Patternmaker Ringa Tauira Kākahu
Patternmakers turn clothing designs into patterns.
Patternmakers may do some or all of the following:
- create pattern pieces by hand or on computer
- cut out the pattern by hand or print out a copy using a computer
- write garment-sewing instructions
- help with fitting sample garments
- adapt patterns for different sizes (grading).
Patternmakers need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), normal colour vision, good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands. You also need to be comfortable standing for long periods.
Useful experience for patternmakers includes:
- community or night courses in dressmaking
- dressmaking or tailoring
- drawing or design work
- work in a clothing factory or workroom.
Patternmakers need to be:
- quick and neat
- accurate, with an eye for detail
- able to follow instructions
- able to work well under pressure
- good at maths so they can measure and make calculations
- good problem-solvers.
Clothing pattern makers need to have knowledge of:
- patternmaking, and sewing codes and symbols
- different sewing equipment and methods
- different fabrics and textiles
- body shapes
- fashion design techniques
- computer-aided design (CAD) software.
- usually work regular business hours
- work in factories and workrooms
- work in conditions that can be noisy.
A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include design and visual communication (graphics), digital technologies, maths and processing technologies.
With further training, patternmakers may become senior patternmakers, product developers or clothing designers. They may also become self-employed.
Patternmakers can specialise in a number of roles, including:
- Marker Maker
- Marker makers transfer graded patterns to thick paper, with sewing codes.
- Pattern Grader
- Pattern graders put patterns into a range of sizes.
Years Of Training1-2 years of training required.
To become a patternmaker you need to have a New Zealand Diploma in Fashion Technology (Level 5) or equivalent. You can learn to become a patternmaker through a course or through a Competenz apprenticeship.
- Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) website - information on the Diploma in Fashion Technology
- Whitecliffe College of Art and Design - information on qualifications including the Diploma in Apparel and Fashion Technology
- Southern Institute of Technology - information on the Graduate Diploma in Fashion (Design and Technology)