Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fashion Industry : Pattern maker

A pattern maker, also sometimes known as a fabric pattern maker or an apparel pattern maker (depending on the type of pattern), takes a fashion designer's design and breaks it down into a series of pieces. Pattern makers are responsible for making sure that a manufacturer or a sewer can assemble the accessories and garments that a fashion designer has designed. Pattern makers examine each design to determine the best way to break the pattern down into a series of pieces that can be reassembled; make paper outlines of each part of the design to make sure that the design can be reassembled correctly; make a set of instructions that a manufacturer can use to reassemble the design from the pattern; make notes on the pattern to indicate where each piece should be attached and where each feature (button, pocket, zipper, etc.) should be located; determine the best way for a manufacturer to use the pattern in order to produce as many accessories and garments as possible with as few materials as possible; talk to fashion designers and manufacturers about the designs and patterns; and use charts, computers, and other similar equipment to modify the pattern so that a manufacturer can have several different variations to reproduce in different sizes.

A pattern maker typically earns between $25,000 and $50,000 a year, but some may make under $18,000 a year if just starting out in a textile company or over $75,000 a year with a lot of experience and if working for a large apparel company. The amount that a pattern maker earns is also heavily based on the area in which the individual works. A pattern maker may be able to make significantly more than usual if he or she works for a major company located on the East or West Coast of the United States rather than a company located in other parts of the country. A pattern maker may be able to join a textile workers union; union members typically earn more than nonunion workers.

Specific requirements for becoming a pattern maker vary from job to job. Most companies require that you have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential and some experience in the fashion industry (typically more than a year of experience as a custom seamstress or tailor, fashion assistant, fashion design intern, fashion designer, sketching assistant, tailoring intern, or textile worker). While a college degree is not typically required for a pattern-making position, some companies may require or prefer that you complete a series of courses in fashion design or manufacturing at an art school, community college, college, university, or technical school.

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