Tools for Pattern Making and Their Uses

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Pattern Making is more than just a hobby. It is serious business which requires technical skills and tools. In order to work more efficiently, you would definitely need a few tools and supplies for pattern making. Without them you cannot work.

It is also important to know what these tools and their uses are before you start to work. It will show that you are serious about learning the craft and make you look more professional. Here is a list of fourteen such tools that are used for pattern making that you need to know.

1. Scissors

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The first and foremost tool that you need is scissors. There are different types of scissors like fabric scissors and paper scissors. You would need to invest in a good pair of scissors if you want to do pattern making.

2. Measuring Tape

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Used to take body measurements, a measuring tape is a very useful tool for pattern making. It is also used to measure the pattern size so that you can be as accurate when designing a garment. It is usually advisable to have at least three tapes on you incase you lose one.

Also readImportance of Pattern Making in Dress Designing

3. Tracing Wheels

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A tracing wheel is used to transfer pattern markings from cardboard onto the paper and sometimes the other way around. It can also be used to trace self-drafted blocks and practically is the best friend of a pattern marker.

4. Pencil and Pens

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Stationary tools like pencil and pens are the most basic tools used for pattern making. However you need to use a specific kind of pencil like a mechanical pencil. Colored pencils are also used to mark specifics things like Red and Blue are used to identify pattern change and Black and Green are used for pattern information.

5. Rulers

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One of the best devices to take long straight measurements, a ruler can be really helpful to a designer for checking grain lines and marking hems as well. A tailor uses a 24 x 12 inch ruler metal ruler with two arms forming 90 degree angle that measures, rules and squares.

6. Awl

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An awl is used to transfer dart points, pockets, trim, drilling holes onto the pattern. An awl is thicker than a needle with a sharp spike-like instrument with a handle. It is also used to make buttonholes.

7. Pattern Making Paper

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Pattern making paper is used to draft patterns and tracing them. Without patter making paper there cannot be a pattern. There are different types of paper such as plain, squared and dot and cross.

8. Tailor’s Chalk

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Tailor’s chalk is used for making adjusted seams and style lines on the pattern. There are different colors of the chalk available which can help you color code different patterns. It is also used for making the paper patterns on the fabric.

9. Curve Rules

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Also known as French Curve, it is a bunch of curved rulers used to share armholes and necklines. It helps in marking the neck and arm hole depth and shape on the garment.

10. Sewing Pins

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Sewing pins also known as straight pins are used for draping, wrapping and fitting. A pincushion can also be useful as a pin is a tiny object, you can put the pins on the cushion which can be wrapped on your wrist.

11.Masking Tape

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A masking tape can be a normal magic mend scotch tape used for mending the patch work. It is also used to attach the paper pattern on a dress stand or the dummy and hold the garment together.

12. Flat Table

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A normal, flat table of 45 degree vertical table that helps to cut and develop patterns easily and properly.

13. Notcher

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A notcher is used to indicate the seam allowance, front and back of the pattern and the centre line. This can help the designer in knowing how to assemble the garment parts properly. It also helps in transferring notches from blocks onto the pattern paper.

14. Dress Stand

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Dress stand or a dress form, also called a tailor’s dummy. It helps the pattern maker in fixing the garment measurement accurately and also helps in making pattern grading from one size to the other.


Q. Does a course in fashion design teach how to do pattern making?

It depends on courses to course. Most of the courses include pattern making as a part of its syllabus.

Q. How long is a diploma programme in fashion design?

A diploma course in fashion design is usually 6 months to 1 year long.

Q. What are the three methods of pattern making?

Three methods of pattern making are drafting, draping and flat pattern drawing.

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