5 Essentials to create an inexpensive workspace for pattern making


Once you've designed your garment i.e. a coat, you need to make your pattern on paper or card. Pattern cutting is one of the skills required for the design process when producing clothes by drafting, using a block pattern as a starting point or draping on the garment stand. 


Drafting – from the beginning: Patterns drafted by means from a set of measurements, set square, ruler to standard sizes or made to individual measurements.

Flat Pattern Production – two-dimensional: The definition of a block is any pattern without seam allowance from which other patterns are designed also called basic pattern, block pattern or foundation pattern. Used in the fashion industry to facilitate economy in time and energy.

Draping/Modelling – three-dimensional: Draping on the stand is about working with fabric and body together; it is a highly regarded skill. Pattern cutters generally have a large table/workspace to manipulate and shape a flat piece of paper/fabric into patterns to fit the curves of the human figure.

I prefer to use metal trestles because they are robust, they have adjustable legs and stores flat for storage when you have a small or compact work space.

Don't make patterns or cut fabrics on the floor if you have limited space, I'm guilty of doing this when I was at college. Your putting a strain on your back and it does take its toll on you later in life. Craft out a creative space in your environment even if it's only temporary, use fold up robust metal frame trestles that adjust to your height as its stronger.


The trestle I've used is very compact and takes up very little floor space once in operation, the non-slip stripe keeps the board in place and the handle allows you to carry the trestle easily once folded.

I've covered my MDF sheet with Manilla card which is strong and durable. This  card is what we use to make master blocks or patterns.

Double up your pattern cutting workspace with these heat-sealed cutting mats, this enables you to cut out fabrics and paper with a rotary cutter.

The great advantage of your large MDF sheet and workspace is you can have the roll of pattern paper at one end of the table and roll out any amounts when you need it.

With a large workspace, you’re able to construct  large and small pattern pieces, have your tool box to the side of the table.

When it’s time to dismantle your table, store the MDF against a flat wall i.e. behind the sofa. Fold down the trestles and store to one side.


How did your set up your workspace? Tell us in the comments below...

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