How does a writer transition from one setting or location to another in his story, in a way that the reader does not feel the jerk. For example, in a prior scene the character is shown getting dressed up at his apartment, and in the next he is at a hotel for the party (without actually showing him take a cab). Are there any established patterns that writers use for this?
You can make the transition smoother by either revealing the intention to go somewhere and/or stop by the entrance made into the new setting. Skipping boring details about getting a cab will be taken for granted by your audience.
You can weave it into the story even stronger by making your character worry about something related to the next setting.
Likewise you can picture back from the new setting to the old by touching on something forgotten or with a stray thought on the differences between the settings themselves.
I think the characters moving forward through the story, changing settings along the way give the audience something hold on to (the character) and something to discover (new vista's, with the character in it) so it will be very much part of the story itself.
Don't worry, work it!