An investigation on switching behaviour: Shifting creative cycles from hand to digital and back again

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This practice based study investigates how computer (CAD/CAM) and hand tools are best utilized by the pattern designer to realise their own creative pattern potential.
This study reflects on how I actually practice, truly engage with tools and reflect through the practise of pattern design. As a pattern designer I am able to make observations that could only be gained by being a practitioner. Within this study I am both a practice-led researcher and the pattern design practitioner. This enables me to present a unique insight into the processes taking place when pattern designing and selecting tools.

Computerised pattern cutting has advanced as the technology surrounding it has developed and CAD/CAM is now a common feature of many industrial fashion practices. Integrating digital tools into the pattern cutting process requires the pattern designer to obtain new computer–based knowledge and explore alternative protocols for the pattern creation processes. The translation of garment through the pattern cutting process has traditionally depended upon physical components however, with the shift to more digitally based tools this has altered the relationship the pattern cutter has with materials and techniques. Where once the imaginary (the design) was translated into reality (the garment) in the physical realm this is increasingly being imagined within a virtual realm. The inherent tools and techniques used by pattern cutters to move garments from ‘imaginary’ to ’reality’ are thus increasingly presented within digitally based environments and this is altering the pattern development stage. As technology becomes more sophisticated in interpreting pattern designs before they are even cut out there is a need to investigate relevant technical and creative parameters. This embedded practitioner research- led enquiry considers the creative process involved when interpreting garment designs into pattern through the integrated use of hand and computerised tools. It investigates the pattern cutting activities that take place when using different tools and critically reviews the impact of switching tools within the creative and practical processes of pattern making. Recommendations from the research will fed into methods for enhancing the creative use of technical pattern tools by current and future pattern cutters.
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)2396-8478
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'An investigation on switching behaviour: Shifting creative cycles from hand to digital and back again'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this