Before learning how to make pattern brushes, it’s good to understand exactly what they are and why/when to use them. Pattern brushes are a very powerful feature in Illustrator and offer many benefits:
When thinking about using pattern brushes, you will want to train your mind to think about how they can be used in the most simple ways, like for basic double needle top stitching (DNTS) to more complex and perhaps less obvious ways such as placing a border along the hem of a garment.
While you may think that it’s easier on some of the more simple brushes, like DNTS, to just use two rows of dashed paths, in the long run this is not the most efficient way. While it works just fine, the inconvenience becomes apparent when you need to manipulate the path and all of a sudden you have 2 paths to manipulate instead of just one. This makes it difficult to adjust curvature and styles lines on your fashion flats and doubles the amount of work. Using a pattern brush would allow you to manipulate just one path that controls both rows of stitching.
Pattern brushes are also great since you can save them as libraries to use over and over again…but that’s a topic for another day! Learn a little more about making your own zipper and stitching brushes by watching these tutorials.