How Patterns Work
The Fundamental Principles of Pattern Making and Sewing in Fashion Design
Pattern making books are typically complex books filled with measurements and ratios, which can make pattern cutting into a daunting process.
How Patterns Work takes a back-to-basics approach to pattern making to help explain the processes behind the measurements. Think of this as the perfect prequel to any other pattern making book or pattern cutting course.
The book covers common pattern making terms and distils common pattern changes down into a few basic processes so that you can understand the relationship between 2D patterns and 3D garments.
2D to 3D approach
Pattern making is a complex process that requires an understanding of how the 3D curves of the body can be translated into a 2D blueprint.
While there are many large, comprehensive texts that are well regarded in the field of pattern making, the complexity of these methods can sometimes leave fashion design students and home sewers behind.
A Pattern Making Prequel
How Patterns Work is designed to act like a pattern making prequel.
Instead of being another book filled with complex measurements, ratios and angles, How Patterns Work goes back to basics to ensure that students and sewers understand the fundamental principles behind many common pattern changes.
Common Pattern Terms Explained
The first half of the book is almost like a long-form dictionary of pattern terms to help provide a thorough explanation of all the different features of patterns such as grain lines and notches.
Communicate Like a Professional
Since patterns are essentially the blueprints for how to construct a garment, this gives you the confidence to know that you are using markings correctly. Most importantly, this ensures that you are communicating correctly with a sewing machinist (even when you’ll be the one doing the cutting and sewing).
Simple Pattern Alterations
The second half of the book shows a range of different pattern making changes that can be learnt separately and can then be applied in different combinations to any garment pattern.
Each change is shown using the cut and spread method, the pivot method and also as a draped example. This allows you to see how each pattern change will affect the fabric on the body.
Forget About the Measurements
The reason why these pattern changes have been shown away from garments is to enable students to focus on the logic behind the pattern change, instead of becoming confused by the actual shape of the garment, or being distracted by working out body measurements.
Designed to Help Pattern Concepts ‘Click’
How Patterns Work is designed to sit alongside more comprehensive books as a companion text.
While the book can often appear very simple, our approach has been that when somebody is really stuck on a part of a pattern and is just not quite “getting it”, then a longer explanation with lots of pictures can help the idea to really click, making it easier for the student to apply the same pattern change in future.
Build Your Pattern Confidence
Note that this book is unlike other pattern making books – there aren’t tables filled with body measurements or long lists of pattern drafting instructions. Instead, this book aims to teach you the why behind many different kinds of pattern changes. Once you understand the basic ideas at work, and grasp the mechanics of what is happening to the pattern and the fabric, you can then feel confident of making changes to any patterns on your own without needing to rely only on specific pattern recipes.