Liam Patterns

Questions & Answers


What are Liam Patterns and what does it entail?

I, liam designer Emily Miller-Sharma, present Liam Patterns. that’s right, a pattern that comes either in an envelope or a PDF form you can print yourself, that you can use to make your very own creations.

there are over 20 patterns across three different groups: Modular, Sets and Offcuts (definitions below) and cover beginner, intermediate and advanced skill levels.

modular: simple shapes with variations that can be added on to mix things up. like the Carol Bias Slip - a slim line bias cut slip that also comes with a variation for narrow fabrics and a fluted hem. or the Glen Top - a relaxed fit woven T-Shirt shape that can have the Pack o’ Sleeves added to it (five different variations of sleeve! Party on!).

sets: a shape or design line that can be used across a few different garment types. Like the Anne - a wrap design that can be made as a dress, top, or a blouse with peplum hem. or the Chloe - a relaxed pantsuit style with either a short or long leg and a narrow strap or drop shoulder top.

offcuts: free, downloadable .pdf files to use up offcuts or extra fabric - like our Lil’ Pouch or Sleek Mask. i truly believe that the future is circular! and so circular considerations underpin all decisions made throughout this collection’s design and production process.

from 2022, all paper used for the patterns is from repurposed end reels from newspaper production in auckland, new zealand. pattern paper originally used for newspaper production milled in boyer, tasmania, australia. all fibre used to make the pattern paper for our earlier versions, and the card for the envelopes they come in, is waste from (or the by-product of) sawn timber production from radiata pine forests in the north island of new zealand. the finished product is fsc certified and 100% recyclable, but my intention is that these patterns get used over and over again.

In 2021 liam patterns launched its second collection of patterns, alongside the liam 'everything' range. this entire collection can be purchased as a physical garment, or a pattern to make the item yourself.

while this collection was forming, I discovered geo gregory of geo knits slow! geo is wellington-based, and geo knits slow is a project that she has been working on for years, knitting beautiful pieces out of found materials. via many zoom sessions, and a few trips up to auckland, geo and i collaborated on a collection of knit pieces that use the fabric offcuts from the collection. She to produced five different knitting patterns, to be made from fabric offcuts to minimise wastage, furthering the circular economy mission at the heart of Liam Patterns.

How have we created a circular solution for our Liam Pattern paper patterns?

NZME is media company, producing newspapers, including The New Zealand Herald, radio stations and digital platforms.

As part of their production process, newsprint reels have unusable paper offcut lengths and it’s these offcuts that have stood out as a terrific solution both for Liam Patterns and for NZME.

The solution utilises these leftovers that would otherwise be sent to recycling, giving them a second life as the paper source for Liam Patterns’ printed patterns, reducing waste and helping to support local industry and locally sourced + made product opportunities.

NZME puts aside allocated numbers of reel ends for RUBY, which are then taken to the Liam Patterns printing facility at Ellar Graphics for production.

An average of 50-60 metres of newsprint is able to be utilised from each reel end roll for Liam Patterns (approximately 18-20 patterns per roll). With longer rolls offering 400+ metres.

WHAT ARE THE LIAM X @GEOKNITSSLOW KNITTING PATTERNS?

Liam x @geoknitsslow is a collection of six knitting patterns, designed to be knitted using fabric off cuts.

Earlier in the year we held a training workshop for people wanting to join the patternmaking and machining side of the industry, using the “waste material” from our production processes as the fabrics for the garments they made. while we were there, i started knitting strips of fabric together, playing around with colour and texture. It turned into a full blown obsession, with my needles and trails of fabric scraps inappropriately accompanying me to meetings, dinners, friends’ houses...

And then i discovered geo gregory of @geo_knits_slow! Geo is wellington-based, and @geo_knits_slow is a project that she has been working on for years, knitting beautiful pieces out of found materials. Via many zoom sessions, and a few trips up to auckland, Geo and i collaborated on a collection of knit pieces that use the fabric offcuts from the collection.

These patterns can be purchased as paper pattern instructions, or in PDF form. For instructions on how to make balls of yarn from fabric off cuts with which to make your pattern, click here.

Are your patterns PDF or paper?

The clothing patterns are available to purchase printed on paper, or in a PDF form to print yourself. Like most commercial patterns, you’ll be cutting out each pattern piece before laying on your fabric.

All paper used for the patterns is from repurposed end reels from newspaper production in Auckland, New Zealand.

Pattern paper originally used for newspaper production milled in Boyer, Tasmania, Australia.

Envelope paper milled in Whakatane, New Zealand

Printed and assembled in Auckland, New Zealand

Will it come with instructions?

Yes, all instructions are included, alongside illustrations in both PDF and printed patterns.

Whereabouts can I buy fabric from?

We have a range of fabrics online available for purchase! They are suitable for the patterns we have released, so please have a browse online.

We also recommend visiting The Fabric Store

What is the minimum amount of fabric I need?

Each pattern specifies how much fabric approximately you will need and this can be found on the envelope cover and in the printed and PDF instructions. If there’s a fabric you like with a different width than the ones specified, reach out to us at hello@liampatterns.com and we’ll help you to work out the meterage.

Do you receive a set of sizes? eg. 6-10, 12-16

The patterns come in 2 size brackets, Option 1 and Option 2. Option 1 includes 4 – 10, and Option 2 includes sizes 12 – 18. PDF patterns are sizes 4 - 28.

How does the sizing work?

When deciding your size, go with your normal dress size when you shop at RUBY. For specific body measurements, refer to our Size Guide.

Can the patterns & fabrics be returned or exchanged?

No, unfortunately Liam Patterns and fabrics cannot be returned, but our knowledgeable staff will help answer all your questions so you are happy with your purchase.

Is this NZ only? Or international as well?

Both paper and PDF patterns can be sent worldwide. If purchasing a PDF pattern, please select PDF shipping at checkout, and access to the pattern will be emailed to you by our team within 36 hours. For paper patterns, please see our freight charges here:

I purchased a PDF pattern but didn't receive an email with the files?

Sorry about that! A separate email should come through but sometimes it ends up in spam or junk folders. Check your spam folder, and if it’s not there, please email us at hello@liampatterns.com and we’ll get it sorted out.

How do I assemble my PDF pattern?

All PDF patterns come with instructions on how to print to the correct scale. Once your patterns sheets have been printed, you’ll need to assemble them by matching the symbols and taping the pieces together.

Are there seam allowances included in the patterns?

Yes, all patterns include a seam allowance of 1cm, unless otherwise stated in the instructions.

Can I sell clothing I made using Liam Patterns?

Liam Patterns are for personal use only – they cannot be commercially produced or sold.

Can I buy Liam Patterns at wholesale?

If you wish to stock Liam Patterns in your physical or online store, please contact us directly at hello@liampatterns.com

Would it be hard to lengthen pattern myself?

It's not difficult to lengthen the patterns by yourself, so long as you have some basic knowledge of pattern-making. We would recommend checking how much longer you would like the garment, adding an extension onto the existing pattern pieces, with lightweight paper, and masking tape to attach. Make sure you follow the lines and shape of the patterns, and that the side seams are matching in length before cutting the garment.

What kind of sewing machine should I buy?

You will need either Domestic sewing machine (with zig zag stitch capability) or industrial sewing machine & overlocker, here are a few links as to where you could purchase one if you don't already have one:

Can you sew by hand?

We don't recommend sewing these pieces by hand. All RUBY & Liam patterns are designed to be sewn by a domestic or industrial machine. However, buttons and small finishing can be done by hand, and these will always be specified within the instructions.

What happens if I have a wider fabric than what is currently specified?

If so, we suggest to err on the safe side and still purchase the yield specified for your size. However, if you are able to bring your pattern pieces to the fabric store of your choice and lay it up there before you buy your fabric, that works too. Most fabric stores are very happy to test this with you.

I'm just starting out, what should I use to practice with?

We definitely suggest starting with our Beginner patterns as these are the simplest and most straight-forward. A great beginner fabric to learn with is calico, or any non-stretch cotton. And the Internet is a great reference and full of videos on how to sew if you’re just starting out.

If I'm in between a size 10 and 12, what size pattern should I get?

We would recommend to go for the larger size as it’s easier to cut a pattern down rather than add on to it. You will see that the grade rules (this is the term that we use for sizing – it’s the measurement that a garment increases / decreases for each size) are consistent. As in – the waistband grows by the same measurement each size. So if you are wanting to change a size, follow that standard measurement.

Can you explain the Pack o’ Sleeves?

The Pack o' Sleeves is a set of five different sleeves, designed to be used in combination with other liam patterns to allow for variation! They sew in to the Glen,Anne and Liz patterns.