What does a Pattern Cutter do?

A Pattern Cutter creates patterns based on drawings from a Costume Designer and these patterns are then used to make costumes. Patterns can be created by hand or drawn using a computer programme.

What are the main responsibilities of a Pattern Cutter?

  • Use computer-aided design and traditional hand-drawing methods to make up patterns
  • Create new pattern templates based on drawings and adjust existing patterns
  • Work with machinists to make up sample garments based on the original pattern
  • Work with Designers and Garment Technologists to make further changes and produce the final pattern

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What qualifications do I need to be a Pattern Cutter?

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a Pattern Cutter. You can choose to train on the job as an Assistant. You can also do a fashion-related course or costume making course. Additionally, you can complete an apprenticeship in a related area. Any related experience you can gain is always helpful, and it helps to keep a portfolio of your work. Read our blog How to make a costume design portfolio here. 

What skills do I need to be a Pattern Cutter?

  • Attention to detail
  • Artistic talents and creativity
  • IT skills
  • Technical ability
  • Time management
  • Knowledge of manufacturing production and processes

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What does a career in Pattern Cutting look like?

You can start as a Pattern Cutting Assistant or Sample Machinist with a clothing manufacturer or fashion design company and work your way up. Why don't you read our blog 'What Do Theatre Wardrobe Staff Do?' to get a better understanding of the role you can begin your career with. 

How much does a Pattern Cutter earn?

A starting salary for a Pattern Cutter is roughly between £15K - £20K. As you develop throughout your career you can earn up to £40K.

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Photo: Alex Brenner

Published: 02 July 2019

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