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World Book Day 2021 – Pattern Cutting Books As Recommended by the Experts


To acknowledge and celebrate World Book Day 2021 (4th March) we asked our pattern cutting tutors and team what books they would recommend to those learning the craft…

Senior Tutor, Julia Burrows made the following recommendations:

1 WINIFRED ALDRICH – METRIC PATTERN CUTTING (Good for pattern cutting students)

The Winifred Aldrich pattern cutting series are probably the most recognised pattern books in the UK, a former University lecturer at Nottingham Trent, she has written many including Womenswear, Menswear and Children’s, plus others all in separate additions. Her books are used prolifically in pattern and design schools throughout the UK. These are good reference books for those studying the subject with outstanding information on the variation of pattern adaptations. Her books are not ideal for absolute beginners who may be trying to teach themselves, but certainly one, that as you get to the know your subject, you should have on your shelves.  My only dislike is her blocks, I do not particularly like the fit, but that is just a matter of personal opinion.


As Aldric is the UK pattern guru, Helen Joseph Armstrong is the American. She teaches at the Los Angeles Trade Technical College.  I like her book as it really covers everything all in one book and at around £50 this makes it cost affective.  It has modern illustrations and clear instruction. It covers more than just patterns, showing you how to do a spec sheet and lay plan. It is a reference book so once again like most pattern reference books it’s not good for beginners. But this could be the only book you need. The only downside is it’s an American book – so all measurements are in imperial.


I do not know much about the author, but this is a book I would recommend for beginners. It has clear, large and detailed pattern information that is easy to follow. The price of this book can vary greatly, it was printed in 1980 so mostly sold second hand (Amazon anywhere between £65 to £140), worth keeping an eye on and if you see it for a good price buy it, but not at over £100!


A must for pattern cutters who wish to learn more advanced pattern cutting skills. A master of origami skills, this book gives you an insight into advance dart manipulation and 3d sculptural design. Each book concentrates on a new aspect.

Additionally, for those that are more advanced, Senior Pattern Cutter Niki recommends the following book for inspirational, progressive pattern cutting: DRAPING THE COMPLETE COURSE – KAROLYN KIISEL

Happy reading!

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