Pattern cutting is the skill of creating new clothing designs from paper cut-outs. Though you may be familiar with pattern cutting, this post will introduce you to resources you can make use of, whether your skill set lies at beginner or expert.

What you’ll learn

Pattern cutting books are available in a wide variety of places. Free E-books and PDF’s are also available. The paid versions of these are ideal for students too as they are cheaper than physical books and easier to transport around.

Pattern books will teach you the basics of this technique as well as more advanced methods depending on your skill set.

They will advise you which fabrics and paper are best and the correct quantity required. You will learn to understand how the different pieces of fabric all come together to create the final masterpiece.

Generally, pattern books can be found in categories depending on what you wish to create. Women’s, men’s, costume, baby wear – whatever you fancy!

Pattern books will also teach you on the best way to use and store paper, so it can be recycled for future designs. This is sure to save you time when creating similar sized pieces and designs in the future.

They also highlight common mistakes and how to resolve them.

Pattern blocks

In addition, you will learn about blocks. These are useful whatever your skill level as they provide designs for a variety of clothing styles. They can be recycled for future uses too and are a common method of completing similar designs in a shorter space of time.


Darts are another useful feature which can help you envision your designs more. They are a common feature in women’s clothing, especially to accentuate curves.  

Pattern grading

Grading is the process of making a finished pattern larger or smaller to create clothes of different sizes. This useful trick can be done manually or digitally. Pattern grading cannot change the shape of an item; it can only increase or decrease it. Doing it digitally is the fastest method, but also the most expensive.

If you enjoyed this post and wish to know more about the sewing process, check out LCCA’s Introduction to Pattern Cutting course.