Pattern Cutting Books – My Top 5

Pattern cutting books are just about one of my favourite things in the world. I have spent many hours lost in the sheer beauty of Tomoko Nakamichi’s “Pattern Magic” and continue to be inspired by Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s designs.
Here are my top 5 (and essential) pattern cutting books, from learning the basics to exploring the creative.

1. Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s WearWinifred Aldrich Metric pattern cutting for women's wear
by Winifred Aldrich

This a great pattern cutting book to help you on your way to learn the basics.
Winifred Aldrich’s books are widely respected in the industry and most pattern cutters that I know have a copy of this tucked away in their desks!
You are taken through the basics, from how to draft different blocks to creating a range of styles and amendments based on those blocks.
I highly recommend this as a staple to everyone’s bookshelf. I regularly refer back to this book to refresh my memory and the block drafting methods that I teach are based on Winifred Aldrichs.
For a more detailed review of this book check out my other blog here.

2. Pattern Cutting for Fashion Design Creative pattern cutting books
by Helen Joseph-Armstrong

I came across this book entirely by accident but now that I have it I realise how lost I would have been without it!
As well as going through the basics we are also shown step by step how to create a wide range of styles and designs. There is also a great section on tailoring and stretch fabrics. it even briefly touches on lingerie!
This pattern cutting book is perfect for someone who has got to grips with the basics of pattern cutting and is keen to start experimenting and playing with different styles. I often find inspiration in the many styles illustrated within!

3. Pattern Magic creative pattern cutting books
By Tomoko Nakamichi

I should start by saying that there is also Pattern Magic 2 and Pattern Magic 3 which are every bit as exciting as Pattern Magic 1!
These creative pattern cutting books are a bit of collectors item, not only are they brilliant pattern cutting books but they are also just absolutely beautiful from start to finish!
Tomoko Nakamichi has succeeded in taking styles which look impressively complicated and breaking them down into very easy to follow steps.
Expect step by step illustrations and photographs, as well as gorgeous designs which challenge your skills and creativity.

creative pattern cutting books4. Draping The Complete Course
by Karolyn Kiisel

Draping directly onto the stand is a totally different way of working from flat pattern cutting. Usually people either love it or hate it, but if you’re one the lovers then this is a fantastic book to get you started!
The book starts by going through the basics (including a brief touch on history) and continues by going through step by step “projects” with really clear photographs and tips throughout.
If you’re thinking about draping then this book is a must! I can also highly recommend for anyone who is wanting to get a full understanding of fabric types and how they react and relate to the body and 3D manipulation.

5. Pattern Cutting (Portfolio Skills)creative pattern cutting books
by Dennis Chunman Lo

Dennic was the director of the creative pattern cutting course at the prestigious London College of Fashion and boy, does it show in this book!
He begins by taking us through the basics, how to draft different blocks and details then continues to give you an insight into the industry.
Basic principals are explained in a really clear and concise way alongside some great tips for new pattern cutters.
I would really recommend this book to anyone who is a beginner and needs some guiding through the first steps of learning pattern cutting.

There you have it…my favourite pattern cutting books! Happy reading!
If you have any favourites please feel free to share them, I love discovering new pattern cutting books and methods of working!

You can find all of these books and lots of other inspiring pattern cutting books at my amazon store, just click here!

7 thoughts on “Pattern Cutting Books – My Top 5”

    1. Hi Angelina, I’m so glad that you found this post helpful!
      Winifred Aldrich’s has actually done a book specifically looking at tailoring which I would highly recommend.
      Here is the amazon link:

      It’s also worth saying that Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s book that I talk about above has a FANTASTIC section on tailoring (as well as stretch and children’s wear…is there anything this book doesn’t cover?!) it goes through all the interlayers and positioning for all the fusing etc.

      I have to admit that I don’t have many books on garment construction but I’ve always really enjoyed “couture sewing techniques” by Claire Shaeffer.
      Here’s the link:
      I hope that helps!

  1. Pingback: Knickers Pattern draft | Project: Patterns | blog

  2. Hello Kate. I have just discovered your website, and totally share your love of pattern drafting. I have every one of these books that you have reviewed. Love them! I am going to share your blog with my Yr.12 Fabric Technology class as we are in online learning COVID-19 Lock Down at this present point in time. Thanking you.

    1. Hi Hilary, that’s so kind, thank you! It’s always lovely to hear from other people who also love pattern cutting 🙂 I hope your year 12’s are holding up ok, must be so hard for anyone in education!
      They also like my podcast Fashion Half Cut, all about what it’s actually like working in the fashion industry ☺️ you can find it on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher and our Instagram is @fashionhalfcut ❤️

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