When designing clothing or other various things, pattern making becomes a huge part of my creative/necessary process. I generally start with a sketch (not always, sometimes I just go with what I visualize in my head), then it is either time for draping or drafting patterns using a basic. Even though pattern making is pretty technical, I think it is still a lot of fun even though it can be a little frustrating at times. Over time, I found my favorite things for drafting patterns:
French Curves (I have several but I really only use these two metal ones- they work for most projects)
Paper Mate Clear Point 0.5mm mechanical pencil (seriously, I love these pencils! I have them all over the place and as a side note they have awesome erasers!)
Ultra Fine Point Sharpies (I get the 12 pack because I love to use one color for tracing lines, one color for adjustments, and different colors when grading. I am also just plain addicted to them!)
Large art roll of white paper (about 48.5" wide; used for drafting and as patterns), tissue paper (36" wide, I use this for tracing off patterns generally for clothing), and a roll of freezer paper (18" wide; a must for drafting or tracing smaller patterns).
2" x 18" clear gridded ruler (I can't live without this- I use it for drafting all parts of the patterns and adding seam allowances, they also make a 1" x 6" that is really useful, too) and a t-square
Tape (I use regular scotch tape, I keep several rolls on hand and use it to help manipulate darts, fix patterns, and tape pdf patterns together) and paper scissors (a pair of scissors that is for paper only, strict rule about that because I hate when my paper scissors get used for fabric or fabric scissors used for paper, it just can't happen, I guess that is one of my wacky pet peeves).
The Basics (these are all from school and are on tag board. a: they speed up the process b: I only have women's sizes in these c: I have basics for children but I have yet to make them on tag… d: I like the way they hang in the closet…
This is the book I used in school and still reference for pattern making.They are on the fifth edition now for the most current.
There are tons of other things that I might occasionally use for drafting patterns (like tracing paper, yardstick, pattern notcher, etc.) but the above items are the things I wouldn't want to live without.