Of course, all you have to do is have the scale in mind. You can work with whatever size you wish in Illustrator actually, and as long as everything is correctly proportional when scaled up or down (or not scaled at all, for that matter) you will get a sharp and crisp pattern for your garment as the design would be done in vectors.
There is a quite interesting video that associates Adobe Illustrator with the apparel industry, maybe this can guide you to start using it as your main tool.
There is also Adobe for Fashion, who have even more specific information regarding what you need.
Again, and going back to your question, as long as the printer can print the desired size, and the Illustrator design is correctly done to be proportional (and later scaled up) or full sized, there'll be no problem in doing it with Illustrator.
Photoshop, on the other hand, will require you to work full size as it doesn't handle vector outputs that well.