1. Setting up a workspace in Illustrator specifically for pattern cutting

Adobe Illustrator (AI) can be a very intimidating platform, especially when it displays all the bells and whistles! In this tutorial, we show you which tools are important, where to find them, how to add them to your workspace, how to remove tools that you don’t need, and finally, how to save the workspace so you can use it each and every time you draft patterns using Adobe Illustrator. This preparation can be a little time consuming but I promise it’s well worth it in the long run! This tutorial marks the first in a series that will show you how to transition from manual paper pattern cutting to digital pattern cutting in Adobe Illustrator.


Draft or Download a Digital Basic Block

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. Introduction to Adobe Illustrator CC and where to buy and download it.

2. Opening Illustrator and creating a new document.

3. Adding important tools and removing unwanted tools from the workspace, creating an easy-to-use interface for pattern cutting.

4. Saving the new customised workspace for future use.

5. Navigating the new document using the Zoom and Drag tools.

6. Displaying document rulers and toggling between centimetres and inches to suit your project.


  1. Anonymous

    Woww this is an amazing tutorial, always wanted to learn how to work with AI to learn pattern cutting and digitizing patterns.. I’m really excited about it. Thankyou so much

    • Ralph Pink

      Thanks for the lovely comment and we’re glad you like the work. Enjoy!

  2. Jenn

    Amazing tutorial! This is exactly what I have been looking for! Something to get me started with the basics! A starting point! Thank you!!

  3. gina labriani

    are you planning to make tutorials for inkscape?

    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Gina, I will take a look at Inkscape and see if we can provide a tutorial for this software.

  4. Anonymous

    I realized just before you selected “”Pattern cutting work space”” just before to clicked ‘”Document info”” for the right tool bar. I don’t have the Pattern Cutting work place

  5. Insherah McGarry

    Hello, I can’t open the cutting table in adobe.

  6. Alice

    Which standard pattern should I purchase and download to follow along with this tutorial?

  7. Toby Neave

    Hi where about is the basic block you reference I have downloaded both files but the basic block doesn’t appear to be in it?

    Thank you though for these videos they are amazing, something I have always wanted to learn to do.

    • Ralph Pink

      Thanks for your comment! These tutorials were made about a year ago. At that point, we were offering a free basic bodice block to experiment with, whilst following the tutorials. The aim at that point was to create an extended course of pattern making tutorials that were available to buy. We decided to scrap this concept and offer this extended range of pattern making tutorials for free, using the sale from blocks to subsidise the time and effort it took to create the tutorials. These tutorials are not just designed for digital pattern making. The techniques demonstrated can also be applied to paper pattern making or manual pattern making. Someone might already have a set of paper patterns and use them to follow along with our tutorials applying the same methods demonstrated in the video to their paper patterns. Either way, we apologise for the misunderstanding. We’ll look at replacing the old set of introductory tutorials with new ones that highlight this change. We appreciate the feedback!

      • souare

        bonjour tres instructif peut on avoir les videos en francais svp


    Great information. Thank you very much.

  9. Samuel Eskenasy

    Hi, I suggest adding the measure tool, I use it to check if size is correct as in illustrator you can’t add a measure to a line.

    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Samuel, thanks for your comment. That’s a good point! The measure tool certainly is a quicker way of measuring from point to point. We left it out because it can’t (to my knowledge) measure a curved line and we wanted to focus on two measuring techniques. Possibly we can create an additional tutorial to show the measuring tool being used.


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