Pattern Cutter Job Profile
October 15, 2019 - October 15, 2019
Find out the typical duties requirements and opportunities of a pattern cutter…
Pattern cutters create templates which are used within the design department of a company. The patterns are based on the original illustrations by the designer, and may not always work. Pattern cutters create the pattern pieces in the form of pattern blocks, pattern bases or pattern dummies, which are patterns that are draped over a dummy to give a sense of what the garment will look like. However, there are also pattern cutters who use computer-generated models to get a sense of how the patterns will look. As a pattern cutter you will work alongside a machinist to create sample clothes. The fashion designers then analyse the samples and decide what pieces they want to add to their collection. Pattern cutters work in studios and some may spend a lot of time using computers.
- Act as a link between the design and manufacturing stages
- Create pattern templates using working drawings
- Work with machinists to make samples
You would use three different methods to create patterns:
- Draping pieces of material over a dummy, shaping and pinning them around the ”˜body’ until they fit correctly, then cutting out a pattern based on the pieces
- Altering and shaping flat, standard pattern ’blocks’ into a style
- Modifying non-standard pattern ’bases’ taken from the company’s pattern library.
Skills and Interests
- Shows an interest in fashion and trends
- Is able to interpret a designer’s drawings
- Good team working skills
- The ability to work quickly and accurately
- good maths skills for measurements and calculations
- Able to assess first samples
- Possesses a good eye for detail, shape and proportion
- Has technical drawing skills (computer and hand)
- Demonstrates good concentration levels
You could look for work as a pattern cutter after taking relevant training, for example:
ABC Certificate/Diploma in Fashion and Textiles (Pattern Cutting) levels 2 and 3
City & Guilds Award in Creative Techniques in Fashion ”“ Pattern Cutting levels 2 and 3
You could also get into this career after completing a higher level course, such as a foundation degree, BTEC HND or degree in clothing technology and production. You may be able to find an Apprenticeship with a clothing manufacturer or fashion Design Company. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.
With experience, you could progress to head pattern cutter or grader or, with further training, fashion designer or buyer. Employers range from exclusive designer and couture houses to larger manufacturers or fashion design houses, supplying high street clothing chain stores. Starting salaries can be from £12,000 a year. Experienced cutters can earn around £25,000 a year. Multi-skilled cutters and graders working for specialist or luxury clothing companies may earn more.