Basic pattern development - Pattern Development from Drape and Measurements

Pattern Development from Drape and Measurements


Pattern is a wrapping of the body in fabric in different interesting and innovative designs. It is the blue print or map of the garment. Pattern making is a subject that opens several doors/ vistas for creating infinite number styles by designers. Mastering the art of pattern making gives a designer an opportunity to be a leader in his field. Knowledge of pattern making distinguishes an amateur from master of the field. The understanding of pattern making is fundamental to the work of designer in fashion industry. Pattern making is an activity by which design is transformed from a drawing stage to an actual physical piece. A pattern maker interprets the designers sketch by drafting it through pattern pieces.

Several systems of pattern constructions were devised in the early days of tailoring long before readymade garment industry came in to existence. The patterns served the needs of a busy tailor who generally required a guide for drafting garments directly on to the cloth. As each garment was cut individually to varying measurements, pattern drafting had to be simple and fast operation; since speed was an important element systems were devised to include necessary seam allowances. Now days the system which is used for pattern development is called block method where seam allowances are applied at the time of cutting the final pattern.
Due to unreliability of cutting systems, many pattern designers started draping their patterns on a dress form. A skillful designer can achieve good results but this method is inefficient and time consuming for the ready to wear market. The modern methods base their foundations on principles of draping in the two-dimension form balance. Balance is the underlying objective while manipulating pattern balance is a vertical relationship between the front and back. If the balance of a pattern is faulty it means that accuracy of all vertical measurements is lost.

Pattern Development

Pattern development is the process of transforming a design into its required flat pattern pieces and then drafting them out, the job of a pattern maker is to interpret the designer's into sample pattern pieces and then drafting them. Pattern making covers principles of constructions and techniques in a wider sense rather than style details in a narrow sense. It opens scope for infinite variety of styles both for regular designs and impulsive patterns. Pattern making can be divided in two parts namely measuring correctly & knowledge of technique devised to include necessary seam allowances. Measuring the human body is the precursor to developing garments to fit the body. Measuring scales range from simple measuring tape to complex body scanners and low to high tech.
Pattern for a garment is the blue print on the basis of which the fabric is cut and the same is

achieved by three methods: Flat Pattern Method Direct drafting method
Draping Method

Flat Pattern Method

Flat Pattern Method is a method where in body or dress form measurements are taken for developing a pattern. Following a logical stepwise procedure, the measurements are then converted into a pattern. In other words this system depends on accurate measurements to complete the paper pattern. There are limitless designs, which can be achieved for workable garments. Flat pattern making should be done in conjunction with a dress form so that as the design evolves, proportion and balance in the garment can be checked side by side. It is important to transfer the pattern on to a muslin (toile pronounced as 'twall') to test the fit, on a dress form or a human figure. Flat pattern cutting is now widely used because of its accuracy of sizing and the speed with which complicated designs are made. It is a system of creating patterns by manipulating a basic block. The basic block contains a movement ease allowance which allows the body to perform a variety of normal body functions that require movement of various body parts. Creating a fashion pattern by using the flat pattern making method is reasonably logical and easy to understand, the flat pattern making method brings consistency of both size and fit of mass-produced garment and is also the fastest and most efficient pattern design method.

Direct Drafting Method

Direct drafting method or Pattern drafting is a system of pattern cutting that uses a combination of ease allowance and body measurement taken from body measurement of the customer or dress form measurement to create patterns for the chosen design. It is a method of pattern construction based on the systematic draft of measurements taken directly from the human form. Traditionally level of education prevalent amongst pattern makers and tailors have been low in India. Traditionally the skills are passed on by the master craftsmen through a system of apprenticeship or a 'guru shishya parmpara' in the course of working with master as an understudy. In India, this practice is prevalent till today.


Draping method is the oldest pattern making method and is generally regarded as a creative approach. In this method a piece of two-dimensional fabric is draped directly on a dress form or figure and made to fit on the dress form to achieve the desired look or shape. The fabric may conform to the basic shape of the form or arranged artistically in folds for a specific design. This muslin pattern is then transferred on the paper, corrections are made, if any, and then the same are converted into a final pattern.