How to become a Clothing Patternmaker

Clothing patternmakers produce master patterns from designs. They work closely with designers, interpreting their sketches to develop a style that can be achieved by the company's equipment and staff, and that fits the image of the company's label.

Personal requirements of a Clothing Patternmaker

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • artistic flair, with an eye for detail
  • good sense of proportion
  • aptitude for technical activities
  • able to work neatly and accurately.

Duties & Tasks of a Clothing Patternmaker

Clothing patternmakers may perform the following tasks:

  • interpret a design sketch
  • choose the correct 'block' (a pattern shape that forms the basic characteristics of a garment)
  • make adjustments to the pattern to arrive at a sample pattern, which is then used to decide whether to produce the garment in bulk
  • check the accuracy of the sample pattern
  • work with the sample machinist at various stages throughout the process, such as cutting out the sample garment and determining the amount of fabric used
  • advise on the correct machining technique to use
  • check that the sample garment maintains the look of the original design
  • check the fit of the sample on a mannequin, or on a model employed by the firm
  • modify sample garments to meet cost specifications and manufacturing limitations
  • once it is approved for production, reproduce the sample pattern on a pattern board to make a master pattern
  • create the required range of sizes by 'grading' the pattern, usually using a computer-aided design (CAD) system.

Working conditions for a Clothing Patternmaker

In some cases, patternmakers may be employed in additional job roles, such as designer, sample machinist, grader or marker maker.

Avg. weekly wage:

$673

Future growth:

decline

Employment by state:

ACT 1.8%

NSW 46.8%

NT 0%

QLD 8.5%

SA 4.2%

TAS 0.6%

VIC 27.9%

WA 10.3%

Hours worked:

35

Unemployment:

above average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 19.1%

Proportion of female workers 80.9%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 22.2%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 34.6%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 28.4%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 14.8%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 22.5%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 77.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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