view of how patterns should be assembled.

The patternmaker now works on the fabric. He/she has more freedom and room for creativity.

Flat Patternmaking

The flat patternmaking process is the fastest and most efficient process of patternmaking. This uses a slash or pivotal method to help the patternmaker create different designs. Patterns can be easily manipulated and new styles can be easily created with the help of software.

In the flat patternmaking method, the sloper is the beginning point. A sloper is basically a standard pattern that takes into account body measurement, but does not include design elements like seam allowance or comfort ease. It is then manipulated to produce more creative styles.

With a team of creative apparel patternmakers, we at Lefty Production Co. are a garment manufacturing company in Los Angeles. Over the years, we have perfected our process to ensure that we are producing only high-quality clothing and garments. Learn more about our pattern making and clothing production process.

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