Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

Manufacturing > Production

Projected Growth: Decline

Projected Job Openings

Medium Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Common job titles of Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers include:

Experience and Education

Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

  • 40.66% said they needed a High School Diploma.

  • 26.36% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.


    Make adjustments to patterns after fittings.

    Examine sketches, sample articles, and design specifications to determine quantities, shapes, and sizes of pattern parts, and to determine the amount of material or fabric required to make a product.

    Mark samples and finished patterns with information, such as garment size, section, style, identification, and sewing instructions.

    Position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers.

    Determine the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and mark fabric accordingly.

    Trace outlines of specified patterns onto material, and cut fabric using scissors.

    Test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.

    Draw details on outlined parts to indicate where parts are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats, pockets, buttonholes, and other features, using computers or drafting instruments.

    Compute dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.

    Discuss design specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric.

    Create design specifications to provide instructions on garment sewing and assembly.

    Input specifications into computers to assist with pattern design and pattern cutting.

    Create a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.

    Trace outlines of paper onto cardboard patterns, and cut patterns into parts to make templates.

    Draw outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.

    Create a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept.


Yard sticks

Steel straight pins

Sewing pattern notchers

Sewing needles

Serrated sewing pattern tracing wheels

See-through rulers

Seam rippers

All Tools

Seam allowance gauges

Screw punches

Scale rulers

Round knives

Pressing irons

Pattern punches

Pattern paper cutters

Pattern grading rulers

Pattern boards

Paper scissors

Measuring tapes

L squares

Ironing boards

Industrial sewing machines

Hip curve rulers

Fabric shears

Dress form mannequins

Curve sticks


Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

Gerber Technology AccuMark



Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Cognitive Abilities › Spatial Abilities › Visualization

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Occupation Sections



Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Production and Processing

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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