What A Patternmaker Does, and Why You Need One

Garment production is a complicated and lengthy process. And while the payoff is great for the designers when they are lauded for their fabulous designs, it’s the patternmakers who make the real magic happen.
As someone who’s working in the fashion industry, it’s vital to have basic knowledge of what patternmakers do. Luckily, we’re here to explain the process to you.

What is patternmaking?

Patternmaking is the bridge between clothing design and production. A design is simply a sketch on a flat paper. Patternmaking converts this sketch into a template that is used to stitch clothes.
These templates are made using body measurements and molding pieces of cloth along body contours. These form the blueprints for the stitching and production stages.
Following the Industrial Revolution, patternmaking became essential as ready-to-wear clothing was commercialized. And the industry has never looked back since.

What patternmakers do

Patternmakers are responsible for creating these templates. The two most popular techniques they employ include Flat Pattern and Draping. Technology is also being used to create these patterns. CAD and other drawing software are used to mold and create patterns based on body contours and measurements. Patternmakers are required to have basic knowledge of stitching and fabric, which helps them visualize the fall and drape of the fabric so they can create flattering templates.

Using the drafting and flat-pattern techniques, patternmakers, also known as technical designers, use muslin fabric to create patterns. These are draped and styled according to model measurements.
In the flat pattern technique, a flat sheet is used with a sketched silhouette. The draping technique involves using a mannequin to spread shape fabrics to create stencils.
A visual mannequin then is created using software, so designers can envisage the final flare and fit. Separate templates for various parts—sleeves, bodice, etc.—are created and can be replicated for a variety of sizes and body shapes.
Designers approve the templates before the pieces are produced and make changes if and when required. It's best if alterations to the shape, flare, and size are made before stitching begins.
Making changes to the final product begets problems such as fabric stretching and may affect the fall and drape of the outfit.

Hiring a Professional Patternmaker

In the fashion and apparel industry, the fit of a garment is the winning factor. Producing ill-fitted, unflattering clothes with great designs will get you nowhere. A professional patternmaker will help you create well-crafted pieces and so you can make a name for yourself in the fashion world. Partnering with a garment manufacturer will help you get expert patternmakers and skilled professionals on board who can aid you every step of the way.

At Lefty Production Co., we provide professional patternmaking services and production services for businesses based in L.A.

Visit our website or call us at 323 515-9266 to learn more about how we can help your fashion brand succeed.

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