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Introduction to Pattern Cutting (Online Short Course)

Introduction to Pattern Cutting (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Donna Kernan


This course will introduce you to the basic techniques for womenswear pattern cutting, and is lead by CSM BA Fashion pattern cutting lecturer, Donna Kernan. You will learn to work with size 10 basic blocks and will explore various techniques to create styles of skirt, sleeves and bodices, with the aim of bringing these elements together to create your own garments. Each lesson will include practical demonstrations from the tutor, and you will be set practical assignments each week to develop your skills. You will receive personal feedback on your work each week, and will be able to ask questions and get guidance on how to improve your work.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to pattern cutting
  • Introduction to the tools you will need
  • Body measurements needed for pattern cutting
  • Explanation of pattern cutting terminology and grain lines
  • How to trace off the skirt blocks
  • How to add seam allowance
  • How to amend skirt lengths
  • How to create patterns for various skirt styles that add volume
  • How to create patterns for various sleeve styles through slashing and spreading
  • The bodice block and pivoting darts
  • How to turn a dart into a style line

By the end of the course you will have:

  • Developed confidence in pattern cutting through practical demonstrations and assignments
  • Learned how to pivot darts and manipulate blocks to create new styles
  • Learned to take measurements from the body and make basic fitting adjustments
  • Learned how to add balance lines, grain lines, seam allowances, notches and cutting instructions to your pattern pieces

Who is Pattern Cutting (Online Short Course) for
This course is for anyone with an interest in learning the pattern cutting skills necessary to construct garments. This course would be ideal for anyone who wants to create clothing, either for themselves or as a designer, or for anyone interested in the garment construction process (eg. Fashion illustrators, fashion buyers, textile designers, etc). No previous experience is required.
Level: All levels welcome
Please note: This course is for learners aged 18 and over

Why choose a Central Saint Martins Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Visit Frequently Asked Questions for further details about preparing for your online course, including any equipment you need.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To compare times, please check World Time Buddy.

Tutor Description

Donna Kernan is a senior creative pattern cutter with over 20 years experience previously working with clients such as Victoria Beckham, Giles Deacon & Stella McCartney. She teaches pattern cutting on the BA fashion at Central Saint Martins.


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

  • Paper and pen to take notes during live sessions
  • Set square or pattern master
  • French curve
  • HB mechanical pencil
  • Pattern cutting paper (needs to be slightly see through)
  • Eraser
  • Tracing wheel
  • Awl
  • Metric tape measure
  • Paper scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Biros in blue, red and green
  • Masking tape or magic scotch tape 
  • Glue stick
  • Fine steel pins
  • Fabric scissors
  • Medium weight calico (2 mtrs)

Available dates