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Softgoods Pattern Making Process

Postby C4B7 » February 11th, 2016, 11:07 am


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Hello, I was wondering where I could learn about the softgoods design/manufacture process. I can use a sewing machine to prototype and I can make basic 2D patterns but I'd like to learn how to make a 3D model, flatten it to a pattern, then make documentation that I'm able to send to a manufacturer to have made by someone with way better sewing skills than me.

Are there any online classes I can take, books I should read, or names for things I should learn? My problem is I don't know the lingo so I can't figure out what to google. I'd like to do this for some outdoors gear, and most of the DIY sites don't seem to have enough technical depth.

Re: Softgoods Pattern Making Process

Postby FH13 » February 11th, 2016, 1:04 pm


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A lot of the places will make a sample or design the patterns based on your drawings, renderings or Illustrator files with basic dimensions.
As with everything, the more specific your drawings are the better. Side, front, back, bottom, top, 3/4, etc. If you just give them a couple of 3/4 views then they will use their best judgement and you will be at their mercy.
It's usually a lengthy process going over several prototypes until you are satisfied with the way it looks and the pattern maker/manufacturer is happy with how it will go together.
For very complex shapes we would have a 3D physical model and she would wrap it with pieces of paper taped up together. Once the whole model was wrapped in paper she would draw the pattern pieces trying to avoid complex shapes/turns/bends etc. It's an art form. After she had drawn the different pattern pieces she would go ahead and cut them leaving her with hopefully flat pieces that would then be traced and cleaned up onto cardboard for the final pattern pieces.
It's usually a process of the designer working with the pattern maker and the person sewing. Hope this helps.

Re: Softgoods Pattern Making Process

Postby KenoLeon » February 11th, 2016, 1:26 pm

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Couple of books that you might like ( they are mostly for dress/fashion but you can apply that to softgoods)

"How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns: From store-bought patterns to drafting your own: a complete guide to fashion sewing with confidence "

"Pattern Making (Portfolio Skills)"

"Couture Sewing Techniques" is another book I can recommend, it is less about patterns and more about hand sewing technique, but it helps with terms and there are a few others specific books to bags and whatnot.

This site has also proven very handy:

https://blog.colettehq.com/projects/bag ... -resources

Cheers! I am actually off to do some patterns :)

-K
Eugenio (Keno) Leon
k3no.com Linkedin Instagram

"Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated"

Re: Softgoods Pattern Making Process

Postby C4B7 » February 16th, 2016, 3:41 pm


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Thanks for those recommendations I'll look into those.

Does anyone have a good school textbook for fabric design / pattern making that they could recommend?


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