6. Cutting your block into panels and manipulating darts

Cutting and slashing your block into different pattern panels is yet another fundamental part of paper pattern making. It’s possibly the first thing that we learn as pattern makers. It’s a very similar concept in Adobe Illustrator, but doing it well can be tricky. This tutorial focuses on two separate methods and introduces the Pathfinder tool. We also explain how to use your pattern panels to close darts by rotating them around the bust point. There’s a lot of content in this tutorial, but it’s well worth watching.

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Follow along with our tutorials and learn digital pattern making in Adobe Illustrator CC. Purchase and download one of our editable digital basic blocks. We have a few options for you to choose from...

 

Tutorial Overview

1.Technique one: Extending your neckline line using the Pen tool to extend it beyond the outline for your basic block in preparation for cutting the block.

2. Decreasing the weight of your line to create a fine cut line. 

3. Transforming your fine cut line into an object using the Expand tool.

4. Exploring layers and the arrangement of objects in Adobe Illustrator.

5. Cutting your basic block using the object and the Minus Front Pathfinder tool.

6. Creating your new neckline by removing the upper panel.

7. Technique two: Using your neckline line as a guide to cut your block.

8. Separating the two pattern panels and duplicating the neckline line.

9. Combining the separate neckline lines to their respective separated pattern panels using the Join tool.

10. Bonus – Using the Eyedropper tool to add the attributes of your existing block to your new pattern panels.

11. Dart manipulation: Cutting the block at the shoulder line and bust point using technique two in preparation for closing the existing dart.

12. Using the Pathfinder tool to individually close the separate pattern panels of your block.

13. Ungrouping your block to release the individual pattern panels. Regrouping each panel separately in preparation for closing the dart. 

14. Selecting and rotating the left block around the bust point to close the lower dart and open a new dart on the shoulder. 

15. Using the Pathfinder tool to reunite the existing pattern panels into one block. Includes Add Anchor Point tool and how it affects the Pathfinder tool

16. Repeating the whole process using the back block dart.

17. Repeating the process by cutting the back block in two using a curved line. 

18. Closing the top dart to create one seamless upper panel.

19. Locking the upper panel to create a template using the Lock tool. 

19. Refining the upper block’s curved line by using the existing curved line as a template.

20. Unlocking the upper panel, joining the new curved line to the upper panel and removing the existing curved line. 

21. Renaming the text elements on your block and finalising your pattern.

7 Comments

  1. imman

    I want you to teach us to make a basic bodice block on illustrator.

    Reply
  2. Liv

    Hey, thanks for the tutorials.
    Any troubleshooting tips for technique two? I’m following the instructions, but after I cut the 2 points when I select with the direct selection tool and drag with the other one it just drags the whole block as if the cuts were never there. I tried rotating it and then dragging, which enabled me to move it.

    I did manage to get the new part to move once, but then I backspaced and it went back to not moving separately.

    Reply
  3. Kaine Akponor

    Thanks so much for this series. It has really improved my digital pattern making skills. I used to make different layers to divide a block, this has really simplified things.

    Reply
  4. Kerry

    This is an excellent tutorial, thank you!

    Reply
  5. ILANA BINYAMINI

    HELLO TO YOU RALPH. FIRST OF ALL I WANT TO THANK ON YOUR EXTRAORDINERY LESSONS.
    I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT CUTTING THE BLOCK
    WITH THE SCISSORS AS YOU SHOW IN THE 7.30 MINUTE IN THE VIDEO. WHEN YOU DEMONSTRATE IT LOOKS GREAT BUT WHEN I TRY I GET EVERY TIME THE MASSAGE: ” PLEASE USE THE SCISSORS TOOL ON A SEGMENT OR AN ANCHOR POINT ( BUT NOT ON ENDPOINT) OF A PATH)” AND I CAN’T DO THIE CUUTING ACTION LIKE YOU .
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
    ILANA

    Reply
  6. ELIZABETH SANTOS

    Just want to say what an amazing tutorial it had helped me loads!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found it useful. Enjoy your digital pattern making journey.

      Reply

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