Garment Pattern Making Glossary for New Designers

October 19, 2018

Let’s face it, the apparel production process can be quite difficult to comprehend. If you are a new or an emerging fashion designer, you may find it to be daunting as well.

Of all the steps that go into creating clothes, pattern making may be the most complicated. Pattern making is the second step of apparel manufacturing. Once you have a pattern, you can then proceed with sample making and then full scale manufacturing.

A pattern is used to make a sample. It is the two-dimensional blueprint for your three-dimensional product. It is the key to a well-designed, quality garment with an accurate fit.

A skilled pattern maker can create a great pattern. That being said, fashion designers must make sure that they are constantly communicating and working closely with their pattern makers so that everything goes smoothly.

When meeting a pattern maker, give them as much information as you can. This includes your target customer, product design, size, fabrics, and more. One way to do it is by submitting a tech pack / technical sketch to your pattern maker.

Understanding Pattern Making Terms  

When meeting a pattern maker, you will come across different pattern making terms. It is important to know what they mean so that you and your pattern maker are on the same page:

Pattern drafting

Pattern drafting refers to the creation of the pattern.  Measurements can be taken from a model or a form using draping techniques or they can be input into advanced software to create the piece from scratch digitally.

First patterns

These are the original patterns developed for each design. They are the first draft. Marking paper is used to make the first pattern.

Production pattern perfected

Production patterns have been revised, potentially a few times.

Pattern grader

A pattern grader adjusts the size of an original pattern into your desired range of sizes.


If you are looking for more information on pattern making, contact us. At Lefty Production Co., we specialize in providing quality patterns to our clients.

In addition to pattern making, Lefty Production Co. also offers sketches, sample making, tech pack, cutting, sewing, finishing, marking and grading, label and branding consultation, marketing, and more.

We are a complete design, development and manufacturing company for apparels and accessories. We deal with a variety of products, such as children’s wear, women’s wear and men’s wear, bridal wear, swimwear, lingerie, active wear, maternity, home textiles, handbags, accessories and more.

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