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Patternmaking Courses and Classes Overview

Patternmaking courses are offered through 2-year technical degree programs and bachelor's degree programs in fashion design. Some colleges also offer shorter patternmaking certificates or standalone courses through continuing education departments.

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Essential Information

In these programs, students gain an overview of the types of patterns, fabrics and sewing styles in the field of fashion design. Programs prepare graduates for work in the fashion field in a variety of roles, such as pattern maker, assistant designer and fit technician.

Here are some common concepts found in patternmaking courses:

  • Sewing
  • Body measurements
  • Types of cloth and clothing
  • Elements of production
  • Design
  • Retail/fashion industry

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List of Common Courses

Introduction to Patternmaking Course

This course introduces students to the essentials they will need for designing various articles of clothing with an emphasis on flat patternmaking. Students will familiarize themselves with the basic slopers, sleeves, collars and bodice silhouettes from which to begin their design, as well as with a variety of fabrics and stitching techniques. Some of the work will be performed with a sewing machine while other work may involve hand-sewing.

Basic Patternmaking Course

Students will study further into the basic components of patternmaking. They will develop an understanding of body measurements and the uniqueness of each human body in relation to clothing fit. By using mock-up garments known as muslins, students will create variations of a sample skirt or other article of clothing with which they can experiment with pleating, pegging, wrapping and other styles of patternmaking.

Advanced Patternmaking Course

This course will continue to broaden students' competency with patternmaking, progressing to more complex articles of clothing including a wide variety of sleeves, pants, coats and blouses. Continued training with various sewing techniques will be emphasized, beginning with industrial power sewing machines and advancing to more intricate hand-sewn patterns. Students will begin to make use of a broad array of fabrics ranging from extremely thin to very heavy material. At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to create patterns that are suitable for final sampling and mass production.

Manufacturing Overview and Fit Assessment Course

Having successfully gained a strong knowledge of a variety of patternmaking techniques and with valuable experience designing several different garments, students will learn the role of retailers and manufacturers in releasing a garment into production. Emphasis will be placed on assessing the proper fit of an article of clothing so that it can reach its maximum potential in mass-production. Previous student creations may be utilized in order to provide constructive feedback about how designs can be improved to better meet the needs of the market.

Computerized Patternmaking Course

After gaining a wide grasp of patternmaking skills done by hand, students will now learn to use computer hardware, software and programming tools to aid their patternmaking and apparel design. The course will cover how to render manual patterns within the software as well as how to create patterns digitally. Various innovative computer solutions within the fashion industry allow designers to create patterns more efficiently and increase their overall productivity.

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