What I’ve learned in Patternmaking School

I told you before that I was going to start a professional fashion and patternmaking course. So, now it’s been a month since it started. I have sooo many assignments and projects to do, which add up to my regular PhD assignments, so I’ve been incredibly busy this last weeks! But I have to tell you that it’s totally worth it. I’m having so much fun!! I’ve learned A LOT of things, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of them with you. Maybe some of you are thinking about taking a course like this, so it could be useful to know what to expect, or maybe you’re just curious… So, here it is!

First, take note that starting a fashion course in any specialty would most likely mean that you’ll find quite peculiar people in your classroom. They may have their hair done at the same hairdresser’s as Helena Bonham-Carter (and she’s amazing, by the way) and they may have tinted it in every colour of the universe, but it’s Ok, they won’t bite you. They’re actually very nice people! 😉

We love you, Helena!

Second, you and your colourful classmates will start learning the basis of patternmaking (skirt sloper, bodice sloper and pants sloper). You’ll draft real size patterns and patterns in a smaller scale (usually, 1:4). The fun of real size patterns is that you can use rulers that are as tall as you! (some of them even more!). You’ll also learning digital patternmaking, with a program called Lectra – the same one that is used in a lot of fashion companies (the ones that don’t use it, have another called Gerber).

Third, you’ll learn how to cut fabric properly, and I have to tell you that I really suck at it! I’m too used to my rotary cutter, so the big fabric shears are my worst enemy at the moment, but I hope to get better at it someday… or to have someone to do it for me! 😉

Don’t look at me like that. I know you hate me too

Fourth, you’ll learn a bit of fashion history and also some theory about how fashion and textile industries work. You’ll know all about what happens to the clothes since they are designed until the moment you buy them in the store. It’s a veeeery long journey! You become aware of why clothes cost what they cost, and why some of them are more expensive than others: it’s not only the materials that count, but also who sews them! (and in what conditions…)

And, last but not least, you’ll know your new best friend: the industrial sewing machine!! Sewing lessons are, by far, my favourite ones. Industrial machines are THE BEST. They go reaaaaaaaally fast, which means that it can take time to get accustomed to them, but when you do… you’ll be in love! They have a lot of extras to make sewing easier (some high end domestic machines have them too), like a knee lift for the presser foot, automatic backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam, and my favourite feature: if you press the pedal towards you, the machine backstitches, cuts the thread and lifts the presser foot! All in one movement! I’m so happy every time I do it… 😛

That’s the machine we use! Love is in the air…

Well, that’s all, an overview of my course! I’ll tell you more next time. Feel free to ask me anything about it! I’ll be here, finishing my homework… Have a great week 🙂



  1. It sounds so amazing! I’d love to do some proper classes for drafting – I have a dress pattern drafting class on my Christmas list so fingers crossed! 😀

    1. It’s amazing, but it’s also so much work! I’ve just had a patternmaking exam today: two months ago I didn’t know it could be possible! But, despite all the exam-generated stress, I’m enjoying every minute 🙂
      I’m sure Santa will bring you that dress pattern drafting class… well, only if you’ve been a good girl this year! 😉

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