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This past winter, I took a class for patternmaking (it’s a requirement). Boy did I learn alot, but thankfully it was mostly out of a book. So I’m here to share a few things related to patternmaking if you want to get into it.

These are the basic tools of patternmaking that you’ll want to pick up. Everything else can usually be cast out. Here’s a list:

Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong (I recommend the fifth edition)
Vary Form Hip Curve
French Curve
Clear ruler (18in) with red markings
Tape (the green plaid kind is best)
Tacks/push pins (the really long grey kinds are optimal, but not shown here)
Tape measure (not pictured)



Dot paper is really crucial to the patternmaking process as you’ll be making all of your patterns on it. I can only find this at an art store in town, so you may have to ask around for it. It’s -most- optimal because the numbers and plus signs are all one inch apart, making patterning very very easy. If you try to work on non-lined or blank paper…you’re not going to like yourself.

And if you plan to pick up patternmaking, I recommend going to Home Depot and buying a 3×4 or so piece of Black Cat. Sometimes it comes bigger, and I usually get mine cut in four and use them until the cats have had their way with them.

Lastly, you’ll need some manilla paper/tag board. This can also be found in art stores, but not commercial ones like Michael’s. You can use this for blocks (I’ll talk about those in a later post) and over your Black Cat. You won’t want to draft ontop of Black Cat unless you have the manilla paper over it.

The best place to start? Start reading the book. It’s a bit expensive but you will -never- have to buy another pattern. Ever. You can make ANYTHING you want out of this book. It also has a few instructions on how to fit things if they’re not right.

Go at it! Have fun, and always message if you need some help!



Posted by on June 24, 2011 in Costuming


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