Garment Patterns: An Introduction
Garment patterns are a crucial aspect of clothing design and construction. They serve as a blueprint for the clothing item and dictate how the fabric will be cut and sewn together to create a specific shape and style. In this article, we will explore the importance of garment patterns and how they are created.
The term pattern can be somewhat confusing. The universally understood definition of the word “pattern” is graphics on fabric. While that is true, the word “pattern” has a much different definition when dealing with fashion design, apparel development, and clothing manufacturing.
So, let’s understand what a garment pattern is. It is the architectural drawings (not the fashion design drawings) that serves as a template or a guide that specifies the size, shape, and style of a garment. A pattern includes all the math and geometry that goes into making an item of clothing. A garment pattern is created from a fashion design drawing, or illustration, and can be modified to fit various body types and sizes. Pattern making is a specialized skill and a good pattern maker will have had at least 1 year of instructional training and a minimum of 5 years of practice. Patterns can be made using various materials such as oak tag paper or specialized software, such as Gerber or TUKA Tech.
Garment patterns are essential for creating clothing that fits well and looks stylish. A well-designed pattern can ensure that the garment is comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. It can also help to reduce waste during the manufacturing process by optimizing fabric usage and minimizing the need for trial and error.
The process of creating a garment pattern begins with a well illustrated fashion design concepts. The fashion designer first creates a sketch, or illustration, of the garment. Next the designer will obtain size specifications by either taking measurements of a fit model or by obtain sizing specs from a brand that fits well. These measurements are then used to create a basic pattern. Finally, the designer should be able to provide basic fabric content of the garment. These are the elements that make up a good fashion design and are the necessary elements for a good pattern to be made.
There are several types of garment patterns that are used in clothing design, including block patterns, sloper patterns, and style patterns. Block patterns are basic patterns that are used as a starting point for creating other patterns. Sloper patterns are more detailed and are used to create custom-fit patterns for specific body types. Style patterns are more complex and are used to create unique and intricate designs.
Once the patterns are created, the next phase will be sample sewing. Patterns are plotted (printed) on large roll of paper and placed over the fabric to be cut. The cut parts and pieces will then be assembled in the sewing process. The patterns will have instructions (also known as notches) that will help the sewer understand how to properly align all the parts and pieces of the garment. Once the sample is created, it will then be tested for fit and functionality. Any necessary adjustments will be made to the patterns, following the fit test, in preparation for full scale apparel production.
In recent years, advancements in technology have led to the development of digital pattern-making software. This software allows pattern makers to create and modify patterns using a computer, which can then be printed out and used for sample sewing and for large scale clothing manufacturing. Digital pattern-making software, using a DXF file format, has made the process of creating and modifying apparel patterns faster and more accurate. This digital process has also allowed for efficiencies in reducing fabric waste. But not all pattern makers have made the transition from paper patterns to digital.
In conclusion, garment patterns are a vital aspect of clothing design and construction. They ensure that clothing fits well, looks stylish, and is functional. Creating a garment pattern requires careful consideration of the fashion design concept, body measurements, and fabric properties. Whether created using traditional methods or digital software, garment patterns are a required tool for the clothing development and manufacturing process.