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Career and Education Opportunities for Garment Patternmakers in Simi Valley, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for garment patternmakers in the Simi Valley, California area. There are currently 2,300 working garment patternmakers in California; this should shrink by 13% to 2,000 working garment patternmakers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for garment patternmakers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 27.2% over the next eight years. Garment patternmakers generally draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts.

Garment patternmakers earn approximately $24 hourly or $50,180 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $18 per hour or $37,760 annually. Garment patternmakers earn more than people working in the category of Fabric and Leather generally in California and more than people in the Fabric and Leather category nationally.

There are 175 schools of higher education in the Simi Valley area, including two within twenty-five miles of Simi Valley where you can get a degree to start your career as a garment patternmaker. Given that the most common education level for garment patternmakers is a post-secondary certificate, it will take a short time to learn to be a garment patternmaker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Garment Patternmaker

Garment Patternmaker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, garment patternmakers draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. They also may also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Garment patternmakers draw details on outlined components to indicate where components are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats and other features, using computers or drafting instruments. They also mark samples and finished patterns with data such as garment size and sewing instructions. Equally important, garment patternmakers have to draw outlines of pattern components by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns. They are often called upon to position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers. They are expected to consider layout specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate components that can be laid out on a length of fabric. Finally, garment patternmakers test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.

Every day, garment patternmakers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they be creative and generate new ideas.

It is important for garment patternmakers to examine sketches and layout specifications to establish quantities and sizes of pattern components, and to establish the amount of material or fabric used to make a product. They are often called upon to decide on the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and mark fabric accordingly. They also trace outlines of paper onto cardboard patterns, and cut patterns into components to make templates. They are sometimes expected to compute dimensions of patterns in line with sizes, considering stretching of material. Somewhat less frequently, garment patternmakers are also expected to trace outlines of specified patterns onto material, and cut fabric using scissors.

And finally, they sometimes have to develop a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a layout concept.

Like many other jobs, garment patternmakers must believe in cooperation and coordination and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Simi Valley include:

  • Laundry Operator. Operate or tend washing or dry-cleaning machines to wash or dry-clean industrial or household articles, such as cloth garments, suede, and carpets.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Tailor. Design, make, or fit garments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Garment Patternmaker Training

Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center - Los Angeles, CA

Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center, 1033 S Broadway St, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4001. Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 68 students. Virginia Sewing Machines and School Center has a one to two year program in Apparel and Textile Manufacture which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Los Angeles Trade Technical College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Trade Technical College, 400 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015-4181. Los Angeles Trade Technical College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,565 students. Los Angeles Trade Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Apparel and Textile Manufacture which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.


Certified Environmental Drycleaner: CPD must demonstrate their knowledge regarding professional drycleaning and the implements of prescribed drycleaning standards for physical plant facilities and safe equipment operations.

For more information, see the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Simi Valley, California

Simi Valley, California
Simi Valley, California photo by Happyme22

Simi Valley is situated in Ventura County, California. It has a population of over 120,543, which has grown by 8.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Simi Valley, 131, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Simi Valley are valued at $451,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, nineteen new homes were built in Simi Valley, down from one hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Simi Valley are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 24.9% of Simi Valley residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Simi Valley is 9.2%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Simi Valley residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Alliance Church, Grace Brethren Church of Simi Valley and Valley Bible Community Church are some of the churches located in Simi Valley. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Simi Valley is home to the Simi Valley Historical Society Archives and the Simi Civic Center as well as Stargaze Park and Atherwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mountain Gate Plaza Shopping Center, Royal Plaza Shopping Center and Regency Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Simi Valley can choose from 4 Hotel Now Com and 5 Star Linens for temporary stays in the area.