A handy, comprehensive guide to the pattern making tools. It explains the basic tools and supplies needed to set up a home pattern making studio.
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 that they used to use in Dentistry.
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!
Paper– I know that having paper seems obvious, and it is. However, the type of paper you use can make all the difference. I like to use kraft paper because it’s the most stable and affordable option to use in your home studio. Oak tag is ideal, but it’s much more expensive. Once you get really good at making patterns, using oak tag to for your pattern blocks, or slopers is a really smart idea because you will be using these templates to start all new designs. Needless to say, they’ll get a lot of use! The edges will stay truer, longer using a good quality paper.
Rulers-While you don’t need all fancy pattern making rules to get started, you should definitely make sure that you have a french curve and a clear plastic ruler. A french curve ruler is used to shape arm holes and neck curves. Fairgate basic pattern making rulers are a great choice if you want to invest in the basic ruler kit. You can also purchase the Dritz design ruler combines the hip curve, vary form, and french curve into one.
Weights-You will need some sort of paper weights to hold down your kraft paper. I use some household objects, but I also have two professional weights.
Measuring tape-M u s t. H a v e. Need I say more. A measuring tape is of course used for measuring, but it really helps to accurately measure curves (paired with your awl.)
Tape-It’s always smart to have it around. At some point, you’ll be learning how to slash and spread or vice versa and tape is essential to get the job done!
Scissors Any craft scissor will do. Just make sure you have a pair of scissors specifically for cutting paper.
Awl-I highly recommend investing in an awl if you will be doing any sort of intense pattern making. They are only a few bucks and make marking darts, scoring lines, and measuring curves (yes, measuring) super easy!
Stapler-While a stapler isn’t a necessity, it is handy to have around. I find the one with the extended arm stapler especially helpful when I need to close darts. But, if you’re in a pinch, you can use your tape!
The “rabbit”-I love the rabbit because it helps me easily hang and organize my patterns. And, let me tell you….once you start to build your pattern library, organization will be crucial to your sanity!
Cutting mat-I have several Fiskars cutting mats. I love them because I don’t ruin my craft table and they have an awesome measuring grid!
Tracing wheel-Only one of the most brilliant inventions, ever. This is used to trace lines, often times from a draped muslin or a ready-made garment.
Pattern Notcher-This tool is used to mark dart legs, hems, sleeve caps, and so much more! The pattern notcher is a very simple and clever tool to keep things neat and clean.
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