Pattern Making Academy

Pattern Making Academy (PMA), is an Australian owned and operated business centred around pattern engineering systems for the production of female apparel.

It was founded by Dr Kathleen (Kath) Berry after many years of investigating and researching the fit of female garments.

PMA was developed with the goal of addressing a major fit issue by offering innovative simplified pattern engineering systems based on body shape as opposed to garment size. These systems combined with basic essential scientific elements, provide the pathway to producing better fitting garments.    

Shape is the key, and product development is the focus! 

The ongoing technological explosion has delivered many benefits to the apparel production industry. However, the cost of progress has been the gradual sacrifice of traditional pattern engineering skills and practices: a loss that traditionalists would argue contributes to the issues of producing well-fitting garments. 

The mantra for the apparel industry today is DIGITAL, DIGITAL, DIGITAL.

The question is: Can Traditional Systems be woven into Digital Technology? Can new digital technology be combined with traditional knowledge and skills?

PMA believes that it CAN, and that it should!

Digital’s greatest advantage is the time that can be saved from the initial design stage to the finished garment. For example, moving from 2D to 3D, and taking advantage of the combination of 3D body scanning and virtual technology has the potential to address countless product development issues digitally and bring about a marked reduction in massive wastage. Testing garment fit prior to production is one of the many benefits of virtual technology.

Until there is a way for small to medium stakeholders to have access to 3D technology, PMA has developed a process that can to used, to produce well-fitting garments, and has found it to minimize the many hours dedicated to fitting.

This process is a combination of visual and practical elements that provide the opportunity to obtain a wealth of information about the subject such as: a record of the body shape of the client or fit models; a record of the natural posture and stance; the identification of specific characteristics; and much more.

Finally on completion of the measuring process. with the client still in their measuring garments, 4 photographs are taken – anterior (front facing); posterior (back facing); plus, left and right-side views. A mobile phone or iPad is ideal and requires only basic photography.

All of this information should  be acquired competently and professionally.

Other key elements of garment fit are the body measurements used, and how they are applied in pattern engineering systems.  These two elements were a priority for the early artisans and tailors, and PMA believes that these elements are equally important today.

 Different body shapes mean different body measurements. How and where these measurements are applied in pattern engineering systems is a crucial aspect. PMA addresses the importance of different female body shapes, and offers a solution that can be applied both manually AND digitally.

The step-by-step procedure and specifications for drafting manually and digitally are the same, however, the digital process requires in-depth CAD expertise, AND experience with the menus and functions of a Pattern Design System [PDS].

If the PMA systems are to be used digitally, it is recommended that the method and procedure are tried manually prior to the digital process.


Manual Tools

Computer knowledge and skills

For the record, evidence shows that using the SAME measurements with different pattern engineering systems can produce a markedly different fitting outcome [more on this in Unit 12 Part A and Part B].

PMA’s publications have been produced with an emphasis on cost to reach a wide range of users.

Small and medium businesses are the primary focus of PMA. It may interest readers to know, that according to a reputable domain name registrar, Australia is predominantly a nation of small businesses which make up nearly 98% of all businesses in Australia.

PMA is strong on transferability. The FD~CS engineering systems can be used not only for the five featured figure types, but also for other body type that correspond in shape, but not necessarily in measurements. PMA is also strong on versatility as the systems can be used to make patterns [with slight modifications] for children and teenagers. The Principles in Unit:1 ~ Essential Elements of Pattern Making provide a pathway to PMA’s transferability and versatility.

Pattern Making Academy’s vision is a commitment to promoting the sustainability of pattern engineering by combining the science of pattern making with the creative art of fashion design while continuing to research and support new initiatives in the field of product development.

Pattern Making Academy’s mission is to develop a range of publications that share time-honoured knowledge and innovative skills for addressing many of the challenges encountered in the design and production of female garments. Current challenges include sustainability concerns centred around garment fit, resulting in poor sell-throughs, waste of material and creating an excessive amount of landfill.

Three Popular/Suggested Products

PMA’s printed and electronic eBooks presenting Pattern Engineering Systems for five female figure types are provided in an innovative, simplified format. The small, stand-alone units use colour-coding and step-by-step instructions to create master blocks for an individual, fit model or your target market.

The books also cover KEY elements identified by the author as the foundation of pattern engineering; a fascinating look at the history of pattern engineering; and a comprehensive literature review of opinions and predictions about the directions pattern engineering and the fashion industry may take in the future.

Pattern Making Academy