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Career and Education Opportunities for Garment Patternmakers in Thornton, Colorado

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for garment patternmakers in the Thornton, Colorado area. The national trend for garment patternmakers sees this job pool shrinking by about 27.2% over the next eight years. In general, garment patternmakers draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts.

The average wage in the general category of Fabric and Leather jobs is $11 per hour or $22,090 per year in Colorado, and an average of $12 per hour or $24,283 per year nationwide.

The Thornton area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Thornton where you can get a degree as a garment patternmaker. The most common level of education for garment patternmakers is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become 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 Thornton include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Garment Patternmaker Training

Emily Griffith Opportunity School - Denver, CO

Emily Griffith Opportunity School, 1250 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80204-2197. Emily Griffith Opportunity School is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 2,148 students. Emily Griffith Opportunity School has a one to two year program in Apparel and Textile Manufacture which graduated five students 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.


Thornton, Colorado
Thornton, Colorado photo by bonjourpeewee

Thornton is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 113,429, which has grown by 37.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Thornton, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Thornton are priced at $176,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-five new homes were constructed in Thornton, down from four hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Thornton are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 19.9% of Thornton residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Thornton is 6.3%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Thornton residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.