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Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale

5.00 out of 5 based on 17 customer ratings
(17 customer reviews)


Have you dreamed of starting your own business designing downloadable sewing patterns? Do you have design ideas floating in your head – but no idea how to get them digitized, graded and ready for at-home printing? Or maybe you’ve already published a pattern or two, but you’d like to learn how to streamline your process and produce a better quality product.

If so, this is the course for you.


Product Description

In this course, Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale, you will learn:

  • Where to get inspiration for your sewing pattern designs
  • How to get your ideas onto paper
  • The best way to digitize your existing paper patterns using Adobe Illustrator
  • How to create pattern blocks directly in Illustrator
  • How to modify pattern blocks (a.k.a. “digital slash & spread”)
  • How to create size charts for a great fit
  • How to grade your patterns into smaller and larger sizes
  • How to create actions to speed the block-making and grading processes
  • How to tile your pattern pieces for at-home printing
  • How to quickly add seam allowances using actions
  • How to lay out your pattern in Adobe InDesign*
  • How to survive the testing process
  • How and where to sell your patterns
  • How to market your patterns
  • How to set up an affiliate program for your patterns
  • And more!

Click here to see the entire table of contents for the course.

Included in the course are videos, downloadable templates, printable checklists and many other helpful resources to help you start your business. There is no time limit on completion of the course – you will have lifetime access in case you need to review any sections!

The examples in the course utilize the text Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear by Winifred Aldrich (but they apply to pattern creation for anyone – women, men, children). The text is not required; however, you should note that the course does NOT give formulas for creating pattern blocks; it does, however, teach you how to create them digitally. You will either need to understand the basics of pattern drafting on paper already OR obtain any book that instructs you how to do this. There are also plenty of free online tutorials that show you how to create pattern blocks.

Due to the nature of this product, there are NO refunds. The course utilizes Adobe Illustrator and InDesign CC (Creative Cloud). You may download a free, 30-day trial of these programs upon commencement of your course if you don’t already have access to them. The course materials apply to Adobe versions CS4 and later. I cannot guarantee the course materials will apply to prior versions. The course is currently being tested for compatibility with Gimp. So far, testers have said most of the course is compatible. I will add more information here as it becomes available. 

*The two lessons on InDesign will be added by April 4.

17 reviews for Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This course has been amazing! I have the hardest time with technology but Lauren really holds your hand in every step and has made it so understandable and easy! So much amazing information. Everyone wanting to create patterns NEEDS this course!

  2. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I wish this course had been around when I was starting out. Lauren details all the parts I needed to learn by trial and error! Even after 6 years of working with Illustrator, I learned some new skills.

    This course is worth 10 times the tuition. The confidence you’ll gain from Lauren’s thorough but laid-back teaching style will help you feel comfortable no matter where you begin. She shares the whole process, from standardization of sizing, to drafting to grading, to marketing strategy and layout priorities, with worksheets and videos all pointing to one place: success of your sewing pattern business.

    Anyone who is interested in releasing their own digital sewing patterns must take this course. It will save you years of time and more money than you realize in learning materials you’d otherwise have to purchase to get up to speed with digital patternmaking, and put you on the right track toward selling your finished goods.

  3. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This course is great for anyone wanting to create PDF patterns! When I started the course I had already released a couple patterns and had a basic understanding of how to create and digitize them…but this course taught me SO many shortcuts and is full of tips to speed up the process and make your patterns better and more professional. I wish I had taken the Pattern Workshop as a beginner pattern maker. It would have saved me a lot of time! I can’t recommend Pattern Workshop enough! A serious ‘must’ for any designer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I highly recommend this course not only to anyone who is interested in creating PDF patterns for the first time, but even if you are familiar with the process and want to streamline it and become a more efficient designer. Lauren walks you through so many techniques that will save you time and ultimately make your patterns more professional. She is thorough, knowledgeable, and detailed in her teaching method. Take this course, and you’ll have all the skills and confidence you need to make a pattern from start to finish.

  5. 5 out of 5


    The contents of this course have transformed me from a struggling wanna-be designer, to now being on the cusp of releasing my first garment pattern. What I thought was perhaps beyond my reach has been presented in a relatable, reassuring and knowledgeable package that is Lauren Dahl. If you are thinking you’d maybe someday like to be able to take your sketches and turn them into digital patterns, this is the course that will get you there.

  6. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I’m only 26% through the course, and here’s what I think… this course is amazing!

    Besides videos on the actual digitizing process, Lauren has helpful tips, printable cheat sheets, information on using Illustrator and InDesign, checklists, and lessons on subjects like pricing, pattern testing, yardage calculations, and cutting diagrams. There is even a bonus lesson on getting your patterns commercially printed! I’m really impressed by how much is included in it.

    This course is also laid out really well…. you can click to complete a lesson so it’s easy to see what you’ve already finished, but you can go back to any lesson at any time and do it again.

    I also love how simple this course makes pattern creation! Digital patterns are something I’ve wanted to learn to make for years, but it has always been big and kind of scary to me. It’s not scary anymore, it’s exciting!

  7. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    For over a year I’ve clunked my way through digital designing and though the resulting clothing has turned out well, the amount of time I’ve lost stuck to the computer I can never get back. Pattern Workshop’s Creating PDF Patterns course is a game changer. As someone who is self taught, I know how difficult it can be to search for tips and tricks to speed up a process, but thankfully Lauren Dahl has assembled them all here in this course. Her knowledge of Illustrator and the digital pattern design process is vast, but the success of this course lies in Lauren’s rare ability to look completely comfortable in front of the camera while conveying that knowledge to you, the student. Immediately that puts you at ease and makes learning what could be a daunting subject (Illustrator can do EVERYTHING) so easy. The breakdown of the course into bite size chunks means that you can easily take a lesson and then practice those particular skills until you’re ready to move on to the next “bite.” I love that you can jump around to the lessons you’re most interested in and I’ve found myself referring back to previous lessons already. This course is perfect for someone ready to take the leap into PDF pattern making, but even those of us with some knowledge already will find enough time-savers to make it must-have reference.

  8. 5 out of 5


    This is going to be a huge barrier lifter to me. I was trained to drape, and create patterns the old fashioned way. I went to design school and learned everything by hand before CAD took over. So while I already know how to create patterns, my lack of computer skills has been a big roadblock stopping me from sharing my patterns. Thanks Lauren, for this opportunity to learn the new way of patter making.

  9. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I have a background in paper pattern drafting but the lack of space in my house bothered me. After watching the free videos put by Lauren in her blog, I was hooked and simply had to enroll in this course. I will never regret that decision! Lauren is kind, really knows what she’s talking about and explains it in a way that makes it easy for us to understand. I had never used Illustrator before but thanks to Lauren I find myself firing it up for a lot of other things now!

    The secret Facebook group that goes together with the course is just as great – the combined minds of all the participants help us find new and better ways of doing what we need to do. The answers are often immediate and always helpful and kind. I can’t believe how much I learned already and I am just at the first third of the lessons…

    Thank you very much, Lauren!

  10. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This course couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was feeling so frustrated trying to find out how to digitize my patterns, even graphic design businesses here in Australia were baffled by my request. Then I stumbled upon the release of Lauren Dahl’s Pattern Workshop and it was like fate!

    Lauren has not only created this fabulous course that virtually holds your hand from the drafting, grading, digitizing and even marketing stages of your pattern; it teaches many software tips along the way; and Lauren has created this wonderfully supportive environment for those going though the programme together. You will never feel like you are doing this alone – it’s fun, collaborative and the course information is spot on relevant.

    Give it a go, you won’t look back.

  11. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I am in love with this class and I’m not but a little over halfway through it so far! Lauren obviously has a firm grasp on the Illustrator software and gives a ton of useful shortcuts to make pattern designing easier and quicker. I started the course and literally 3 days later I made my first muslin from a block pattern that I made and then altered to become the design I had in my head. The Facebook page is a fantastic plus as well. It is a great place to ask questions, bounce ideas off of others and cheer each other on as we all learn together. I am very glad that I took the plunge and signed up for the course!

  12. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Absolutely amazing course if you are interested in design or learning to digitize your patterns for sale. Read my full and detailed review here:

  13. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    The course is awesome! Though I hadn’t ever used Illustrator before, within a few weeks I was able to draw patterns in it! I haven’t even completely finished the course yet, but I’m learning so much that can be applied immediately.
    Lauren clearly explains all steps in videos, but besides that she is almost omnipresent in the Facebook-group for students, to answer questions and give tips. And if she doesn’t reply within a few hours, there’s always one of the other students who gives advice or just moral support. It’s a wonderfully supportive group of creative women (and one man), cheering eachother on the way towards publishing patterns.
    I’m very happy to have started this, it’s bringing me step by step closer towards the dream of selling my own patterns, thanks Lauren!

  14. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Your search for a pattern course has ended! I absolutely love this course. I had been looking for a course to help me learn to create patterns and had looked at a few others. I just didn’t feel like any out there would be a good fit. I came across Pattern Workshop but it wasn’t released yet. After looking through what it offered and talking with Lauren I decided to wait for her course to release. I am so glad I did. Pattern Workshop is amazing. The videos are thorough, she continues to add more videos based on what her students need. The Facebook group and forum are invaluable resources. The format of the courses is perfect for retaining the information taught. And the material is so in depth and covers much more than any other course I looked into. The price is an incredible bargain for all you will be taught. And Lauren remains easily accessible for any additional questions and advice. The student body is amazingly supportive and everyone really tries to help each other succeed. When this industry can be so cutthroat, I am so grateful for the support I have in my student body. Lauren has been our biggest cheerleader and has absolutely own over my loyalty in her products and brand. I don’t think you’d find a better course than Pattern Workshop.

  15. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I found this course to to be very easy to follow! Since starting the class in April, I’ve released two patterns and have two more very quickly on their way! I highly recommend this course to anyone that wants to draft patterns, for both beginners or those that already have a good working knowledge of pattern drafting. This course was extremely more helpful than my CAD class back in college!

  16. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    This course is a must for anyone who wants to get into pattern design. It really covers pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about the process, from sizing and grading, to how to digitize a pattern or draft it from scratch digitally, to how to create instructions and diagrams, and even what to do after your pattern is finished and you’re ready to sell! You don’t even need much in terms of technical knowledge, because Lauren teaches enough basics of Illustrator and InDesign to let you create truly professional-looking patterns and instructions, even if you’d never used those programs before.

    Lauren’s instructions are super clear, and when you have any questions or difficulties, all you need to do is to turn to the Facebook group. Not only Lauren, but all participants in the Pattern Workshop course help each other out, give advice, and support everyone else. It is an amazing resource beyond the course itself. I love this course and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone else interested in creating their own patterns for sale!

  17. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    I followed this course in between my first and my seccond pattern and I must say it changed the whole process for me. It made grading much less time consuming. I learned a lot about how to do centain things on the computer. This saves a lot of time from doing it by hand. The Indesign part was very helpfull and helpes you create such beautiful instructions. Plus you get all these extra’s that you can use to give your patterns just a little bit more options. Options a lot of your buyers would really like you to offer. I think this course was a really good choice and I would recommend it to anyone that is starting or already designing. Plus there is a whole group of ladies that followed the course who would love to help you out on all the other things like testing and advise about you design.

    I’m giving this one 5 start but if there where more she’d get more from me :-)

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