Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Surviving As A Self Taught Pattern Maker

Oh man,  patternmaking work is dry right now.  What happened?  Could this be a crashed economy thing happening?  Could this lack of work be simply because I don't have a great portfolio right now,  or could it just be because there's just so little money going around that designers that are just starting out can't afford to go forward themselves till things get a little better?   I hate wondering about that,  bad economy or not though,  I've got to keep going with my patternmaking work,  otherwise I'll never get anywhere with it.   I hope the economy improves,  not only is it scary for work to be so hard to get,  but it also sad that so many people,  all over the world are having it so bad right now,  it's frightening too.

I'm not one to live by my fears,  but the thought has crossed my mind more then once,  that maybe I'm doing all this for nothing because if the world gets to be a tougher place,  people aren't going to be too worried about designer clothes,  kind of like what happened in France during German occupation,  the Germans felt like French use of fabric and resources was a big waste so they stopped pretty much all fashion production,  design and all.  In fact, if it weren't for Arabs and their passion for dressing their princesses in the finest,  couture as we know it would have been dead long ago.  Because it was after German occupation that the Arabs successfully revived the industry through demand.  Interesting story there.   So who knows what could happen in the coming years. We could see a temporary 'death' of fashion and when the world completes this stage it's going through,  a new perspective and approach will take place in regards to fashion.  The "industry" is probably going to become completely redefined.   And the green movement will most likely play a major role in all of it.

I'm not just going to wait though,  I've got a game plan,  I'll always work on my patternmaking and fashion design,  no matter what,  even if there isn't any,  or much money in it,  however,  I've taken an animal care specialist course and will review it again if I need to get a job once both my kids are in school (that is if my patternmaking doesn't start bringing in more money by then).  And on an even more practical note,  if I do get work as a vet assistant,  I'll also take a course in Pharmaceutical assistant and a TEFL course (teaching English As A Foreign Language) so I'll be able to make money anywhere.

That's all about 2 years away though,  for now I'm just going to keep up what I'm doing here, struggling to not let my article work drown out my time as patternmaker and designer for the sake of living expenses.   I'm going to try and get a few books that will hopefully further my fashion related endeavors,  the first of which pretty much are number in the order I think I'll try to get them in:

1.  Fashion Design Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques: the Practical Guide for Aspiring Fashion Designers by Faerm, Steven 

2.  Fashion 101: a Crash Course in Clothing by Stalder, Erika And Krietzman, Arie 

3.  The Fashion Designer's Directory of Shape and Style: Over 600 Mix-and-Match Elements for Creative Clothing Design (Barron's Educational) by Simon Travers-Spencer, Zarida Zaman 

4.  Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear by Ann Haggar (very important for some close fitting garments and special occasion wear,  not just undergarments)

5.  The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing by Kathleen Fasanella, Andree Conrad

6.  Pattern Cutting for Women's Tailored Jackets by Winifred Aldrich

Hope to be ordering some of them soon if I can, I'll cross my fingers.  As for what I've been doing lately outside of writing and family busy-ness,  I've recently opened up my FaceBook Page "Fashion Patternmaking And Design" were I'll be offering

-  my digital patternmaking services to anyone looking for a patternmaker (if you're interest just visit my page or email me at

-  basic block patterns in different standard sizes (Butterick's sizes that is) for designers and home sewers looking for something to start designing their own clothes with

-  and the patterns for my own designs as I get the time to develop them

I've also opened a basic pattern block drafting gig on Fiverr,  for anyone who needs a particular size basic block pattern,  here's the link: I will draft a basic digital bodice or skirt pattern block in the size you require for $5

And from now on each of my blog posts will end with all 4 of these links below:

If you're interested in my digital pattern making service (at $35 per garment pattern) contact me at or on my FaceBook page "Fashion Patternmaking And Design"

If you would just like to order basic pattern blocks for bodice,  torso,  coat/jacket or skirt you can place an order for the size and kind you need here at  my fiverr gig where I will draft a basic digital bodice or skirt pattern block in the size you require for $5

Want more information on the industry and online schools?  Check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

Want to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:

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