how to choose
a pattern

Fit versus size

There’s one stumbling block we often see, and that’s the difference between fit versus size. Confusing, right?

At Pattern Room, we make it simple. Don’t adjust your fit by going up or down a size. Go up a size to get a looser fit and you’ll end up with sleeves that are too long and a hem that’s too low. Nobody wants a shirt that looks like a dress!

Instead, adjust your fit from tight to slim, slim to regular and so on. There are lots of variations when it comes to fit, so it’s important to choose wisely. For more on fit versus size, read this blog.


What do you get for the price of a pattern?

We work long and hard on every single pattern before it’s added to the website.

It’s a multiple-step process completed in-house which starts with developing a pattern based on an image (or a combination of images).

Next, we produce a pattern and a toile (a mock up) to check the fit and design features, length, pocket placement, style of collar etc. This is fitted to our custom mannequin and then to a professional house model to check the fit on a real body. This also means we can check the function as well as the fit. Nobody wants a sports uniform that doesn’t move properly with the body!

Alterations are made before we produce a sample in the correct fabric. The sample is fitted to the mannequin, then to a house model to see how it fits on a real person. We repeat this process and sometimes carry out a second, third, and fourth set of alterations and samples before it’s finalised. Once it’s been approved, the pattern is graded and specification sheets are created so it’s available to you at the click of a few buttons – without having to worry about going through that entire process yourself.

Read more about how our patterns are made.

But won’t everyone else have the same pattern as me?

Our patterns are designed to be used as basics and core items that can fill out your range and support the more unique pieces - not necessarily to make up the entirety of your range. Your unique pieces are the key to how you express your brand and are a huge drawcard to attract customers. Take a look at any range right now and you’ll see a lot of common pieces which are often only given minor updates each season.

With over 17,000 t-shirt combinations for men alone, you have a huge variety to choose from. The styles we’ve chosen are based on their commonality in the industry. In other words, if we’ve seen a style 5 times, then we’re happy to call it a Pattern Room pattern and add it to our collection. Pattern Room allows you to keep the cost of basics down so you can give the unique pieces the attention they deserve… and now you have the trade secret on how to get them without chewing up your budget!

How long will the files take to reach me?

It depends on the style. Some of our patterns are available immediately, some will be sitting in our system ready to be uploaded and some are in the later stages of development.  The DXF and Ai files will be emailed to you generally within 48 hours.

How much does shipping cost?

Our patterns are digital, so there is no shipping cost! Yay!

But, if you want a physical version of the pattern or a sample made, please contact us so we can work out the best option for you - email us at

What will I need to download?

DXF patterns

A DXF (Digital eXchange Format) file is a universal file format which means that it can be opened by many different pattern making systems. If you’re using Gerber, Lectra, Stylecad, Optitex or PAD Systems for pattern making then you can download this pattern and import it straight into your program. It can be printed out immediately and used for sampling or production. If you’re manufacturing overseas, then first ask your manufacturer if they can use a DXF file – they’ll probably say yes.

If you use Corel Draw, you can open the DXF file. Simply chose File > Open, find the DXF file you want to open and you are ready to go. You can even save the file as a Corel file when you're done.

NOTE: You won’t be able to open this file type in Adobe Acrobat (PDF), Illustrator or Word. These files can only be viewed with a computer pattern making program. Also, these files are imported with thousands of points which make them very hard to alter. Please select carefully based on your needs as altering these patterns can cause expensive issues in production. We do not guarantee the quality of patterns that have been altered.

Adobe Illustrator file format
Illustrator patterns can be opened and used within Adobe Illustrator, suitable if:

1: You’re using digital printing or sublimation printing you can download this file and place your print on the pattern to use.

2: You’re using a small printer you can download the pattern to Illustrator and export to PDF. This can be printed to various page sizes, allowing you to print using an A4 printer. We recommend you use a printing service like Snap to print on larger format instead of printing individual A4 pages and sticking them together).

NOTE: This is a nested pattern meaning all the sizes are laid on top of each other. You can ungroup the pattern within Illustrator so each pattern can be separated and viewed individually. Please only ungroup once or the lines will separate leaving the pattern unable to fill with colour or print.

Production Sheet A production sheet is for use with a local manufacturer. It has a picture, all the make details, seam allowance, trim details and lengths, hem finishes and any make details you need to know. It’s a good idea to print out a production sheet with a pattern if you’re making your product with a local manufacturer. These sheets are particularly handy as there’s room to put usages of the fabrics you will use to create costings for your style.

NOTE: The production sheet does not include step by step instruction as we expect that you are working with an experienced machinist who does not require this level of instruction.

Specification Sheet

A specification sheet is used for local and offshore production. This file includes the graded specifications (detailed measurements of the garments) as well as make details. There’s a BOM (Bill Of Materials) on the second page that you can fill in with fabric and trim details along with colour ways and stitch details. Some manufacturers can make patterns from these spec sheets although it won’t be as accurate as a pattern. It’s a bit like a dot to dot puzzle… sometimes it turns out looking like a dog, sometimes it doesn’t! This is why we don’t sell a specification sheet unless you’ve purchased a full size set of patterns.

Whether you’re making your garments onshore or offshore, it’s a good idea to purchase a specification sheet to accompany your patterns. This way you have something to cross reference the manufacturing against to check the make or shrinkage of your final garment. You can send a copy of this to your QC (quality control person) or use it in house to check the samples that come in before dispatch.

Now you know how to
choose a pattern.

Let’s discover the benefits of using ours.