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Tech Packs vs Pattern Making: Understanding the Key Differences

pattern maker

In the world of garment production, two essential elements play a crucial role in bringing a design to life: tech packs and pattern making. While both contribute to the manufacturing process, they serve distinct purposes and have unique roles. Let's delve into the differences between tech packs and pattern-making and understand their significance.

Tech Packs: Blueprint for Production

Tech packs, also known as technical specification sheets, are detailed documents that provide comprehensive instructions for garment production. They serve as a crucial communication tool between the designer and the manufacturer, ensuring accuracy and consistency throughout the manufacturing process. Tech packs are essential documents in the apparel development process, serving as a bridge between the creative design concept and the physical creation of a garment. They play a pivotal role in ensuring accuracy, consistency, and efficiency in developing patterns and samples for apparel. Here's why tech packs are indispensable:

  1. Detailed Information: Tech packs contain comprehensive information about the garment design. This includes sketches or technical drawings of the garment from various angles, specifying details such as style lines, stitching, seams, pockets, zippers, buttons, and any embellishments. This level of detail ensures that the pattern maker and sample maker have a clear understanding of the design intent.

  2. Measurement and Sizing: Tech packs provide precise measurements for every component of the garment, including length, width, and seam allowances. These measurements are critical for pattern development as they dictate the size and shape of each pattern piece. Sizing information is also included to ensure that the garment fits correctly.

  3. Fabric and Material Specifications: Tech packs specify the type of fabric or materials to be used for the garment, including color, weight, and composition. This information is crucial for selecting the appropriate fabric and ensuring that the final sample matches the intended look and feel of the design.

  4. Construction Details: Tech packs outline the construction methods and techniques to be used in assembling the garment. This includes instructions for seams, stitches, and any special techniques required for the design. Clear construction details are essential for pattern makers to create accurate patterns.

  5. Bill of Materials (BOM): Tech packs typically include a BOM that lists all the components required to make the garment, such as fabric, lining, trims, labels, and hardware. Each component is described in detail, including supplier information and SKU numbers. This ensures that the correct materials are sourced for the sample.

  6. Labeling and Branding: Information about labels, tags, and branding elements, such as logos, care labels, and size labels, is included in tech packs. This ensures that the sample accurately represents the brand and complies with legal labeling requirements.

  7. Sample Requirements: Tech packs specify any additional requirements for the sample, such as the number of samples to be produced, sample sizes, and any specific fit or quality standards that need to be met.

  8. Communication Tool: Tech packs serve as a communication tool between different teams and stakeholders involved in the apparel development process. Designers, pattern makers, sample makers, fabric suppliers, and manufacturers can all refer to the tech pack to ensure alignment with the design vision.

  9. Quality Control: By providing detailed specifications and standards, tech packs enable quality control throughout the production process. They serve as a reference point for assessing the quality of patterns, samples, and final garments against the original design concept.

  10. Efficiency and Consistency: Tech packs contribute to efficiency and consistency in the development process. They help streamline communication, reduce errors, and minimize the need for revisions, ultimately saving time and resources. Here are the key components of a tech pack:

Measurements and Grading

Spec Sheet tech pack

Material Specifications

Bill of Materials

Construction Details

tech pack Details and callouts

Artwork and Graphics

If the garment incorporates artwork, logos, or prints, tech packs specify the placement, dimensions, and color requirements for these elements.

Pattern Making: The Foundation of Fit and Shape

Pattern-making is the process of creating templates or patterns that serve as the foundation for garment construction. These patterns are typically made from paper or digital formats and are used as guides for cutting fabric and assembling the garment. Here's what pattern-making entails:

Drafting the Pattern

Pattern makers use the designer's sketches or specifications to create the initial pattern. They translate the design concept into precise measurements and create a blueprint that reflects the desired fit and shape of the garment.

digital patterns

Adjusting for Fit

Pattern makers ensure that the patterns align with the desired fit and proportions. They make adjustments based on body measurements, size grading requirements, and design specifications to achieve an optimal fit for different sizes.

Prototyping and Fitting

Once the pattern is drafted, prototypes are created to test the fit and make necessary adjustments. Pattern makers work closely with sample makers and designers to achieve the desired fit, shape, and overall look of the garment.

A pattern serves as the fundamental blueprint for crafting a garment. Pattern-making is the intricate art of developing precisely sized components necessary for garment construction.

Typically composed of paper or cardboard, patterns encompass an array of diverse shapes that are later transposed onto fabric, meticulously cut, and skillfully assembled to give life to a garment. Pattern-making's significance lies in its pivotal role in determining a garment's size, proportions, and overall shape. Any minute miscalculation in the pattern's measurements can spell doom for the entire garment.

Hence, considerable time and effort are dedicated to refining, revising, fine-tuning, and perfecting patterns. The objective is clear: to ensure that each garment is tailored to fit and flatter a broad spectrum of body types. The manual process of pattern-making stands out as the most time-consuming and costly phase in garment production. This phase often involves continuous back-and-forth adjustments, extending over several months. Patterns vary in complexity, with some being relatively straightforward and others remarkably intricate, consisting of as many as 40 to 50 distinct pieces. Every piece must impeccably integrate with the others.

The Synergy Between Tech Packs and Pattern Making

Tech packs and pattern-making work hand in hand to ensure a seamless and accurate manufacturing process. While tech packs provide the detailed instructions, measurements, and specifications, pattern-making brings those instructions to life by creating the physical templates for cutting and sewing the fabric.

Both tech packs and pattern-making require expertise and precision to achieve the desired outcome. They contribute to the overall quality, fit, and design of the final garment. Collaborating with experienced professionals in both areas is essential to ensure a successful production process.

Tech packs and pattern making are integral components of garment production. Tech packs serve as the blueprint and guide for manufacturers, while pattern-making creates the templates that bring designs to life. Understanding the roles and differences between these two elements is vital for designers and manufacturers alike to achieve exceptional results in the fashion industry.

Get Started with ApparelKit Today

Whether you're a seasoned fashion brand or just starting out, ApparelKit is here to empower you with our expertise, industry knowledge, and passion for fashion. Together, we can bring your unique vision to life and create garments that stand out in a crowded market.

Contact us today to discuss your fashion design, tech pack development, and manufacturing needs. Let ApparelKit be your trusted partner in building a successful and sustainable fashion brand.


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How it all started

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at

It all started with a swollen face and a sewing machine.

While recovering from just having had my wisdom teeth removed, with two bulky ice packs bandaged around my expanding cheeks, I fell in love with sewing.

From that moment on a fire was lit within me, and I would never see my world the same. 


Fast forward years later and suddenly I woke up in a corporate cubicle, staring at an excel spreadsheet, and trying really hard to be someone I wasn’t. Like REALLY HARD.


But as the years went on, my desire to sew & create continued to grow. And yet I continued to try on different personas and search for that perfect position within the corporate world that would fulfill me. 


Then finally it hit me. I realized that I was never going to find that dream position in the corporate world. I had to create it. 

So with just a small whisper of a belief that it just MIGHT be possible for me to start my own business, and live life on my own terms, I quit my stable corporate job. 


I had such little belief in myself that during my exit interview I even said to my boss, “if my business doesn’t work out within the next few months, will you take me back?” How sad!


Thankfully I quickly realized that listening to that small whisper within, and betting on myself, was (and still is) the absolute BEST decision I could have ever made.  


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