Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Computer-Aided Sewing Pattern Drafting Software

I spent an unconscionable amount of time last weekend searching for sewing pattern information and guides to pattern drafting and alteration. Here are a few things I learned.

Many skilled seamstresses, including Rusty Bobbin, use pattern drafting software successfully. I've avoided this software because it runs exclusively on Microsoft Windows, and I'm neither rich nor leisured enough to keep that operating system running on Droop Mountain. However, now that I teach courses in Microsoft Office and have a Windows machine on hand (kept unplugged and unconnected, the best and cheapest way to avoid viruses), I thought there might be reason to reconsider computer-aided pattern drafting [CAD].

I found these reviews most helpful:

  • Take It From Us: General observations, specific comments, and other tidbits from our tests of eight pattern-drafting computer programs in the summer of 2002 by Judith Neukam and Jennifer Sauer.
  • Pattern Drafting Software by Judy Heim.
  • The Computer Lady reviews Dress Shop Pattern drafting software.

I read these (and other) reviews, and concluded that all this software assumes that it is easier to take a lot of measurements (more than 50 per person) than it is to convert the measurements to shapes on paper. In my experience, taking good measurements is more difficult than geometry, and CAD users report they still have to make fitting muslins and change the patterns their software produces. For my purposes, spending $100 to $600 on such software is not reasonable (although I still have an itch to play with these programs someday, to see how they function). Besides, the fun part is drawing the shapes. Why let the computer do it?


Rebecca Clayton said...

a test comment.

ShirleyC said...

I found this in a search. Did you ever experiment with any pattern making software?
I really want to make a few patterns I used years ago when my daughter did pageants, and I just don't know where to begin.

Rebecca Clayton said...

I never did try the pattern-making software. It was too expensive, and I didn't have a Windows OS to run it at the time. I eventually bought a used pattern-making textbook, and found it quite helpful.