What is PatternMaker? (pre-sales questions)

What can I do with PatternMaker?

PatternMaker has two basic functions:

  1. It is a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program to draft a pattern from scratch with all the draw- and edit tools in the program. PatternMaker is specifically designed for flat sewing patterns, it has specific functions for drafting sewing patterns like seam allowance, drafting a facing, pleats functions, closing dart.
  2. Our Macro feature lets you draft a pattern based on style choices and body measurements you give in.
    Each macro is a file separate from PatternMaker itself and is programmed separately.
    1. You can use the CAD features to make your own patterns from scratch.
    2. Yyou can use macros to let the program make custom-fit patterns for you.
    3. You can start with a macro pattern as a sloper and then use PatternMaker to work with it and edit it.
What is CAD?

CAD stands for computer-aided design.
Better-known CAD programs are used in fields such as engineering and architecture.
CAD programs contain drawing and measuring tools to do the same things you would do on paper with pencil, ruler, French curve, etc. but with the speed, precision, etc. of a computer and without the time-consuming labor of drawing, measuring, and redrawing. Think about tools like drafting a seam allowance, a facing, pleats functions, closing a dart.
PatternMaker is a CAD program that was specifically designed for flat sewing patterns, so it's easier to use for this purpose than a non-specialized program such as AutoCAD (tm).
PatternMaker is a complete, standalone CAD program -- it doesn't require any other CAD program to run.

Can I export my patterns?

PatternMaker has its own proprietary file format (.pat), but it can import/export files in DXF 9 (AutoCAD tm) format.
This is an older .dxf format, so please check whether this will be acceptable.

Important is that the unit in which you draft match the unit the imported pattern is drafted. PatternMaker will ask after the unit, when opening a .DXF file. The file will converted to the unit you are using in PatternMaker.
We are working to update the .dxf to a newer version of .dxf.

How do I print my patterns?

PatternMaker prints just like any other Windows program. The software will automatically split up your printout among multiple pages if necessary.
If you're using a desktop printer with letter-size paper, you may get 20-30 pages that you'll need to tape together so use the largest paper size available for your printer-legal instead of letter. Better yet is to use roll-feed or banner paper (if your printer has this feature) and even better is a large plotter if available.

Remember that PatternMaker doesn't control how a pattern is printed. It tells Windows to print, and Windows handles the output according to the printing device you have selected.

Always use the lowest resolution (dpi) and fewest colors your printer allows. Your patterns will be easier to see and will print faster. 
More on printing.

Can I try a demo before I buy?

You can download a demo of the programs PatternMaker DeLuxe, Professional, Grading Studio and MacroGen and request for a registration for 30 days. During those 30 days you can use all the tools of the program you are testing. You can try the program before you decide to buy.

When you download and install the demo we have included free patterns (macros) to try with the program and test for a women's fitting bodice, a collar macro and trousers.
Try entering your own measurements, print the pattern and sew up a muslin for yourself.
Fitting women's trousers is a fairly rigorous test for a computer program, and we think you'll like the results.  
And as the name implies this is free for as long as you want it on your computer.  You don't have to take it off in 30 days.
Only the CAD tools (draw and editing tools) in the programs have the 30 day stipulation.

Installation and registration

PatternMaker on a MAC

You can also run PatternMaker on your Intel Mac computer. There are several options available and PatternMaker will run with varying degrees of success on all of them.

  • Play-on-Mac is a free programm with which you can install Patternmaker on your Mac and with which we have good results. You will need different installation files of the software to install PatternMaker or the collections properly. Email us for the proper files and instructions about installing them with Play-on-Mac.

  • Leopard or BootCamp requires a legal copy of Windows to be installed on a separate partition on your hard drive.  You would boot to this partition when you start the computer and then install PatternMaker into Windows .  PatternMaker then runs just like it would on a PC as it is running in Windows and uses Windows Shortcuts.  While we will support PatternMaker inside Windows, we can't help you get Windows on your Mac.

  • Parallels or VMWare Fusion creates a Virtual Machine or a computer within a computer.  This also requires a legal copy of Windows to be installed.  Then you would install PatternMaker into Windows.  PatternMaker then runs just like it would on a PC as it is running in Windows and uses Windows Shortcuts..  While we will support PatternMaker inside Windows, we can't help you get Windows on your Mac.

  • The last option is Wine.
    There are different versions out there and PatternMaker has not tested all of them, nor does all PatternMaker Software work in the various versions of Wine and so we cannot guarantee results.  But PatternMaker Basic does work in most Wine variations.

Using the Pattern Collections (macros)

Will the Macros fit me?

The Pattern Collections (macros) of the Designer Leena have been tested with hundreds of subjects and fit most people.
The fitting method is based on a system that has been in use in Scandinavia for decades. Our designer also taught sewing, and she has also tested the measuring instructions for ease of use.
Most people get a good fit on the first try. We like this measuring system because it's forgiving -- a little error won't ruin your whole pattern.

Everybody should make a fitting muslin (fitting bodice) first, to check your measurements.
Note that taking carefully your measurements is necessary for having a good result and fit. For the few people who can't get a good result, or if you have a special fitting problem such as uneven shoulders, our CAD features give you the tools to alter the pattern as necessary.

I can't see anything when I run a macro

First hit the END key to Zoom ALL.

Then, check your Line Color and your Screen Color.  Chances are that somehow they got set to the same Color.  

The Line Color is the color that the lines on the pattern will be drawn in. 
The standard is black, but there are also several other colors that are available.  If you want to see what the difference is between 2 sizes, run the garment once in black and then once again in red to see what changes it makes. 
What you don't want to happen is a WHITE background and a White Line Color or a Black Background and a Black Line Color.  To change the color, double click on the Line Color (Line Color) box, or navigate to Settings>Configure or Configure Defaults.

For those people that have trouble viewing a WHITE screen, we offer the option of using a Black Screen with WHITE Drawing lines. 
To get this, go to Settings>Configure
or to use it all the time, Settings>Configure Defaults
Click Advanced in the lower right corner.  Then uncheck Use White Background.