Course Practice: Alternative Pattern Cutting

As part of our course practice this term we also go to experiment with a new types of pattern cutting.

Pattern cutting is usually began on the flat block and then through the use of seams and darts it becomes 3D.

However as not all patterns are symmetrical; and in some cases it is very unclear how a flat surface could transfer to the 3D body other techniques must be used.

This technique involves taking the correct sized mannequin for your performer. The Mannequin is then covered in clingfilm, then covered in a layer of masking tape.

Then you get straight in and begin drawing on the shape of the garment you want to achieve; making sure to draw lines through the bust point, and through the waist, some of the curviest parts of the body.

You need lines through the bodies curviest points to make sure that the patterns will sit flat once cut off of the mannequin.

The next step is to put balance points all of the lines to help when matching up the curves at the end. It is also good at this point to take photos of all of the lines as well as number all of the pieces to make sure that you don’t loose any pieces.

I also kept in the centre front and centre back line, as well as the two side seams, as this helped me when latching up the pieces at the end; it also helps you to identify where the grain line on the patterns is.

The next step is to cut all of the pieces off of the mannquine, making sure all of the pieces lie flat. Once you have done this it is time to lay the pattern pieces out on fabric and cut out the fabric ready for construction.


Once they are all cut out construction can begin, and like putting together a giant puzzle, it can all begin to get very confusing very quickly.

Very quickly I realised that I would have to place the pieces back on the mannequin to understand how they go back together, along side looking at the photos I has taken earlier.

Throughout the majority of the process I left the paper pattern pieces on as this helped me to identify again how to put the fabric back together.

But I did it! the Costume is together. As frustrating as it was, finally finishing it was the the most satisfying feeling ever.


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