Fashion and textiles pattern cutter apprenticeship

Interpret a product design brief and draft patterns that reflect the design and technical specifications

The role of a pattern cutter involves interpreting a product design brief and drafting patterns that reflect the design and technical specifications. During the fashion and textiles pattern cutter apprenticeship you’ll use various pattern cutting methods to create patterns, such as adjusting and shaping a standard pattern block, modifying a non-standard pattern base taken from the company library, or creating a pattern using ‘modelling’, which involves draping and pinning fabric over a mannequin and hand-cutting the fabric to form the pattern base. Pattern production software packages are also commonly used to create sewn product patterns, though in smaller businesses pattern cutters still produce patterns manually or use a combination of both manual and computerised systems. Initially, you’ll work autonomously drafting the prototype pattern. You’ll work closely with a sample machinist to produce a made-up sample of the design. You’ll then work as part of the production team to review the sample. The team will analyse the sample and discuss and agree any changes required. You’ll then make adjustments to the pattern and produce the master pattern to be used in production, incorporating technical data.


Duration: 22 months

Relevant school subjects: DT and art

Entry requirements for the fashion and textiles pattern cutter apprenticeship: GCSEs in English and maths

Achievement upon completion: Level 3 (Advanced)—equivalent to A-levels

Potential salary upon completion: £20,000 per annum

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