Pattern measurements. / by Lana Grant

More and more companies require technical designers to have pattern making skills and work with patterns sent by vendors along with the fit samples.

Is it beneficial to do work of the pattern maker oversees? The answer to this question in my opinion is definitely yes, but I can understand if there is disagreement on this subject.

          The argument could be that we are technical designers, not pattern makers. Well, in our job requirements it stated that we should all have pattern making skills because we are talking to a pattern makers therefore we should know the language.

          Why should we correct the pattern our self?  Sometimes, the corrections are so complicated that it is hard to explain and even illustrate. Other times you need to check if the pattern is balanced, which helps to understand why the sample is hiking or collapsing or has some other fitting issues.

 I just recently had an example when shoulder seam on the garment was too far back, which seams like an easy fix, just move the seam forward. But after checking the pattern, I discover that the problem was not in the balance between front and back panels, but in the back neck drop – it was too high, which prevent the garment to go forward. Therefore, having the patterns is beneficial when working on the fit comments.

The question I have is if the pattern should measure exactly as the sample, meaning all the seams are the same length. Coming from production pattern maker background my answer to this question would be no. When garment is sewn, it reacts differently to each seam and some seams would stretch and some get smaller. We should take the pattern as is and correct with the sewing altering the length of the seams having in mind.

For example, if the length of the armhole on the pattern is 19 ½”, on the sample, after the sewing, this seam could measure only 19”, we will loose ½” in sewing. The armhole could also stretch to 20”. My point is that we can’t take the pattern measurements exactly as it measures and apply it to our specification; we should always take the sewing for the consideration.

But, some technical designers could disagree, stating that it is the factory job to figure it out the final pattern outcome. I had an argument stating that we should measure the pattern before approving the fit and the measurements on the spec page should be exactly as the pattern measures.

 What is your opinion on this?