4. Using the pen tool to draw objects and curved lines

In manual paper pattern making, we use a ruler to draw straight lines and a Pattern Master or French Curves to draw curved lines. But how do we translate this to digital pattern cutting in Adobe Illustrator? Simple, we use the Pen tool and all of its derivative options to seamlessly draw curves and lines. In this tutorial, we show you how to use these fun tools to divide your block into panels or add design elements such as necklines.

 Tutorial Overview

1. Using the Pen tool to create simple point to point objects.

2. Click and drag on your mouse with the pen tool to create simple curved objects.

3. Use the Pen tool and click and drag to create complex straight and curved objects.

4. Use the Add anchor point tool to add points to your simple objects. Then move them around with the small selection tool to adjust the object.

5. Use the Minus anchor point tool to remove existing points to simplify your object.

6. Use the Anchor point tool to independently change the curves of your object.

7. Draw a new neckline on the front and back of your basic block using the Pen tool.

8. Adjust your new neckline using the Add and Minus anchor point tool. 

9. Bonus – A demonstration of how we might use these lines to create panels and more complex design elements. 

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  1. Haein lee

    Hi! On this video, you did a click on the marker and created a copy. You do this at 5:50-5:57.

    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Haein,
      Are you wondering how we did this or? How can I help?

  2. Pixie Willow

    How do you alter the arm holes using the pen tool in case they need altering slightly?

  3. Liesje

    If you are in Pen tool mode and want to stop drawing more, simply hit enter and you can start drawing a new point without using another key.

    • Ralph Pink

      Hey, that’s a great tip! Thank you Liesje. Please post if you have any more.

      • Anonymous

        You can also click the Pen tool shortcut (P) and it will start a new path.

      • Justine L Kohn

        You can also use the pen tool shortcut (P) and it will end your path allowing you to start a new one.


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