Are your ready to take your clothing design to the next step? Vetting pattern makers is the key to turning exactly what you intended into authenticity.
Appointment the perfect pattern maker is alike to finding a partner in life. Both parties have a list of wants and needs in mind – here are a few guidelines to make sure your pattern maker is well-appointed to bring your creative vision to life!
So, what is pattern-making? In the clothing industry, a pattern is the template from which the parts of an apparel are traced onto fabric before being cut out and assembled. Pattern making an art that requires complex manufacturing. Clothing patterns can be made manually on CADs (Computer-Aided Design Software). For all designer-entrepreneur, pattern making is energetic as it is the technical backbone to the manufacturing process, and really holds the most accountability in creating a profitable product.
There are 9 opinions to consider before appointment your pattern maker:
- Production sewing knowledge– Have they worked with trustworthy brands or established companies in the past? Only select your pattern maker if they have experience drafting patterns for similar markets. For example, if they have only worked on teens’ clothing, don’t pick them if you are focused on technical outerwear.
- Pattern Grading knowledge– This is the process of turning a sample size into additional sizes, size requirement sheet, or grading increases. Can they grade patterns? If they can, it’s a good pointer that they know what they are doing.
- Holding a clothing fit session with a fit model– What is a fit model? A fit model is a person who is the designer’s ideal size and shape for your sample and brand. They are a live version of a dummy used to check the curtain, fit, visual advent, and functionality of any apparel. In the fit session, a pattern maker must be able to see the subjects with the fit and help you choose how to fix them.
- Clothing Industry Terminology– An understanding of the precise industry terminology for construction and seams. Remember, all of the terminologies necessity to be truthful in the tech pack, otherwise, you risk the manufacturer sewing it wrong (major yikes!). Ask them if they will take the period to review your tech pack for accuracy.
- Sewing for production– A decent pattern maker must have a solid background in creating patterns for manufacture. Don’t cheap out here! Annoying to save a few hundred dollars on patternmaking might really cost you hundreds or even thousands more in sewing and manufacturing.
- A good understanding of math– This is critical! Since patterns are all about the measurements, it is very significant they know their math for grading. This type of work is really detail-oriented, and even the slightest fault can alter the outcome. Your pattern maker must be very comfortable with numbers and making sure that all detail is correct.
- A firm understanding of fabrics– Since the pattern maker is accountable for drafting patterns based on your designer’s sketches, a strong basis of fabric knowledge is what you must be looking for. Fabric affects fit, and the fit is the key to a profitable garment.
- Open communication– Discuss timelines. Your pattern maker must be able to provide fit comments and work well with you to make changes. Remember, you and your pattern maker will be working organized to create something lovely, so continually make sure you are both on the same page.
And most significantly, of course:
- Ask for references and check them– This is repeatedly overlooked! It is significant to be able to faith your pattern maker with their experience, and following up on their references is the only way to do so. You can learn a lot about how they work as well. This is the equivalent to cyber-stalking your first date.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way on appointment the perfect pattern maker. And just like your potential partner, not ever settle for anything less than excellence! Pattern makers must be really detail-oriented, have a wide background/education, and open communication with you at all times.