Sorting your pattern library? Here's some helpful tips

Posted on

November 17, 2022

Blog by

Daniel Watts

Planning for a global pandemic? No, didn’t think so.

No question it is a difficult time for all. But, it is a great time to take stock and finally figure out that pattern library you’ve been meaning to sort for ages. It may be that you have team members sitting around while you are solving the bigger problems. This might be just the thing to keep them busy and giving you some very useful information.

We would like to send you a few tips on how to do this over the coming weeks.

To start with, let’s talk about taking stock of your current pattern range.

For the patterns you currently have, now is a great time to dust them off and ask yourself if they are good patterns, or have you simply kept hold of them because you really don’t have another option?

Do you have a current library? Can we help you build one? Touch base with us.

Collect Information

Create yourself a Microsoft Excel worksheet. It’s a great way to capture, sort, filter, etc. That’s assuming you haven’t already done so.

Put columns in it for Size, whether it is Mens / Womens / Kids pattern, Chest, length, Sleeve length and/or Shoulder width, neck drop and any special feature(s). See below for example:

Excel Table

Go into your pattern library and open up the base size of each pattern. If they are physical (e.g. card) patterns, you will need to pull them out one by one to measure.  This might be size Large for Mens. A size 10 for Womens and size 10 for Kids

Measure the following for each pattern and add to your excel sheet:

  1. Across chest at underarm point;
  2. Length from side neck to the length at side hem- straight down;
  3. Sleeve length from CB neck;

Or on a singlet

  1. Outside shoulder to outside shoulder;
  2. Neck drop from side neck to the level of where the neck band joins the top

You can also add in the following;

  1. Note if it is a set-in sleeve or raglan sleeve; and
  2. Note if there are any special features such as side panels, drop hems, side splits etc.

You can watch a video on how to do this here

Fill this information in the worksheet. Don’t forget to save this thing. It will become a very useful resource.


Now you need to mark which styles you like and which ones need improvement or you need to replace. How you do that is up to you. We would recommend another column that allows you to tag them as good, ok, bad.

Now it is time to sort them into fit categories so you can see which styles are part of the same fit family. Select the whole table, with everything included. Divide your chart into mens, womens and kids and sort using the data sort tool (see below):

Excel Sort Step 1

We can sort by a single column (e.g. Mens / Womens / Kids) (see below).

Excel Sort Step 2

Or add additional sort criteria by clicking on the + Add Level button. This allows you to sort the sorted list. Got it?

Excel Sort Step 3

Then simply click on the ok button.

Need more help with sorting? Try this link.

You can now group them in sections of fit. You may even find the you have a few styles that are very similar in fit.

This is a little trickier. We have a chart on our website that can help you find the industry standard for different fits to help you out. You will have seen this in the video we mentioned earlier in the blog. Keep in mind 1 - 2cm (0.4 – 0.8 inches) each side of the measurement is fine.

Now you can see what you have that you like, what you have that needs replacing and have a much better idea about what is missing from your library.

One of our key drivers at Pattern Room is to rid the world of bad patterns. If the garments you make from those patterns don’t fit well, they are bad patterns. After all, your customers deserve great fitting garments to match the amazing graphics you’ve done for them.

With more than 215,000 styles on the Pattern Room website at the moment, we are confident we can help you find patterns to replace those that don’t work and we can also help you put yourself in a position where you have patterns ready to go when we come through this thing. If you need help sorting the patterns once you have all the info, please send us an email at .

We would love to help you get on track so that when this time passes and everyone is keen to get out and play sport again, you are ready and waiting with a new and improved pattern library.

Click here to take a tour of the website with Julia.