Pattern cutters create patterns based on drawings from a fashion designer.

What does a pattern cutter do?

As a pattern cutter, you’ll create patterns based on drawings from a fashion designer. These patterns will then be used to make sample clothes, which will be used to refine the pattern and to produce a clothing line. Patterns may be created by hand or drawn in a computer program. You’ll need an excellent eye for detail, a talent for drawing and excellent IT skills.

What do I need to do to become a pattern cutter?

You do not need specific qualifications to become a pattern cutter. You can choose to train on the job as a pattern cutting assistant, or you can do a fashion-related course at college. 

You may also be able to find work as a pattern cutter after completing a foundation degree, HND or degree in fashion or garment technology. 

To do a relevant higher education course, you will usually need :

  • Five GCSEs (A-C), including maths and English 
  • Two/three A levels (or equivalent), one of which should be in art and design, or a relevant Level 3 vocational qualification.

It may be possible to find an introductory course in fashion skills at your local college. You will need a level 3 course if you wish to do higher education. Art and design would be desirable, check requirements with universities.  

Alternatively, you may be able to start this job through an apprenticeship

Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • IT
  • Numeracy
  • Teamwork
  • Technical ability
  • Time management

Related subjects

  • Art
  • Design technology

Desirable qualifications

  • Fashion degree
  • A level art or level 3 art and design vocational course

Where could I be working?

You’ll be working indoors, usually in a team of pattern cutters and fashion designers. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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