Learn how to draft your basic blocks & adjust your measurements after purchase.

Some of you might be new to PatternLab. You’re possibly wondering how to use the Lab to create a profile, enter your measurements, design your blocks, make a purchase and then what happens after you’ve made your purchase? Yeah, good question. Which is why we have created this handy and informative video tutorial to show you exactly that. The tutorial covers a range of different topics that should teach you how to use the Lab like a seasoned Pro. We’ve listed the points that are covered in the tutorial below.

Also, please feel free to leave comments and questions about anything that is confusing. We’re here to help you get the very best from the Lab! 


Creating a Profile & adding your custom measurements

I take you through all the various elements on the profile page to make the whole process far simpler

  • Create, clone, remove and print a profile
  • Using the measurement sheet in combination with the measurement tutorial, to take your measurements
  • Adding measurements to a profile and fixing an error message
  • Selecting and editing existing profiles
  • How to display specific measurements for certain blocks

Using a standard size chart

  • Where to find the standard size charts
  • The difference between Young and Mature women
  • How to select a standard size to draft your blocks

Designing your block

  • How to select a type of basic block and where to find the new dress blocks
  • The difference between waist shaping and no waist shaping
  • The difference between automatic and custom fit, including ease.
  • Using automatic lengths or creating a custom length for your block
  • Designing the front and back of your basic block using darts
  • Understanding the sleeve block, sleeve head ease and how to customise your sleeve.
  • Adding seam allowance to elements of your blockT
  • The difference between an ePattern and a PDF pattern?

Making your purchase

  • Adding an item to your cart
  • Terms and conditions and your rights, when it comes to using our blocks commercially
  • We use PayPal payments

Your Personal Library

  • What happens after purchasing a basic block and completing an order
  • What is the personal library and where are orders and basic blocks stored (registered users)
  • How to edit measurements after purchase
  • Adding notes to an order to keep track of measurement adjustments

Previewing your block and editing your measurements

  • An overview of the preview tool and where to find it
  • Downloading a basic block in a variety of different PDF paper sizes
  • Re-arranging pattern pieces to conserve paper when printing a PDF pattern
  • Downloading an ePattern including where to find our tutorials and how to customise it
  • Editing your measurements for a specific block, order or set of orders
  • Restrictions on the Bust, Waist and Hip measurements after purchase

Using the troubleshooting guides

  • An overview of our troubleshooting guides and how to use them
  • Using the preview tool, in combination with the troubleshooting guides to spot issues with your basic blocks

Questions and Answers

If you have any question about the above topics or video, please feel free to leave a comment below. You can also join us on Reddit to view the community’s questions, comments, and our answers.


  1. christine edwards

    how much is your program or is it free and i just pay for patterns . i would like to know more but feel your range of templates is very limited. i want to make cloths for butch lesbians and queer people. also you talk about other computer programs if i want to make changes to the basic block which you offer downer the course tab. but how much do they cost . thanks christine edwards

    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Christine, Thank you for your question.

      If you become a registered user (Free) you can create and store as many profiles and measurement sets as you wish. You can also navigate the lab and design your basic blocks using your custom profiles for free. The only thing you pay for are the basic blocks once you have designed them in the Lab. Each basic block is priced differently depending on how complex the block draft is. For example, the basic Bodice, Torso and Skirt block each cost £7.99. Whereas, the semi and full-circle skirts cost £4.99 each.

      After purchase, you have the option to adjust the measurements for each block you have purchased – allowing you to get the very best possible fit. There are some limitations on which measurements can be changed, but we are working on correcting this to give our users far more control post-purchase. The limited measurements are: Bust, Waist and hip.

      Once we have finished work on our post-purchase additions, we will be focusing on adding more basic blocks to the Lab. This includes a variety of trouser, jeans, stretch, activewear, swimwear and corsets basic blocks. This should give our customers a lot more to play with.

      Our Pattern Cutting tutorials are free to all and are available on the courses tab. We will be adding more in-depth tutorials soon. We use and recommend Adobe Illustrator as a digital pattern cutting platform. Please visit their website to get an up-to-date list of their prices and packages. Adobe illustrator CC (newest version) starts at about £15.00 per month for a single license. You can also buy earlier versions of Illustrator such as Cs5 and Cs6 on eBay or Amazon for a far cheaper one-off price. Similarly, you can try using Inkscape. It is a free software package similar to Adobe Illustrator.
      If you are not a fan of Digital pattern cutting, you could always purchase your basic block as a PDF, print it out and adjust your patterns manually (on paper). Just follow the tutorial and make the same adjustments on your paper pattern.

      I hope this helps.


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