The final task before outputting your patterns is to set variables. Variables are ways for you to customize patterns beyond the default draft. These are changes that you can do to make small adjustments in the pattern. You never want to change the model's measurements to make small tweaks to a pattern draft like adding ease or dropping an armhole. Instead, make these small changes using the various variable options.

Garment vs Fashioner Pattern Variables

When you are creating output for the Fashioner, you can select more than one pattern. The variable list will include one value for each variable, even if that variable is used by more than one pattern in the basket. For example, if you have a bodice front and back in the basket and you set a bust ease variable to 100mm, it will add 25mm for the front half pattern and 25mm for the back half pattern. This results in 100mm added to the entire circumference.

Garments are the same, as they contain multiple patterns by default. Any variables on the patterns will be displayed only one time and apply to all the patterns. For example, if you set the general seam allowance to 1/2" / 13mm, this seam allowance will be applied to all the patterns in the garment. 

Default Values

Patternmaker Pro has default values for all variables. The ease variables will generally be set to zero for sloper type patterns. Seam allowances are set according to what makes sense for the garment or pattern. If you don't have a specific reason for changing a variable, just leave it at the default. If you find that the variable default doesn't work for you, you can always change it on a later draft.

Minimum & Maximum Values

You'll note that variables will have a minimum and/or maximum value. These are set to prevent the pattern draft from failing, if too large or small of a value is entered.

Current Variables

Listed below are all the variables available within Patternmaker Pro. These may change over time, so check back often.


Ease is a value that is added to a circumference measurement to make the pattern a little bigger. Ease can be added as design ease or wearing ease. Learn more about design ease and wearing ease.

Seam Allowances

Seam allowances are used for real world sewing. This is the excess fabric beyond the seam for the sewing machine presser foot to use. It also prevents the seams from unraveling. Learn more about seam allowances.


Seam allowances are adjusted automatically using the pattern category. If you are drafting a top for a 12" / 30cm doll and the top is categorized as Adult, Patternmaker Pro will scale the seam allowance down. Let's say the seam allowance default is 1/2" / 12mm. It will scale down the seam allowance based on the doll's height to approximately 0.10" / 2.5mm.

If you want to enter a new value for the seam allowance, use a value that would be set if you were drafting for the pattern's category, not the measurement set. If you would want a 1" / 25mm seam allowance if this were drafted for an adult, you should also enter that for your doll. Patternmaker Pro will make the necessary conversion for you. Learn more about pattern categories.

Armhole Drop

This value will drop the armhole down and shorten the Side Length measurement (armpit to side waist) in the process. This is an easy way to add a bit more room under the arm. If you are drafting a garment that has a top/bodice and sleeve, this will also shorten the length of the Underarm measurement (armpit to wrist).

Back Depth

This is the collar depth value at center back.

Band Width

This is the circumference of a band.

Button Diameter / Size

This is the diameter of the button that will be used. 

Button Space

This is the maximum distance you want between buttons.

Button Top

This is the distance from the top of the garment at center front to the first button. 

Buttonhole Adjustment

This is the amount added to the Button Diameter for buttonholes. Typically 1/8" / 3mm for adults.

Collar Width

This is the width of a collar measured from the neckline out toward the shoulder point.

Contour Adjustments

There are four different variables that apply to contour adjustments:

  • Contour Neckline Adjustment
  • Contour Armhole Adjustment
  • Contour Empire Adjustment
  • Contour Center Bust Adjustment

These values are used to contour a pattern to precisely fit the model. Learn how to measure for contour adjustments.

Crotch Depth Ease

This variable moves the crotch down on patterns. This can make pants a bit more comfortable and less form fitting. It does this by adjusting the Crotch Depth measurement (waist to bottom of crotch). Learn more about crotch depth.

Crotch Extension Ease

This increases the distance on a pattern to allow for the depth of the inner leg. Learn more about crotch extensions.

Crotch Length Ease

This increases the length of the back crotch, which in turn will raise the center back height of pants. Learn more about crotch length.

Cuff Length

This is the length of a cuff measuring from the wrist up the arm.

Cuff Tip

This is the distance that a cuff is lengthened at the tips.

Extension Width

This is the width of a button extension. 

Front Depth

This is the depth of the center front top point from its original position at the neck.

Hem Depth

This is the depth of a hem or the amount of the hem that will be turned up.

Overlap Value

This is used when making collars. This is the amount that the front and back patterns will overlap at the shoulder causing the collar to raise up and form a stand.

Pant Hemline Circumference

This is the circumference at the hemline for pants and shorts.

Pant Length Code - Pick-A-Length

There are some pants patterns that allow you to change the length of the pattern simply by choosing a code. Visit the Pants page to see the codes that apply.

Shoulder Overlap Value

This is the amount that the front and back shoulder lines will overlap for collars. This affects the rise of the collar.

Sleeve Cap Ease

This adds length to the cap height of sleeves. Increased cap height can change the fit and form of sleeves.

Sleeve Length

This is the length of the sleeve measuring from the shoulder point down the arm. This is often left at 0 for the default. Refer to the pattern/garment to see what the default length will be. 

Spread Values

These are the value that a pattern is spread during the split and spread process. Pay attention to how many slits are made, as this spread value will be added at each slit so the total is cumulative. For example, a spread value of 25mm on a pattern that is split in four places will result in 100mm being added to the pattern.

Waistband Depth

This is the finished depth (or width) of a waistband. If you have a folded waistband with a waistband depth of 2" / 50mm, then the pattern will be 4" / 100mm wide plus any seam allowances.

Some pants patterns will reduce the height of the pants by this variable to make room for the waistband. Always check the pattern description for details.