What are Finished Patterns?

by | Dec 7, 2023 | All Documentation, Basic Pattern Making | 0 comments

When it comes to fashion design, a finished pattern is the final blueprint of your design or garment. A finished pattern is not just the 2D pattern; it also includes a specification pack, which includes all the information needed to turn the pattern into a finished garment.

Essentially, the aim of a finished pattern is to give a seamstress or garment manufacturer all the information they need to recreate the style or garment. The more comprehensive the specification pack, the fewer questions need to be asked, and the quicker the finished garment can be produced.

Finished pattern pieces for a garment laid out on a table, with marked notches and labels, alongside an image of the completed outfit.
What is seam allowance? Basic block on dress mannequin

What are Graded Patterns?

Graded patterns are created from a finished pattern that has been systematically adjusted to fit multiple sizes while keeping the original design’s style and proportions. Grading a patterns into many different sizes creates garments that fit a range of body shapes and sizes, making it a valuable tool for both pattern making, home sewing, and the fashion industry in general.

Draft and adapt basic blocks in adobe illustrator. Digital pattern making
Draft and adapt basic blocks in adobe illustrator. Digital pattern making

Where do Finished Patterns come from?

These patterns are created by adapting a basic block (a simple body template) into a more intricate patterns. This is done by adding design elements such as extra ease, collars, pockets, lapels, pleats, and gathers to produce the unique design or style. Elements are added depending on the design style of the garment.

What is a Basic Block?  |  Draft a Bespoke Basic Block  |  Download a Library of Basic Blocks

Who creates Finished Patterns?

A pattern maker would complete this process, and the success or failure of the finished pattern would directly depend on the ability or experience of the pattern maker. More complicated or specialized patterns, such as lingerie, corsetry, or tailored jackets, would require a pattern maker skilled in that specific garment type. The more specialized a pattern maker is in a specific garment type, the better the pattern will be, and therefore, the finished garment.

What is a Pattern Maker?

Where do Finished Patterns Fit into the Design Process?

These Patterns are a pivotal step in the life cycle of designing a clothing collection or an individual garment. Here’s a simplified view of this life cycle: First, the initial design concept is developed. Next, a suitable basic block is chosen to form the base of the design. Subsequently, this basic block is transformed into a finished pattern by incorporating design elements like pockets, collars, pleats, and gathers, etc. Finally, the completed garment is constructed based on this pattern.

Finished Patterns Fashion Design Process Life Cycle finished pattern

What are the Benefits of Finished Patterns?

These patterns, and the documents they come with, are specifically created to give a sampler, seamstress, or clothing manufacturer all the information needed to recreate the style or garment without asking too many questions. The better the completed pattern, the fewer questions need to be asked, and the quicker the garment can be made or manufactured. The benefit of finished patterns lies in their repeatability; a manufacturer can use them repeatedly to create multiple garments of the same design again and again. This is handy when a fashion brand is manufacturing and selling the same garment season after season.

What are the Key Features of a Finished Patterns?

Finished Patterns possess distinct documents and pattern features or markings that distinguish them from basic blocks and sewing patterns. Below are some typical examples of these features.

What is ease in pattern making? Basic pattern making negative ease, zero ease, wearing ease, design ease

Design Ease:

Design ease introduces extra space or ease essential to create the desired style or design, beyond the wearing ease that comes as standard in basic blocks. It could mean a deeper armhole, a wider sleeve, or other stylistic elements.

What is Ease & How Does it Affect Fit?

Finished Patterns Design Details and design ease

Design Details:

Incorporating all the design elements and style features that define your garment, design details are the single characteristic that differentiates a basic block from a finished pattern. Design details are anything from collars, sleeves, cuffs, pockets, pleats, gathers, and any distinctive design characteristics that make the design or garment unique. These finished or completed pattern might be quite complex with many different panels and pattern pieces. It all depends on what design elements the completed pattern features.

markings and labels what is a finished pattern Basic Pattern Making

Markings and Labels:

Like basic blocks, these patterns feature essential markings and labels. These markings ensure proper labelling, cutting, fabric alignment, pattern piece matching, and overall ensure the accuracy of the garment’s construction. Some of these markings include pattern identification, cut instructions, body lines, fabric grain lines, centre front and centre back lines, fold lines, and notches.

Seam allowance on a basic block. What is a finished pattern?

Seam Allowance:

Since a finished pattern is complete and does not require any more alterations, it must feature seam allowance. Seam allowance is the extra fabric around a finished pattern, allowing room for sewing, finishing edges, and ensuring a proper fit once a garment is made. It’s a crucial component in sewing, as it provides the necessary space for stitches without altering the intended garment size. Finished patterns may feature varying seam allowances, like 1 cm for side seams, 2 cm for hems, or 0.5 cm for armholes, depending on garment style and construction requirements. Finally, some pattern makers and manufacturers might or might not display seam allowance on their finished patterns; it depends entirely on their style of working.

What is Seam Allowance?

Specification pack. Tech pack. Basic pattern making and fashion design. What is a finished pattern?

Specification Pack:

A specification pack is a collection of documents that provide detailed instructions on how to use the finished pattern to produce the finished garment. A specification pack might include standard size charts, grade rules, garment measurements, fabric swatches, fastenings trim details, technical drawings, and assembly instructions. A specification pack is an essential communication tool used between designers, pattern makers, and manufacturers, ensuring accurate and consistent garment production.

In Conclusion

In summary, these completed patterns are the specific patterns and guides that take designs from ideas to reality. They are adapted basic blocks featuring a variety of design elements. Basic blocks serve as the starting point, customized and adapted to create finished patterns. Before starting the design process, or creating finished patterns, it is essential to have a library of accurately fitting basic blocks, serving as reliable body templates to adapt into these finished or completed patterns.

Where Can I Find a Library of Basic Blocks?


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