Screenshot of a digital pattern making workspace in Adobe Illustrator showing outlines of dress pattern pieces with labeled dimensions.
 

Mastering Marking Points & Measuring in Adobe Illustrator

Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator

Pattern cutting in Adobe Illustrator can be a challenging experience for students and pattern makers used to traditional paper pattern cutting methods. However, the precision required for patterns is perfectly catered to by Illustrator’s vast array of tools, making the transition from paper to digital a seamless and efficient process. This guide demonstrates the important process of both marking points in Adobe Illustrator and measuring patterns in Adobe Illustrator. It aims to empower pattern makers with the knowledge to draft patterns with speed precision and accuracy.

Tutorial Overview

1. Handling Points: This segment covers the basics of manipulating points within your design, a fundamental skill for any pattern maker.

2. Placing Points Precisely: Learn to place points with precision, crucial for maintaining the correct dimensions of your pattern.

3. Utilising the Move Dialogue Box: Discover the power of precise point movement, a feature that enhances pattern accuracy.

4. Measuring Distances Between Points: Measure the distance between points effortlessly, ensuring symmetry and balance in your patterns.

5. Rotating Measurements for Alignment: Master the technique of rotating measurements to align patterns perfectly.

6. Duplicating Measurements: Duplicate measurements to maintain consistency across your design, a key aspect of professional pattern cutting.

7. Fine-tuning Point Locations: Adjust point locations with precision, allowing for meticulous pattern refinement.

8. Removing Points Correctly: Learn the correct way to remove points, preserving the integrity of your pattern.

9. Measuring Curved Lines: Acquire the skill to measure curved lines accurately, essential for complex pattern designs.

10. Marking Points Along Curved Lines: Mark points along curved lines with precision, a technique that enhances the functionality of your patterns.

Essentials for Following Along

Before we dive in, you’ll need a bodice basic block to keep up with this pattern-making project. We offer two types of basic blocks for your selection. Standardized basic blocks are ready for immediate use, allowing you to start drafting right away, though they might not match your measurements perfectly. On the other hand, a bespoke basic block, tailored to your specific measurements, offers a precise fit but requires time to create, as we’ll need 28 of your body measurements. Choose the one that best suits your needs!

Bodice basic block. What is a basic block, dress basic block, torso basic block, skirt basic block, trouser basic block. Basic blocks for pattern making.lock, dress basic block, torso basic block, skirt basic block, trouser basic block.

Standardized Basic Block

Start pattern making immediately

Visit our partner site, DesignLab.London, for a variety of bodice basic blocks available in multiple sizes. These serve as an ideal starting point or base pattern for your pattern-making project. Explore the collection, select your preferred style and size, and download it to proceed with your project.

Master Digital Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator with our Free course Adapt basic blocks into finished patterns

Bespoke Basic Blocks

Craft a personalized basic block designed for your unique measurements

Looking for a tailor-made basic block for this project? You’re in the right place. Construct your personalised basic block in the Lab by providing your measurements. Simply create a profile, input your measurements, and utilise this profile to design a range of basic block styles. You’ll need the bodice basic block for this project.

Continue Your Pattern Making Journey!

This lesson is part of a series designed to transition you from manual to digital pattern cutting in Adobe Illustrator, making your workflow faster and far more precise. Are you ready for the next lesson?

33 Comments

  1. Christine

    Thank you, but I cannot understand how to reconnect the points. I’ve rewatched your video many times and also read your answers to the other comments. There is no option to join the points. I click and drag, and nothing happens. It’s easier just to keep going back to where the points were all connected. I don’t know what else to do.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Christine, I’m sorry you’re having issues. The easiest thing to do is to select the line using the direct selection tool. This will highlight the endpoint or anchor point. Click the anchor point, then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and select the other line that contains the anchor point you want to join to. While still holding down Shift, click the anchor point. This technique allows you to isolate the two anchor points you wish to join. Finally, right-click and choose “Join.” Give it a try and let us know how it went. Thanks, and good luck with your project!

      Also, we are currently adding youtube shorts on all of these techniques to our YouTube channel. There are 49 tutorials in total. Why not take a look: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgOpHffgkLSe9pCASTFmhZYBbH55vwZy2

      Thanks and good luck with your project!

      Reply
  2. Nadeen Katz

    Hi,

    You’re truly awesome!! I’m learning so much.

    However, my frustration trying to learn how to mark a point on a curve (shown towards the end of the video) gave me a terrible headache! After repeating the video and trying to apply the technique more than 15 times, I gave up. Is mastering this technique very important?

    Reply
  3. Lesley Henley-Barker

    Hello Ralph, Thank you for this course; after 20 years of using Gerber, I have habits to unlearn.
    When I select the Point in your key, the whole key is selecting. I know that the solution will be simple. but I don’t know what to do.

    Thank You,

    Lesley

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      It sounds like you are using the big selection tool (black arrow) try using the small selection tool (white arrow). It’s a good idea to hold down the following keyboard keys whilst clicking the selection. Shift+Alt. Hopefully that works for you!

      Reply
  4. Ligia

    HI! My document info tool does not show in centimeters althought everything is selected to show in centimeters. What do i do? pls help me

    Reply
  5. Rica Santos

    I’m having trouble following the tutorial from 12:54 onwards. When I try to use scissors to cut along the line, i end up making a gap from the new point to the anchor point. I tried it countless times and managed to get it right once but when i tried to do it again, i couldn’t repeat correctly. I’m using a bigger monitor for AI and my laptop for this video so i can really zoom in. feeling very frustrated as I want to advance to the next tutorials but can’t seem to get past this one. can you break it down from the part where I add a point to the underarm before the curve of the armhole? So sorry. I’m entirely new to this software. Just frustrated that after getting AI and purchasing my customized bodice block, I can’t even move past just this third tutorial. 🙁

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Nor can I . I only have the key

    Reply
  7. Ros Reid

    When trying to measure around the curve armhole. I am not seeing the lenth of the cut segment in document information, I am seeing the length of the rest of the block from which the segment has been cut. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      To see the distance or measurement of the curved line, you must first select it first using the direct selection tool (white arrow). The document info pop up will only show the measurement of your selection.

      Reply
      • Vanessa

        I’ve tried direct selecting the point on the underarm to 5cm away, but it always selects the rest of the line. I’ve also tried doing it the other way round, by selecting the next point on the curve then scissoring backwards towards the underarm point, but it selects the same thing. The only way I can get it to measure 5cm is to click at a point on the curve then click back to the underarm point. I’ve tried first cutting the curved line, then selecting the point. Nothing seems to work. Please can you advise?

        Reply
        • Ralph Pink

          Hi Vanessa,
          Thanks for your comment. Hopefully, I understand what you are trying to do… This can happen sometimes when there are numerous points on the line. I would recommend zooming right into the line area that you want to select or cut. The more zoomed in you are the more specific you can be with your selections and cuts.

          Reply
  8. Lichfield, UK

    Just Wow. The way you have applied software that everyone can access, to the skill of pattern drafting – is incredible.

    Do you think it would be possible for me to draft a pattern block in adobe illustrator from a book I have – Dress Fitting: Basic Principles and Practice
    by Natalie Bray ? I made the skirt pattern years ago, and need to re-draft my block as I have changed shape after having my children.

    You have a block for leggings – but is there is block for trousers and jeans ?

    This is magic – I will definitely be buying from you,

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Lichfield.

      Yes you can certainly draft your block from scratch in Adobe illustrator. We do not have a tutorial for doing that but it is a straight forward concept. Simply create a point using the circle tool. Then hit the enter key on your keyboard to bring up the move dialogue box. Enter the distance you would like to move that point either horizontally or vertically. Click copy and a new point will appear on the page. This is the technique we use to create our initial samples for the blocks we create. Essentially a basic block is made up of lots of point to point measurements. For example: Point A-B = Cross back + ease. Give it a try!

      We are currently working on our trouser blocks and should release them in early 2021.

      Thanks

      Reply
  9. jelena fehmi

    Hi Ralf. Come to the second tutorial and using the Cutting table from the desktop, I notice my Key box is missing.
    At what moment creating the cutting table mistake may happen?

    Reply
  10. jelena fehmi

    Hi Ralph. Slowly but surely learning Pattern cutting technique. Going second round. Easy t take Cutting table from the Desktop, then get pattern block size 8UK (with sleeve) from the desktop then follow you command. But when it is come to Taking measurement tutorial and I need to start from CT, there is no Key box to get the Point from.
    Probably after playing around with another tutorial from Youtube I lost the original table? What shall I do now to get it back to my Cutting Table ?

    Reply
  11. Ilona

    Hello Ralph, thank you for these wonderful tutorials! It is so kind of you to share this wonderful knowledge and know-how. I learnt soooo much by watching the tutorials, even those related to fashion illustration with Illustrator. Thank you and thank you :)) !!

    Reply
  12. Joanna Hadley Rendle

    I am so sorry but for the life of me I cannot find the bodice block for the tutorial after setting up the Cutting Table. I use AI in my ‘proper job” so using this to transfer to my new ‘hobby’. Thank you so much in advance for your help, so far so brilliant. PS My toolbar has never looked so small and tidy!!!

    Reply
  13. Hayley Beech

    Hello, I’m having trouble cutting the line at a corner point, I have the error message ‘Please use the scissors too, on a segment or anchor point (but not an end point) of a path’. Do you have any idea why this is appearing?

    Also when I do try to rejoin a line using the drag and right click, there is no ‘join’ option, is there another action that I could do to join? I’m using the updated 2020 version of Illustrator so possibly that is why.

    Otherwise your tutorials are great. I’m relatively new to Illustrator so it’s taking me a while but I’m sure I’ll get there. I’m super fast at cutting on Gerber so finding it a little frustrating at the moment trying to learn in a completely new program.

    Thanks
    Hayley

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Hayley,

      1. It’s possible that you have already cut the line at this point (corner) or the lines were never joined at that point in the first place – “not an end point”

      2a. If you select your ends points with drag, you might inadvertently select more than the two points. This will prevent you from joining anything becuase the software simply doesn’t know which you want to join. When deleting existing points and lines, you need to hit the backspace key a few times. If you only hit backspace once, little points or artifacts are leftover, which disappear and become invisible when they are not selected. These points or artifacts stay there unseen until you want to join points and lines. You drag and select but these points get included in your selection and you wouldn’t even know. This is why it’s really important to delete your existing points and lines properly by hitting backspace numerous times.

      You can isolate the points you wish to join, by first clicking on the line with the direct selection tool (white) this will display the point, click the point, then hold down the shift key and click the next line to display its point.

      2b. On the other hand, it might be that you are using the large selection tool (black) and not the direct selection tool (white). The direct selection tool selects individual points and lines or elements within an object. Use the direct selection tool (white) when joining points.

      I hope that helps answer your questions 🙂 Possibly we should do a tutorial on this topic because it can be tricky.

      Reply
  14. Temitayo Akinbile

    Wow! You are awesome at this. I’m still at a novice in Adobe Illustrator still finding my way around the tools, but can do little-tiny-bity things with it. I know with this website and your amazing tutorials I should find my footing in AI soon. God bless you!

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Many thanks! Keep practicing and you’ll get faster and faster. It will eventually become an effortless form of pattern making.

      Reply
  15. elisabetta

    Hello! I can’t place a point on 5cm in the armhole, can you please re explain me? Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Fern

    Hi

    When I try joining the lines after using the scissors tool, I get the error message ” to join, you must select two end points of the same or two different paths”. Is there a way to overcome this?

    Thanks!:)

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi, Yes there certainly is! This happened to me a lot when I first started using Adobe Illustrator for Pattern making. It baffled me for ages. The error message, although cryptic, is clear once you understand the issue.

      You’re selecting more than two points!

      This can happen when you have old points lying under or on top of the two that you are trying to join. When you select a line, using the direct selection tool, then try to delete it with the backspace key, you are only deleting the line and not the two endpoints. If you hit the backspace key twice, you will delete both the line and the endpoints. This will give you a far cleaner workspace and prevent your problem.

      To remove the old points:
      1. Individually select and lock the lines you wish to join using the direct selection tool (small white pointer). DO NOT click and drag over the lines or endpoints, because your selection will include the old points.
      2. Lock the lines using CTRL+2 once they have been selected.
      3. Once the lines have been locked, click and drag over the endpoints with the direct selection tool. If there are existing points then this will select them.
      4. With the points selected, hit the backspace key a few times to ensure they have been deleted.
      5. Next, unlock your lines using CTRL+ALT+2
      6. You can now select the endpoints of the lines and join them as normal.

      I hope that helps!

      Reply
  17. ifeoma Chidolue

    i really didnt get the part about reducing or finding a point around the curve i went over it severally but just couldnt navigate it. Was quite frustrating.I dont know if its because im using the trial version?

    Reply
  18. ILANA BINYAMINI

    HELLO TO TOU RALPH.
    I HAVE ALREADY THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS AND I CONTINUE TO WATCH YOUR EXCELLENT LESSONS.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH
    ILANA

    Reply
  19. ILANA BINYAMINI

    HELLO TO YOU RALPH.
    YOUR COURSES ARE A GREAT TREASURE INDEED.
    CAN I HOPE THAT A TURTORIAL OF DRAFTING SIMPLE BASIC BLOCK OF STRAIGHT SKIRT WILL COME IN THE NEAREST FUTURE?
    IS IT POSSIBLE?
    THANK YOU IDEED A LOT ABOUTWHAT YOU ARE DOING IN THIS GREAT WEB. IT IS GREAT .
    ILANA

    Reply
  20. ILANA BINYAMINI

    HI.
    THE TURTORIALS ARE GREAT BUT I LOOK AFTER ONE THING THAT IS NOT MENTIONED.:
    I WANT TO DRAFT BASIC BLOCK PATTERNS AND I KNEED TO USE THE DYNAMIC MEASURE TOOL NOT ONLY AS IT NOW HOVER OVER THE LINES BUT WHEN I TRACE THE LINES TO TRACE THEM ACCORDING WHAT I WANT EXACTLY. .
    WHY IT IS NOT FOUND UNDER THE ” W INDOW”? WHERE CAN I FIND IT AND APPLY THE LINES IN THE EXACTLY MEASUREMENT ?
    I HAVE THE LATEST VERSION OF ILLUSTRATOR AND USE WUNDOWS NOT MAC.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND I APOLOGIZE ON MY BED ENGLISH .

    Reply
  21. sarvin

    This is great, thank you sooooooo much

    Reply
  22. Samia Buchan

    OMG where have you been all my life??

    Thank you so much for these amazing tutorials. I will be sure to share my first Illustrator pattern with you. When I come round to it…

    The time you have put into this, wow, again, thank you.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Samia. Thanks for your lovely message! So glad you love the site and the tutorials. You’re very welcome and please do share your patterns, we’d love to see them! Thanks again.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get 20% Off

When you sign up to our newsletter

Get first access to new products, discounts, courses and more goodies… (we won’t spam you or share your email with anyone else).

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This