This is the list of the 14 best tools that will make your patterns much easier to make and look professional.
1. The first thing I always recommend is a good 2H pencil
2. An eraser, the important thing here is that it has to be quite soft because if the rubber is rigid, you will break the pattern if you need to erase something. It has happened to me many times…
3. Rulers. When I worked in Spain, the most normal thing for me was to use French pattern rulers. They are 5 quite large and transparent rulers. When I moved to London I met the Patternmaster (the ruler in the photo below). Since discovering the Pattenrmaster I have not used any other ruler. It’s awesome!
4. Colour pens. In the industry, it is normal to have colour codes. There are pattern makers who use a single colour for the entire pattern and information. There are others who will make the pattern and then fill in the information section using colours. The most common colour uses are:
– Black pen for the main fabric.
– Blue pen for a secondary or contrast fabric.
– Red pen for fusing.
– Green pen for lining.
5. Colour highlighters. You can use these in different ways. I find that these are most useful when you are working with many parts of a pattern and you have to trace them. When making patterns on a dress form, I sometimes use them to mark certain areas of the pattern.
6. Magic tape. I find this the best tape as you can draw on top of it and when you remove it, it does not tear the paper.
7. Tracing Wheel. It is used to trace lines between patterns or if you want to take patterns of clothes that you have already made.
8. Awl. It can be used to mark paper and fabric. It will depend on the fabric but it is supposed to mark fabric without damaging it. I don’t recommend using them to mark fabric but I have found that it is a very useful tool to walk the patterns with other patterns and mark them.
9. Notcher. This tool lets you cut a small opening on the patterns’ edge. These small cuts are used to indicate where to sew two or more pieces together. They are a bit expensive but if you are just starting out and want to scissors this is ok. However, if you are committed to pattern making I recommend you buy one as it saves you time and makes pickets easier to see.
10. Drill punch. This is a tool that drills a hole inside the pattern. You can find it in different sizes.
11. Tape measure. Try to find a good one as cheaper ones are easy to deform. One day, I lost mine, so I bought a quick one to get out of trouble. I was intending to make a dress length 50cm and it ended up being 45cm because the tape measure had shrunk (even though it was new that day!!!)
12. Flat pins. I often need to put a ruler on top of the pins. If they aren’t flat, or if they have any decoration on the top, I couldn’t do it.
13. Scissors. There is a great selection to choose from. All pattern cutters have personal tastes and different budgets. Use separate scissors for paper and separate ones for fabrics otherwise you will damage the edges and they won’t cut well. I personally use Kai brand scissors to cut fabrics, but before then I used cheap Ikea ones that were very good. Electric scissors are wonderful, but you must be careful not to hurt yourself.
14. Pattern paper. The most traditional British classic pattern makers will tell you that you must have to use the dot and cross paper (see the photo below). This helps you square the patterns. I personally decide which paper I am going to use depending on whether the pattern is for me or for someone else. If the pattern is for me, I might use gift wrap (who doesn’t love birthday or Christmas wrapping paper!?) but for others I will usually use white paper that is transparent enough for tracing or dot and cross paper.
And that is my list! Many companies usually include other things such as glue. I don’t as I find that glue can make the paper shrink, so I personally do not recommend it.
If you have come this far and you liked this post, you would make me super happy (as always) if you could share this post with all your friends who want to learn about pattern making on your social networks.