Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale {Pattern Workshop Course Review}


When Lauren from Pattern Workshop approached me and asked if I’d like to review her Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale course, it didn’t take me long to say YES! I had already learned several neat pattern designing tricks that Lauren had shared on her blog, and thought it would be great to learn more ways to save time and improve my pattern designing process.

The 33 lessons include videos, worksheets, and assignments, and I have to say that my expectations were far exceeded. Lauren teaches in a professional, yet relaxed manner, and it was a pleasure to work my way through the course.


Here’s what the course includes:

  • 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!

I can only wish that I would have had this course when I designed my first pattern in 2009. I feel like new designers are so lucky to have this at their fingertips! While I spent countless hours watching Youtube videos and reading books to become proficient in Illustrator and Indesign, Lauren’s course focuses solely on what will help you as a pattern designer, and takes away all the guesswork. She did an amazing job of creating a course that is useful for both new and experienced designers.

Pretty in Peplum Pattern

My biggest goal as I worked through the course was to streamline my workflow as I design patterns, hopefully saving myself some time in the overall process. I began the course shortly before I began designing the Pretty in Peplum Dress & Top, and because of what I learned in the course, it was by far the most enjoyable pattern making experience that I’ve had yet. I had less hiccups in the process, from the initial design, to the grading, to the testing.

Pretty In Peplum Dress & Top PDF Pattern cover-3

I’ve always done the majority of my designing and grading on the computer as opposed to drafting on paper, and I was so happy to learn some new techniques and tricks in Illustrator to make it go much quicker and smoother. Lauren teaches three different kinds of grading, so you can learn them all and then use the method that works best for your design. I never knew I liked drafting sleeves so much until now :).

Pretty in Peplum Pattern

I also learned some other cool things that I was able to incorporate into the Pretty in Peplum Pattern, such as giving customers the ability to view and print only the sizes they choose. Awesome, right?! It’s so great to have less lines to stare at while cutting out a pattern.

print info box

I really can’t recommend Creating PDF Patterns: From Sketch to Sale enough. If you’re a new designer, it’s a must have. If you’re an experienced designer, it’s a must have. So basically, it’s a must have ;). And of course, although I was given the course in exchange for a review, all opinions are genuine and my own.

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  1. I’ve been wondering about this post. I would love to do this some day, for sure! Illustrator seems really hard!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Thank you for your honest opinion! I have been thinking of getting into pattern making for a while, but no clue how to begin.
    This class looks informative and essential.

  3. I enrolled on this course recently and I think Lauren has disappeared or maybe has no time to come online, as when students ask a question if doesn’t get answered – I am not sure why, as it does say it’s part of the course, so for a beginner that needs to clarify a few things it is quite frustrating. There are some modules with lots of students asking for help and there are never any replies. It is a good course, but the lack of ability to ask and clarify really does become quite frustrating

    1. Hi Jayne, Lauren has commented in the FB group that life has pulled her in other directions so she admittedly is not as involved as she originally was. Are you part of the FB group? I find that’s probably the best way to get questions answered, as the other students are often a lot of help.

    2. Hey Jayne, you are the most recent review I can find about the workshop. Did you end up getting through the course and getting active help in the Facebook community? I’m looking at trying it out, but I’m not sure if it’s still active or viable.

      1. Hi Danielle, I’m not Jayne ;), but I’ll answer you that the course is still available and the FB group is still active as far as it exists and questions are asked/answered between group members from time to time, but the creator of the course is not often active in it as life has pulled her in other directions. If you have any other questions feel free to ask or email me!

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