What Do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Do

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Salary
$57880
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

  • Create a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • Input specifications into computers to assist with pattern design and pattern cutting.
  • Draw details on outlined parts to indicate where parts are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats, pockets, buttonholes, and other features, using computers or drafting instruments.
  • Make adjustments to patterns after fittings.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Fabric Patternmakers draw details on outlined parts to indicate where parts are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats, pockets, buttonholes, and other features, using computers or drafting instruments. They test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.

A typical day for a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker will also include:

  • Discuss design specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric.
  • Make adjustments to patterns after fittings.
  • Position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers.
  • Examine sketches, sample articles, and design specifications to determine quantities, shapes, and sizes of pattern parts, and to determine the amount of material or fabric required to make a product.
  • Determine the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and mark fabric accordingly.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Fabric Patternmakers also create a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept. They may also draw outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Fabric Patternmakers test patterns by making and fitting sample garments. They might also trace outlines of paper onto cardboard patterns, and cut patterns into parts to make templates.

In addition, they examine sketches, sample articles, and design specifications to determine quantities, shapes, and sizes of pattern parts, and to determine the amount of material or fabric required to make a product.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them trace outlines of specified patterns onto material and cut fabric using scissors.

To some Fabric Patternmakers, it is also their responsibility to discuss design specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
5%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
11%

Some freedom
32%

A lot of freedom
52%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
9%

Limited freedom
5%

Some freedom
41%

A lot of freedom
44%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

50% said they were satisfied with their job and 25% said they found their job meaningful.


Marta Irene Archila
Sugopetite

I am in charge of making the patterns that are used in a large or small factory to produce garments. Patternmakers need specialized studies at the industrial level to be able to do their work.

Patterns can be made in two ways: with a computer pattern program or manually, which is how we do it at Sugopetite.

What is your work life like?

When your passion is your job, it becomes easier, but it can be very demanding and stressful. The responsibility falls on the patternmaker to have the patterns made on time, and they must be perfect! There is no room for errors as a patternmaker because it could cost the loss of a full production run.

The passion I have for my work makes working at Sugopetite always something very pleasant as we develop different designs.

Pros

The pros of being a pattern maker is to be recognized for your excellent work and dedication to it; this allows you to have job stability in the company you work for.

Cons

The cons are always going to be reflected in the responsibility of making mistakes because it can be fatal when making a production run. Also, it is a tiring job because you spend a lot of time either in front of a computer or at a table working the patterns. Sometimes it is necessary to work overtime since there are productions that are urgent.

The most important thing of all is to be able to work in a pleasant environment and as family as we do at Sugopetite. We don’t even notice the hours we spend working together.

Marta Irene Archila
Patternmaker
Sugopetite


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.

Demand for this career is declining.

How much do they make

Average salary

$57880 per year

Average hourly wage

$28 per hour

Entry-level Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $27,210 to $34,230 per year or $13 to $16 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $102,660 $49
Senior (Top 25%) $76,970 $37
Median $49,680 $24
Junior (Bottom 25%) $34,230 $16
No experience (Bottom 10%) $27,210 $13

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers $84340 $40.55
Management of Companies and Enterprises $83670 $40.22
Clothing Stores $62080 $29.85
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing $61080 $29.37
Fabric Mills $52820 $25.39
Employment Services $51810 $24.91
Specialized Design Services $47260 $22.72
Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing $45920 $22.08
Other Textile Product Mills $45180 $21.72
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses $ $*

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing 1410 $61080 $29.37
Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing 1200 $45920 $22.08
Management of Companies and Enterprises 480 $83670 $40.22
Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers 320 $84340 $40.55
Clothing Stores 260 $62080 $29.85
Other Textile Product Mills 180 $45180 $21.72
Employment Services 130 $51810 $24.91
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses 70 $ $*
Fabric Mills 40 $52820 $25.39
Specialized Design Services $47260 $22.72

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
2%

40 hours
77%

More than 40 hours
21%

Working schedule

54%

37%

9%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
22%

Very important
2%

Extremely important
75%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
45%

Fairly important
9%

Important
9%

Very important
18%

Extremely important
18%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
7%

Important
16%

Very important
22%

Extremely important
54%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
18%

Every day
50%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
29%

Every day
48%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
5%

Every day
87%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
57%

Once a year
38%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
5%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
12%

Once a year
22%

Once a month
36%

Once a week
25%

Every day
5%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
32%

Once a year
25%

Once a month
30%

Once a week
5%

Every day
9%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
97%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
3%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
39%

Slightly competitive
23%

Moderately competitive
28%

Highly competitive
5%

Extremely competitive
5%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
12%

Fairly important
20%

Important
25%

Very Important
16%

Extremely Important
26%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
16%

Moderate impact
19%

Important impact
34%

Very important impact
32%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
9%

Once a year
11%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
12%

Every day
68%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
41%

Limited responsibility
21%

Moderate responsibility
20%

High responsibility
7%

Very high responsibility
11%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
7%

Limited responsibility
10%

Moderate responsibility
29%

High responsibility
34%

Very high responsibility
21%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
23%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
73%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
80%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
12%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
95%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
100%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
3%

High School Diploma or equivalent
41%

Post-Secondary Certificate
12%

Some College Courses
19%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
26%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Apparel and Textile Manufacture

A program that focuses on the design, development, and production of textile products and related processes and systems. Includes instruction in functional and aesthetic design, human factors research, production planning, manufacturing processes, quality assessment, and distribution systems.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
15%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
12%

2 to 4 years
20%

4 to 6 years
29%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
8%

Over 10 years
8%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
2%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
8%

3 to 6 months
11%

6 months to 1 year
31%

1 to 2 years
12%

2 to 4 years
22%

4 to 10 years
13%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
81%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
19%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
67%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
52%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
48%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
52%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
33%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
57%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
57%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
52%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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