A comprehensive look at pattern drafting tools and how they function in the studio.
Kraft Paper Paper for drafting patterns in a home studio is essential. Without it, it would be close to impossible. In the basic tools and supplies article, I review a few different types of paper and the benefits of each. So, the reason why paper is essential, for both flat pattern making and even draping, is because you need a medium to create the patterns, make adjustments to patterns, and to catalog styles. Today, a lot of professional pattern makers use software programs like Gerber to create their patterns. And that’s great, for professionals. But, quite frankly it’s very complicated and not necessary for the home apparel designer. Once you advance your skills, you can start transferring your patterns to a digital format. I simply trace my patterns in Adobe Illustrator to catalog and share them.
“L” Square The “L” square is one of the most basic of the pattern making rulers. This ruler helps to create accurate 90° angles and straight edges. It measures, rules, and squares simultaneously.
Hip Curve The hip curve helps to shape the hip line, hem, and lapels.
Vary Form The vary form ruler blends and shapes armholes, necklines, side seam curves, and more! Just as the name suggests, it does a variety of jobs!
French Curve Essential tool for accurately shaping armholes, necklines, and collars.
Dritz Design Ruler The Dritz styling design ruler is great because it combines the hip curve, vary form, french curve, and clear plastic ruler in one! I highly recommend getting yourself one of these awesome rulers!
Making the Mark
Pencils-I recommend having at least two colors so you can differentiate between old and new pattern lines. I really like to use the red blue pencils.
Eraser-I need a good eraser more than I like to admit. This is just one of those things that you need to have around!
Awl A handy tool and often overlooked, the awl will pierce a small hole in your pattern to indicate the end of a dart, pocket, trim, or button hole. The awl is also handy for scoring paper to fold, as well as “walking” your measuring tape around curves for accurate measuring.
Notcher The pattern notcher will create flawless pattern markings. For example, dart legs, seam allowance, center lines, ease, and to identify front from back patterns.
Tracing wheel Pointed and very sharp wheel transfers marking onto a clean sheet of paper. This tools is often used when retracing patterns or when transfer draped muslin onto paper.
Clear Plastic Ruler Perfect for measuring seam allowances and drawing dart legs.