Pattern Cutting for Menswear
eBook - ePub

Pattern Cutting for Menswear

Second Edition

Gareth Kershaw

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  1. 336 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Pattern Cutting for Menswear

Second Edition

Gareth Kershaw

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About This Book

Pattern Cutting for Menswear is a comprehensive guide to cutting patterns, from basic skills to advanced techniques. With over twenty complete patterns, including new jacket and trouser styles, this revised edition features additional sections on the leg stride relationship in the development of certain trouser styles, fabric properties and their effect on cut and drape, fitting techniques for structured jackets, and the latest information on pattern CAD-based technologies. The step-by-step approach, complete with scaled diagrams and technical flats, fashion illustrations and photographs of toiles, enables you to cut patterns with confidence.

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Pattern cutters are constantly tasked with solving creative design problems; acquiring the right tools and knowledge is fundamental to beginning a successful practice.

Discover how to:

Set up your studio with the right tools and equipment
Develop an understanding of the different approaches to pattern cutting within an industry context
Make the right choices when developing size charts and conducting fittings for clients or brands


The starting point for all pattern making is the acquisition of a good set of tools and an understanding of how to use them. Like any other trade, pattern cutting has its own specialist tools, which have been developed to aid the processes of drawing and measuring. Shown here is a selection of tools that you need to buy. As a beginner, you will not need all of them to start drafting, but most are recommended as you progress through the book.
Tape measure – used to measure the circumference and length of the body. The three that are particularly useful are all dual sided with centimetres and inches: a 150cm/60" glass fibre-coated vinyl tape will not react to changes in temperature by expanding or shrinking; a 300cm/120" glass fibre-coated vinyl tape is useful when you are using extremely long lengths of fabric, perhaps when draping fabric on the bias; a 150cm/60" glass fibre tailor’s measure that is encased in metal at one end allows the user to hold it further away from the tip for discreet measuring around the crotch area.
Metre rule – essential for starting the pattern development as it gives an uninterrupted straight line that will be longer than half the length of most human bodies. It is usually made from aluminium or steel.
Right-angled ruler – 60cm x 35cm (231/2 X 133/4") for drawing angles of 90 degrees. It is usually made from plastic, aluminium or steel.
Grading ruler – 50cm (191/2") with a 0.5cm (3/16") grid of vertical and horizontal lines. Used for grading and adding seam allowances to patterns. Usually made from clear plastic.
45-degree set square – a large set square will help you draw angles for shoulders and darts. Buy one that has a 180-degree range printed on it so that it can double up as a protractor. It is usually made from clear plastic.
French curves and pattern masters – there are many varieties to choose from. Not to be mistaken for the smaller geometry curves, these are designed to mimic the curves of the human body – neckline, armhole, waist shaping and side seams. Buy from a fashion retailer. They are made from clear plastic, aluminium or steel.
Hip curve – designed to replicate the shape from the lower body, it is used to draw side seams on skirts and trousers and draw hems. Usually made from metal, plastic or wood.
Notcher – cuts a small rectangular shape from paper or card and is used for marking seams, ease allowances, pitch points on armholes, zip ends and for pattern alignment. It is usually made from cast metal.
Tracing wheel – used to copy a pattern or garment shape through layers of fabric, card or paper. Can be bought with a wooden or plastic handle that is attached to a circular wheel with pointed needles.
Compass – the best versions have an extendable arm for drawing circles or arcs.
Paper scissors – pattern cutting scissors have been developed with heavy, cast-metal arms for cutting card and paper. This is the tool that you will use the most so it is important to buy a quality pair that will stay sharp for longer than normal scissors.
Fabric scissors – fabric scissors come in a variety of lengths with long, slim blades on cast-metal handles. Never cut paper or card with fabric scissors as this will blunt the blades, making them tear the fabric instead of slicing through it.
Scalpel – used to cut openings in patterns.
Eyelet punch or pattern drill – there are many kinds of pattern drill that cut a small circle from card or paper; some only cut one size of hole while others have changeable heads to cut different sizes. Used to mark dart leg ends, button placement and pocket corners.
Awl – a sharp tool used to mark holes in fabric and card.
Pattern hole punch – cuts a large circular hole through card or paper to allow a pattern hook to be inserted for hanging.
Pattern hooks – these are available in various sizes and are used to hold a complete set of patterns suspended from a rail.
Board pins – used to hold and position patterns when drafting.
Dress pins – used to secure fabric when working on the mannequin or for holding seams during construction. Buy long, industrial-quality pins.
Drafter’s pencils – with removable leads in sizes of 0.5/0.7/0.9 mm for drawing fine to thick lines.
Pattern weights – usually made from flat rectangles of steel with attached handles for holding down patterns or fabric.
Manila pattern card, plain, or dot and cross pattern marker paper – used for development, tracing and for final patterns.
Cutting mat
Glue stick
Marker pens in blue, black, green and red – ditto, biros
Highlighter pen
Various types of sticky tape
Pencil sharpener
Tailor’s chalk and dispenser


Fabric knowledge is essential when developing designs for your collection, as there are many factors that can affect the garment pre- and post-construction, some of which can be addressed during the pattern cutting process. Fabric structure is the first thing that needs to be considered when choosing the right material for your garment patterns. Different apparel categories are associated with the characteristics of different material properties, for example outerwear with water repellent or coated nylon, ...

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