In addition to a basic pattern, you need a few other materials to be able to adapt and modify your pattern. I have put these materials into 2 categories so that you can see what you need from the beginning on and what you can possibly acquire later, as it can make your work easier in the long run. You may already have a lot at home. In my experience, however, it is always worth investing in good material, as it lasts much longer, and makes the pattern drafting easier to handle.
For the beginning:
- Set square – Since a lot of right angles are used in pattern making, a set square is an absolute must. A small set square, like the one used in schools, is sufficient to start with. For regular pattern construction, however, I would invest in a larger set square or even a tailor’s square (see below).
- Curved rulers – Different curves are easy to draw with a set of curve rulers. One of the two small curve rulers can be used for small curves. But most of the time I use the rather flat curve on the large curve ruler to draw hems, necklines or the like.
- Pattern paper – Any paper that is stable (approx. 80 g / m) and is supplied on a roll as wide as possible can be used as a pattern paper. The width should be at least 1 m so that you have to glue as little together as possible with large pieces. Unfortunately, these paper rolls are not cheap, but the Mala drawing paper roll from IKEA is enough to get you started.
- Measuring tape – What should of course not be missing is a measuring tape. It should definitely be part of your work equipment, after all it is needed to measure body dimensions as well as large and small distances in the pattern.
- Paper scissors – Since you mostly work with paper for your pattern, you will of course need good, sharp paper scissors. To start with, you can of course use the paper scissors that you already have at home. For the future, however, it makes sense to invest in scissors with long blades, as this makes cutting long distances easier and the result is much more accurate.
- Pencil – I prefer to work here with a lead pencil with HB pencil leads, as the fine lines enable very precise work. To keep track of markings, you can also mark the most important points and lines with colored pencils.
- Eraser – I’m sure everyone has erasers at home. Personally, I hate cheap erasers that smudge rather than remove lines. This often destroys the paper and makes your patterns illegible. So, I would recommend to you to invest in a good eraser here.
- Glue – Lastly, glue should be one of your utensils. You may need to experiment a little here until you find the adhesives that work best with. I like to work with scotch tape to glue cut pieces together and with UHU Flinke Flasche for larger adhesive surfaces.
For advanced pattern makers:
- Tailor square – A tailor square combines several tools in one, because it consists of a right angle, a 60 cm long ruler and a so-called lapel square. This means that a tailor square can replace both a set square and a curved ruler. Tailor squares are available made of plastic or metal. Even if a plastic tailor’s square is cheaper, I would recommend investing in one made of metal, as these are much more robust and last longer.
- Curve rulers for arm and neckline – A set of inexpensive curve rulers is sufficient to start with. The curve ruler, which was specially developed for the curves of the arm and neck cutouts, is a bit more expensive, but it also makes it much easier to draw cutting lines.
- Waist tape measure – A waist tape measure is a tape measure with holes and a hook. A waist measuring tape is very useful when measuring your body, because with the help of hooks and holes you can fix a line, such as the waist, without a second person having to hold the measuring tape. This means that the line does not slip, and you can concentrate on the other measurements.
- Transparent paper – In pattern construction you often have to copy parts. Bread paper is sufficient for a start, but for larger items it is good to have a roll of tracing paper on hand.
I hope these lists will help you to be well prepared for the pattern construction and I hope you enjoy creating your own patterns!
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link I’m receiving a small commission. This does not result in additional costs for you but is an appreciation of my work.