Pattern Maker

Design patterns for clothing, furniture, buildings or vehicles.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Pattern Makers do?

There are several different types of Pattern Makers, but they all take a Designer’s vision and help them turn it into a reality. While this is an important role in the furniture, building, and car industries, the most common type of Pattern Maker works in the clothing industry.

As a Pattern Maker, you are at the heart of the fashion industry. You translate an idea or design into an actual garment by breaking a proposed piece down from a concept into sleeves, a back, a front, and so forth. This means that you work alongside a Fashion Designer, transforming their sketches or drawings into new dresses, suits, jackets, or other garments.

Your day might include activities such as helping a Designer choose the best fabric for a project, using precision measuring techniques to cut and tailor the fabric to fit different sizes and body types, then assembling the jigsaw-like pieces and sewing them all together.

Once you have perfected the design and altered it for various sizes, you will usually crate full-sized paper, cardboard or fiberboard patterns for later use or for use as a prototype for a later season.

To manage all this you must be very detail oriented and make sure everything aligns perfectly, down to the last buttonhole. Many new computer aided design software programs have been developed to help get the job done.

Whether you are a Pattern Maker that works with wood, metal, or fabric, your grasp of geometric concepts and your ability to visualize the finished product as a union of individual pieces, help get the job done.


Should I be a Pattern Maker?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Apprentice Pattern Maker, Whittling-Room Operator

    How to become a Pattern Maker

    Most Pattern Makers have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:r9eaaa&chl=no+college+%2839%25%29|certificate+%2856%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,39,56
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