Do you use a computer patterncutting program?
I have recently started to make sample garments for a young designer who has some amazing ideas which do not always follow the ‘rules’ of patternmaking and I am having difficulty finding a program which will let me draft from scratch as well as using a ‘pick-and-mix’ system.
what systems do any of you use and what success rates have you had?
I need to make a decision fairly soon and would like to try out as many as I can.
I have tried Patternmaker 7 ‘s free trial and although it is fairly versatile it will not go as far as I need and I found the operating system difficult to get to grips with.
I also want to print the patterns onto larger paper, possibly using a plotter (I think) – what experience do you have with this aspect of the patterns – do you find the sticking together of smaller (regular printer paper size) sheets as big a chore as drafting from scratch? And is it possible to by tissue type paper to use in a printer or plotter?
Thanks in anticipation
I use a computer patternmaking programme for some of my patterns. It is called Fittingly Sew and is available both for Windows and Mac (one of the few for Mac). I have had a great deal of success with it in drafting my own designs, but the learning curve is fairly steep. It does print to standard paper sizes and glueing/taping them together is quite time-consuming. You wouldn't want to use tissue in a professional application - it would never stand up to the abuse. If you are going to be printing many patterns and can afford the expense, a plotter is definitely the way to go. However, I'm not sure all patternmaking programmes are suitable for them, so do your research before you buy.
The only other pattern software that I am aware of that allows you to draft from scratch is Wild Ginger. I believe there is a professional version available that permits you to grade as well. Also, I think they have a mix and match group of patterns.
The software I learned in design school is called PAD System and is very, very good. But it is directed at the fashion industry and priced accordingly :-( (or I would own it).
Thanks for the info on the PAD system - I am looking at it even though I expect it to be hideously expensive. Being a complete novice in computer pattern making it will be good to see what the professionals and academics use.
I have looked at the Wild Ginger site and the on-line demo they sent me seemed interesting. It would have suited me better to be able to have a limited trial to test the operating system.
In your opinion, would the PAD system be a superior system? I will need to be able to produce a compatible CAD pattern suitable for factory production and I don't think Fittingly Sew will do that. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong!
I can't really tell you if the PAD System is superior to Wild Ginger as I don't have any experience with the latter and am not qualified to comment. I did learn PAD in design school eight years ago (how did that happen?) and it has been upgraded since then....it is used in the production process in much of the Montreal fashion industry, so it would definitely be able to do what you need it to. Fittingly Sew won't as it is designed for home use only - I have no hesitation in telling you that. The other patternmaking software programmes that I know are used in the industry are Lectra and Gerber. I have no idea as to how much any of these cost, but I would expect them to be very expensive....they are very powerful programmes capable of amazing things, once you learn how to use them. I found PAD relatively easy to learn, but then I was in a class with a good instructor....and I've always found patternmaking skills easy to acquire (guess I just think the right way!).Let me know what you decide. It seems like quite a venture!
Thanks again! I have found links to UK suppliers of the PAD and Gerber systems - I'll let you know how they turn out.
So where in Devon are you located. I'm in Canada, but I have family in Exeter....a beautiful place that I hope to visit again sometime in the next few years.
We are 25 miles further 'down' from Exeter, in Okehampton, in fact Exeter is my nearest place for big-store shopping and for anything out of the ordinary for sewing (including fabric shops!). Not as isolated as some of the places in Canada of course, but sewing seems to be a dying art in the UK and for anything really specialised or for training courses the research can often be the longest part of the process.
The frustration is part of the price I pay to live in such a nice friendly town - mostly it's worth it!
PS. Maybe we will meet someday when you are visiting your family.
Do check out Wild Ginger's products. They do have applications for home sewers as well as commercial products (which allow you to draft then grade to different sizes). I have used a number of their programs and am a very satisfied user. You can do manual drafting in Pattern Editor (their CAD program) which is included with all of the various programs. Most home sewers print on 8.5" x 11" paper and assemble them (not very hard or time consuming once you get the hang of it) but you can also print on a plotter. Their prices are reasonable. http://www.wildginger.com.
Thanks for your response please see my reply to Fitness Nut.
What a great forum this is. I have only joined a few days ago and have learned such a lot and discovered some great sites just from reading the messages.
Looking forward to more!
First, borrow or buy a copy of "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing" by Kathleen Fasanella. It's sold on Amazon as well as directly from KF at her website
Second, visit her website...register (free)...and post your question on the discussion forum. Link to forum is on the left sidebar there. Information covered in the book is not repeated in the forum or in the blog topics. There are a number of useful links in the left sidebar. If you're in Canada, one is to the Montreal Fashion Incubator which in turn will have links to Canadian patternmaking/grading services.
Finally, take some time to explore the site. There is a ton of very useful information for anyone wanting to be a part of the fashion industry as an entrepreneur. NAYY
Julia in Houston
Thanks for the info. Katherine's site is far too distracting! One to go back to when I have more time. There's so much that I didn't realise I wanted to know! Hope it will be easier to navigate when the new server is installed this weekend.
I wonder how relevant the book will be with regard to UK manufacturing and to how I fit into the system as a sample maker. I'll try to borrow it from the library first I think.
Sue (in Devon, England)
Sorry, didn't stop to think you might be in UK! I have a hunch that a great deal of the information in the book will be relevant no matter where you're located. Sourcing supplies will be different because of course, buying those in one's own country is always faster and preferable - and I've no idea if Kathleen knows of UK sources for services and supplies. However, surely there's someone associated with the C&G courses who'd know.
I also forgot to mention that the book is in its third edition at present, and I understand that Kathleen is working on the fourth, which is expected to have at least 1/3 more pages of information.
I'll be interested in learning about the PAD and Gerber systems.
Julia in Houston
I'll keep you informed of my progress, thanks.
I must say I am very impressed with the speed I have had replies. I think you'll be seeing a lot of me in the future!
Check out this system:
C/o Guided Image,
Manor Farm Courtyard,
57-61 Main Street, Frolesworth,LE17 5EE, England
Tel: +44  1455 201 856
Fax: +44  1455 202 728
Contact: Simon Fernandes
E-mail :[email protected]
This is an awesome program....just invested in it myself and I'm seriously impressed. Can't give you more than that at this time though...still learning. The website is a little awkward but keep digging...it's well worth the effort.
Hi and thanks to everyone who took the time to answer my post on computer pattern cutting.
I have opted for two of the Wild Ginger programs - Celebrations and Tailoring for men (one of the few aimed at mens' patterns) and now eagerly waiting for the postman! I'll keep you up to scratch on my progress.
The professional systems were fantastic but to use them properly and cost-effectively required an awful lot of use and you have to draft in all your initial basic blocks (slopers) and macros before you can even start working. The UK contact for the PAD system was very helpful and friendly and even put me in contact with a professional user who was kind enough to give me a demonstration. For customer service and a full-on professional product I have no hesitation in recommending them. Expensive though and the training is extra. (You could not use the product without the training.) Same thing goes for the Tuka and Gerber systems but I had no contact apart from the website so I cannot comment on the customer service.
I think the Wild Ginger will be useful in that it shows a line drawing of the garment as you 'pick and choose' the style details and add collars and sleeves etc. and customers who do not have a clear idea of what they want will be able very easily to play with the programme and design their own garments. (Could also have a down side in that it gives them too much choice!)
Hi Sue:I don't think you will be disappointed with the Wild Ginger products. Be prepared for some learning curve. Make sure you join the forum so you can ask questions/get help when you need it. The info for this is included with your program.Julie B
No VaPS -- my advice, having used these programs to sew for clients, is to maintain your mystique -- don't let them in on the secret of your success. You can do the drafting work (which you will charge for) and present them with finished drawings. People often don't want to pay for a service which they perceive as "simple".
Thanks for the tip - I'll brush up on my drawing skills!
Just loaded the program this morning and started getting to grips with the system with a design in mind. So far so good, I've entered the measurements and picked the style, now I have to manipulate the block for some extra features.
Keep them crossed for me!
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