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Apparel Patternmaker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Draws and constructs sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

This career is part of the Manufacturing cluster Manufacturing Production pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Tests patterns by making and fitting sample garments.
  • Draws 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.
  • Determines the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and marks fabric accordingly.
  • Creates a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • Draws outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.
  • Creates a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept.
  • Positions and cuts out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or prints out copies of patterns, using computers.
  • Discusses design specifications with designers, and converts their original models of garments into patterns of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric.
  • Marks samples and finished patterns with information such as garment size, section, style, identification, and sewing instructions.
  • Computes dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Computer Aided Pattern Designer --
  • Embroidery Patternmaker --
  • Fabric Pattern Grader --
  • Pattern Chart Writer --
  • Sewing Pattern Layout Technician --
  • Shoe Patternmaker --