Pattern Cutting Equipment…The Essentials

We all know having the right tools for a the job makes life infinitely easier, so here is my list of essential pattern cutting equipment that every pattern cutter should have before starting.

1. Pattern Ruler

This little guy is a pattern cutters best friend! I use mine everyday and couldn’t do my job without it. In fact I even used it to make 45 degree lines on my walls when I did some tiling…so versatile!
There are cheaper versions on the market but I find them flimsy and the edge of the curve is only flush on one side so you can’t flip the curve to use it the opposite way. Definitely worth investing in an original Pattern Master and getting great quality. It gets a lot of use after all!


2. Pattern Drill

This nifty little tool is used to create little holes in paper to mark internal details like dart apex’s and top stitching. 
I have the version that is in the photo below which has a drill head that automatically rotates as you push it onto the paper. This is a brilliant saver on my wrists which used to be really painful after a day pattern cutting with the old school “mushroom” style drill! 


3. Pattern Notcher

This handy little guy makes little cut outs on the edge of your paper to mark where you need to nip the fabric to create a notch.

4. Sharp Pencil and a Rubber

I can’t stress the importance of having a sharp pencil enough!
I’d recommend a mechanical pencil with strong 0.5mm lead, but if you only have a regular one that needs sharpening then sharpen every few minutes…please!

pattern cutting equipment

5. Tape Measure

This should go without saying but you always need a tape measure close to hand.
I’m so attached to mine that when I reach for it in it’s usual place (around my neck…who needs jewellery?!) and it’s not there I feel the panic start to set in!

pattern cutting equipment

6. Tracing wheel

I often find that I can recreate the notcher and driller effect with other tools if I’m desperate and without them but there is nothing that can replace the tracing wheel!
Used for marking internal darts/seam allowance and tracing through both fabric and paper, it makes little holes through the paper so that you can draw over them later. Genius!

7. Metre Ruler

Last (and a bit to large to fit in a photo) but still very important. Really essential for any kind of drafting, I prefer metal as they wear better and are thinner so easier to use accurately but wood is ok too.

So now you know what pattern cutting equipment you need lets get started with some actual pattern cutting!
Click here to find step by step instructions on how to draft a skirt block
and click here to find my top 5 pattern cutting books to keep you inspired and challenged!

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