A first pattern is the original pattern made from the designer’s sketch. We try to match your “look” and fit as much as possible with the first pattern, but there are almost always some changes after the first fitting on your fit model and a second pattern is usually necessary, sometimes a third pattern. Please pin/mark the sample and send notes about any changes needed, as detailed as possible for the best results. Photos of the sample garment on your fit model are very helpful. We prefer to keep a hard paper pattern at our premises and ship a tracing of the pattern on soft paper to the customer. If the customer prefers, he or she may receive the hard paper pattern and Lori Ann Design will keep the soft paper tracing. It is best to have more than one copy of the pattern in case of loss in shipping. We make patterns for soft goods as well as clothing, purses, bags, bedding, even pet clothing and bedding!
The first pattern may need to be altered to perfect the fit or silhouette of the garment or product.
A production pattern is only necessary if the production house is making their own cutting markers. The hard paper production pattern includes a separate pattern piece for every piece of fabric which is cut for a garment, the self, contrast, lining, interfacing etc., right and left sides. Most production houses order markers which are printed from digital files.
Lori Ann Design offers detailed digital drawings of your designs to be used on pattern cards, specification sheets, and line sheets or catalogues. The flat sketches may be line drawings or may be filled in with shading to denote differences between self and contrast fabrics, or may be filled in with a print or colors of your fabrication.
We offer line sheets with flat sketches of your designs, plain or colored, with style information, pricing etc. for your sales staff and buyers or for your catalogue. Your logo may be imported into the line sheets.
Pattern cards usually hang with your pattern. They include a sketch, list of pattern pieces and fabrics and trims. These are used by the cutters, sewers and production managers.
A cutters must is very similar to a pattern card. It has a different layout.
Specification sheets may also hang with your pattern. A copy may also be kept on a computer or in a binder with customer information. Specification sheets duplicate some of the information shown on a pattern card but they also include measurements of your product in each size offered. These sheets are used by cutters, sewers and production managers. All of Lori Ann Design’s drawings and information sheets are digital, available to you in Adobe Illustrator or in PDF format.
You should begin your project with a set of body measurements that reflect your average customer. Lori Ann Design has developed size charts for infants, children, juniors, misses, women’s plus sizes and men which you may use unless you already have an established size chart and sample size. We usually work in Misses sizes, using a size 6/Small as our sample size, but we can use whatever sample size you prefer.
A sloper set consists of several very basic pattern pieces which fit your sample size. Sloper sets are usually used to create patterns for woven fabrics but some knit garments may be made from special sloper pieces. If you already have an established size chart, you may already have a sloper set too. If so, you can send a copy of it to Lori Ann Design with your sketches and fabric swatches. If not, you may use one of our sizes, or, if you need a size that we do not currently have there will be a charge for developing the sloper set.
Lori Ann Design may sew your sample garments. We also work closely with Left In Stitches, a sewing contractor which Lori Ann Design has been working with since 2008. Left In Stitches can make your duplicate samples for sales reps, shows, production sewbys. Chris Sutter of Left In Stitches also offers resourcing and production management services.
We can suggest digital pattern grading and marker making services or we may grade your patterns if you prefer physical copies to work with as opposed to digital files.
What the designer needs to provide
We are used to working long-distance with clients across the country via email and shipping. The best results for patternmaking occur when detailed information is given to the patternmaker. A figure drawing (garment shown on a body) of the front and back of each garment is required. Flat sketches are helpful too. You do not need to be a professional artist. We can provide designer sketch worksheets to help you prepare your ideas. If there are too many questions about the design, we may need to render the design for customer approval before patternmaking to be sure we understand what the designer wants. A swatch, or sample yardage of the intended fabrication should be shipped to Lori Ann Design once the customer has decided to work with us. Draping requires sample yardage. It is very helpful to have the button sizes, zipper size/types while developing the first pattern so that the proper seam allowances and extensions on closures may be added. We may make suggestions for improving the practicality or the ease of construction of the garments. Please contact us by email or phone for pricing information about our services and if you need cost estimates.