What's new?

We’ve added some important updates to transform how you draft your basic blocks in the Lab. Check out the full list of changes below.


by | Nov 29, 2018 | Uncategorized

Updates to the Lab

It’s been a few days since we’ve added updates to the Lab and thought we’d give you a bit of a run-down on what has changed. It might not seem like we’ve changed much but there are some very powerful tools and updates that go into improving your drafting experience.

#1 Percentage eases

You can now add ease to your basic blocks as a percentage. Most people add static eases either in centimeters or inches, however, we’ve added this specifically to support our brand new range of ‘Style’ and ‘Design Element’ tutorials. 

Not all styles or garments use the same ease. This is part of the reason why they are classed as different styles. It’s important that our Style tutorials work for a range of sizes and body types, rather than just one size. Using a static ease like 6cm for the bust, 4cm for the waist and 6cm for the hips would only really work for one size – UK10. So what happens when we follow the tutorial for a UK24? Using the same static ease (6cm, 4cm, 6cm) would clearly not produce the same fit and the style would be far too tight. That’s where percentage eases come in. A percentage ease uses your personal measurements and changes the ease accordingly to your bust, waist or hip measurement, much in the same way the Lab’s automatic ease works. 

To add your ease as a percentage when drafting your block, simply select the “%” symbol from the Custom Ease drop-down list on the Fit tab. Or take a look at one of our style tutorials where we explain the process in depth.

Due to the introduction of percentage eases, we’ve had to change some of our minimum and maximum allowed values for a variety of blocks. You can view the new Minimum and Maximum changes on the Fit tab of each block.

#2 Changing your measurements post purchase

Originally, we restricted the number of times you could change your bust, waist and hip measurements for each order. This limited the number of different sizes that could be drafted from the same order. After reviewing this, we realised that mistakes can be made when entering your measurements, especially if you are new to measuring the body. To fix this, we now allow you to change these key measurements a maximum of three times, giving you a lot more flexibility and margin of error when editing your measurements.

Good news! This new functionality applies to all existing orders.

#3 My Library for registered users

We’ve made some subtle yet powerful changes to the existing “My Orders” area. We’ve renamed it “My Library” and added some substantial search features to the system. You can now search your purchased blocks by name, block, profile, order number, ease, or even a specific design element. This makes it far easier to keep track of your purchases, profiles and drafted blocks. Give it a whirl and see what you think!

This functionality only applies to registered user accounts. Basic blocks purchased using a Guest account are not saved in the library, instead, purchases or drafted blocks are sent directly to the email account used at checkout. Becoming a registered user is FREE and gives you access to all your purchases and drafted basic blocks anywhere, anytime. 

#4 Refined ePattern downloads

When we first launched PatternLab, we offered the bodice and matching sleeve block ePatterns as two separate items. Meaning they could be downloaded and previewed separately. We have now consolidated them into one download and preview. This prevents matching blocks such as the sleeve and bodice being lost after download. 

We have also made some small but very important changes to the blocks contained within your ePattern download:


  • We’ve thickened the pattern’s lines, to make them more visible when editing.
  • Removed the blocks fill (white) to make elements within the block easier to select and edit.
  • Reorganised the grouping of key elements within the blocks, making it easier to isolate and move elements when adapting your blocks using our tutorials.

New courses and tutorials

Possibly one of the most obvious additions to the Lab is our new range of tutorials and courses. We’ve spent a considerable time updating our existing tutorials, creating new ones and adding important tools and functionality to create a more fun, informative and understandable experience. Head over to the Courses page to see what’s changed.

#1 Pattern Making course

To start things off, we’ve scrapped the old ‘Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator’ course. We’ve replaced this with a brand new series of tutorials, providing you with a much more comprehensive insight into pattern making with Adobe Illustrator. Customising your blocks is an important part of the PatternLab experience and we want to make sure you have the right knowledge and tools at your disposal. Why not take a look?

View the course…

#2 Style & Design Element tutorials

As part of our new structure, we’ve added ‘Style’ and ‘Design Element‘ tutorials. But what does this mean? Let’s imagine that a garment is made up of different design elements such as a sleeve, neckline, pocket, or even the body or style of the garment. Changing or swapping these elements will affect the finished look of the garment. We’ve created our tutorials to work in a similar way. A ‘Style Tutorial’ will show you step-by-step, how to transform your basic block to create the body (style) of your garment. A ‘Design Element Tutorial’ will show you how to then add a specific sleeve, neckline or pocket to that style. What’s more, each tutorial is designed to work with one another, allowing you to mix and match the tutorials to create a truly unique design or garment.

View Styles | View Design elements

#3 Star Ratings

To help you find the right tutorial for you, we’ve added star ratings. A tutorial with two or fewer stars will have a slower pace and is designed for people who have only just started using Adobe Illustrator as a pattern making platform. A tutorial with three stars or more will have a much faster pace and is designed for people that have a good knowledge of the tools used to pattern make in Adobe Illustrator. Whilst we haven’t explored 3 star and over tutorials yet, this will come in handy in the future as we release faster and more complicated tutorials. So stay tuned!


    1. Jackie Szczepanik

      I am having trouble with the basic torso block in the sleeve/armhole area. While it looks very pretty when put together I have very little range of motion in the armhole area. Not sure where to add or subtract in the pattern to alleviate this problem

    2. Hariet Rose

      I have been using PatternLab London for a couple of weeks now and I am very excited at the possibilities for tailored-made outfits. Adobe Illustrator was good to use although I have only conquered a couple of the basic tools. I have made a toile for my mannequin using the princess seam configuration. I am now ready to add in ease for a garment that I could wear. It would be really helpful if ease could be modified in the block post purchase please- especially as it is probably going to take a couple of iterations to get this right. Are there any calculators available for working out fabric meterage for a given block?
      Thank you for PatternLab! It is a fabulous package.

      • Ralph Pink

        Hi Hariet. Thanks for your comment. and lovely words! We always love positive feedback.

        Adobe Illustrator is a powerful platform and can take a little while to grasp. However, once you’ve got the basics you will find it incredibly useful. Practice makes perfect!

        To learn quickly, I would suggest following our style and design element tutorials. The design and style tutorials are slow paced and explain the tools used in much the same way the “Pattern making in Illustrator” course does. The style and design tutorials give you an actual project to work on, such as the Skater dress or A-line dress. Real life experience with drafting an actual design will give you a better understanding of the tools used and possibly speed up your learning curve. Just a suggestion.

        We have looked into modifying the seam allowance after purchase and have come up with a variety of solutions for this. We will be offering this in a future update. In the meantime, if you have purchased an ePattern version of your block, you can add your own custom seam allowance using Adobe Illustrator. It’s quite straight forward and forms an important part of the Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator series. You can watch the tutorial here: https://patternlab.london/home/project/epattern-seam-allowance/

        We have thought about a material calculator for our blocks and have worked up a basic concept for the tool. It is very possible and something that we will look to implement once we have finished some of our core updates. Either way, thank you for the suggestion.

        Let us know how you get on!


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