One of the things that always bugs me about software is that I never seem to be able to find answers when I need them. So, we've gathered the most Frequently Asked Questions, (FAQ) and put them in this section.
The first and easiest step is always to make sure and check that you have the most up to date version!
You will find these at Service/Updates
PatternMaker has two basic functions:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.