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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

What They Do

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Career Video

About This Career

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 Production pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Creates a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • Inputs specifications into computers to assist with pattern design and pattern cutting.
  • 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.
  • Makes adjustments to patterns after fittings.
  • Computes dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.
  • Marks samples and finished patterns with information, such as garment size, section, style, identification, and sewing instructions.
  • Draws outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.
  • Tests patterns by making and fitting sample garments.
  • Positions and cuts out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or prints out copies of patterns, using computers.
  • Creates a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept.

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

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:

  • Cutter
  • Designer
  • Fabric Cutter
  • Pattern Designer
  • Pattern Maker
  • Pattern Technician
  • Production Pattern Maker
  • Sewing Pattern Layout Technician
  • Technical Designer


  • Email Support

  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900


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