Clothing Patternmaker


Clothing patternmakers produce master patterns from designs. They work closely with designers, interpreting their sketches to develop a style that can be achieved by the company's equipment and staff, and that fits the image of the company's label.

Duties & Tasks

Clothing patternmakers may perform the following tasks:

  • interpret a design sketch
  • choose the correct 'block' (a pattern shape that forms the basic characteristics of a garment)
  • make adjustments to the pattern to arrive at a sample pattern, which is then used to decide whether to produce the garment in bulk
  • check the accuracy of the sample pattern
  • work with the sample machinist at various stages throughout the process, such as cutting out the sample garment and determining the amount of fabric used
  • advise on the correct machining technique to use
  • check that the sample garment maintains the look of the original design
  • check the fit of the sample on a mannequin, or on a model employed by the firm
  • modify sample garments to meet cost specifications and manufacturing limitations
  • once it is approved for production, reproduce the sample pattern on a pattern board to make a master pattern
  • create the required range of sizes by 'grading' the pattern, usually using a computer-aided design (CAD) system.

Working Conditions

In some cases, patternmakers may be employed in additional job roles, such as designer, sample machinist, grader or marker maker.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • artistic flair, with an eye for detail
  • good sense of proportion
  • aptitude for technical activities
  • able to work neatly and accurately.
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