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need instructions for lapel collar

blingy | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I just printed out my first blouse with Pattern Master4 Boutique and I am stuck, bigtime!  I have made many, many blouses in the past but I have never made one with a lapel/collar like this one.  The instructions are useless, the whole thing is really user UNfriendly.  I am having a great deal of difficulty getting around with this program and the sewing instructions are poor at best.  Can someone supply detailed, clear instructions for this collar?  I have a book that shows something similar but my pattern pieces are, well, totally unfamiliar to me and I cannot figure out how they go together.  This system leaves a lot to be desired, a few details would be helpful for a start.  Please help!


  1. MargieT | | #1

    Have you posted in the Wild Ginger forums and asked this question?  I am also just starting with PMB4 and am finding problems.  I have used the forum and have received helpful answers.  By the way, have you looked at the sewing help guide?

    1. User avater
      blingy | | #2

      Yes I posted a note on Wild Ginger forums but have not received a reply.  I looked at the sewing guide first thing but I don't find it helpful at all.  I had to take this blouse to the Viking sewing center and get help there.  What kinds of problems are you having with PM4?  I find it very difficult to know where I am, to move around and the pattern pieces don't line up and I am having the same fitting problems that I have with commercial patterns.  I think I should have saved my money.

      1. MargieT | | #3

        One question - did you do a sloper before you sewed the blouse?

        1. User avater
          blingy | | #4

          As a matter of fact, I did 3 slopers, one on my own just because I had never made a sloper before, then one using recommended measurements from Wild Ginger and the third made with a few adjustments.

          1. MargieT | | #5

            Have you sent your sloper measurements to Karen? Sometimes they need to be tweaked and that can make all the difference.  I made the casual shirt with a V neck and collar.  My only problem with it was the bust point was a bit low.  I am trying to work out how to fix it.  My main problem with Patternmaster is lack of information on how to do things like this.  I have asked Karen and been told the answer is in the help section which turned out to be not much help.  Have you contacted Karen with the problems you are having with your blouse?  I am determined to perservere with the program mainly because of the money and I want patterns that actually fit.

          2. User avater
            blingy | | #6

            I spent about 2 hours last night just playing with the program and I think I learned a few things, such as how to make some adjustments, problem is until I sew a garment I still don't know if it will work.  I guess it will be a long, slow process but that's is ok, I do feel like I am making progress.  I printed out the whole user's manual and that has helped a bit.  I need to contact karen about the tightness across the back, which is the same problem I have will all patterns.  The trial blouse I made was a disaster because of the lapel collar.  It really didn't match up and it caused some pulling so I am going to do another and send those pictures to her.  I thought the front was too low, from the neck to the first button and I believe I found out how to change that in the program.  I don't want to show cleavage so I changed that measurement from 7" to 6".  I too am determined to get this program to work although I have considered getting a refund.  I think this program is on the right course, at least with this you can change just 1 thing without having to re-do everything so that is a plus.  The long sleeves are too tight around the elbow and I figured out how to change that too.  It will take a lot of time, paper, tape and fabric but I think it will work.  I wish they had a blouse that buttoned in front with only facings and no lapel.  I think I will have to create that myself.  Yes, this program could be more user friendly but I am not giving up!  Good luck to you!

          3. MargieT | | #7

            Hi Carol,

            I answered your email but it bounced back to me.  Could you contact me again?


  2. User avater
    bevaau | | #8

    I am glad, but sorry too, that somebody else is having these sorts of problems with PMB. I have PMB3 (will not upgrade until I get to feel I can actually do something with what I have) and I am frequently stumped by trying to find "what do I do now". I was prepared to accept that it is not a sewing program and I have some years' basic sewing experience and good sewing books to help - but the problem is more what sequence to do things, and what to do when it obviously doesn't "match" or "fit". When they were seeking ideas and requests for features for PMB4, I suggested and step-by-step beginners guide to using the program would be useful if not essential. (The Bonfit program has beginner garments that lead you through the basics of the process.)I don't think I got a response. I understand help can be found on the forum but why are these simple steps not included in the program? Why do I have to air my frustration on a forum before I get to find out what to do? And there often seems to be suggestions made (to others) that will "fix" problems but they should be included in the files that come with the software. Shouldn't they?Sorry this is long but I paid a bit (for me!) for this program and also think I wasted my money. I could have spent it on fabric instead.Bevaau

    1. User avater
      blingy | | #9

      I absolutely agree 100%.  I paid dearly for this program as I am unemployed and live in Michigan which means no hope of a job for some time so this purchase was really a stupid thing to do.  But I thought that if I could spend my unemployed time sharpening my sewing skills then it would be worth it.  I am frustrated with everything about it, the pattern pieces not lining up, the lack of instructions, the complete inability to read the user's manual and still not be able to use it.  I don't understand why, when you first start it up, you have to save that opening screen with all those questions and then again when you try to exit, you have to go through that same screen.  How many times do you have to save the same info?  I totally agree they need a very brief start-up sheet.  The lack of sequence is a major problem, why not do a Step1, blah, blah, blah...Step2,blah, blah, blah..etc.  You can't even get that much from the manual.  So between the lack of "how-to" and the lack of styles I say forget it, don't waste your money.  I know they have help classes but you have to pay extra for them, and they are only on-line.  I don't think PMB4 communicates as well on-line as they think.  Fragramented sentences and references to obscure things don't get the job done in my book! When I was employed I used to run a CMM, a computerized programmable arm with a measuring point on the end.  I was self taught and could just about make that thing dance; but this lousy pattern program is just beyond me! I finally did find 1 commercial pattern that fit so I am now turning that into a princess blouse.  I will just use that pattern for all my stuff.

      1. jjgg | | #10

        I'm sorry to hear so many people having trouble with PMB. I have it and love it, I've never had problems with things not working. Have you emaild Wild Ginger with your problems of things not matching up? Their Tech support is very good.I never use their sewing instructions, but I never use the instructions that come in patterns either. YOu need to think about the construction steps in a logical manner and be able to sew without printed guides. This is what you should strive for. It's really very simple logical steps if you think about - such as you can't put a cuff on the end of a sleeve until the under arm seam is sewn, and the cuff needs to be constructed first, the pleats at the sleeve hem need to be sewn before the underarm seam etc.PMB does come with an extensive help file on construction

        Edited 1/30/2008 10:05 am ET by jjgg

        1. User avater
          bevaau | | #11

          It is not really the construction, as such, that I have problems with - I did not expect a pattern program to be a sewing teacher as well. The construction sheets are OK as long as you know what things are called so you can find them. My problem is with the sequence of the process, the unexpected things that happen, that bits that don't match where they should, the "you have to do this if you do that" solutions that are not anywhere in the help files, the weird shapes that appear if the measurements are not quite right, the need to learn PE (another associated piece of software) to accomplish what you want, etc. I am very computer literate and this would be the most unsatisfying piece of software that I own. Bevaau

          1. User avater
            blingy | | #12

            I agree, I did not expect this to teach sewing either but I did expect some basic things, like grain lines on pattern pieces and the word FOLD is it should go on the fold and notches to match up pieces.  Most pieces have no markings of any kind, would it hurt if they put that in?  The problem I had was that I had never sewn a lapel type collar before so I had no reference.  The rest of the blouse was no problem because it was pretty basic.  I don't know, maybe this program should come with some sort of rating for beginning sewers to advanced, maybe that's too much, all I know is their on-line support is swift but never addresses the issue I post and the phone support always acts like they are in a major hurry and I should be able to figure it out on my own.  If I could do that I wouldn't bother them at all.  The blouse I made fits nothing like the sloper and I have no idea why, its not ease, somehow the armhole seems to have shifted so I am left exactly where I am with commercial patterns, I don't know how to fix that and since PMB4 styles are so limited, why bother?  I say save your money and find an instructor who knows pattern adjustments, I for one will not be upgrading this program!

          2. User avater
            blingy | | #13

            Sorry to post again and keep harping on PMB4 but I just thought of what bothers me most about this.  They put in an extensive sewing guide and instructions but it is basically useless.  My first thought when I read it was it was unnecessarily complicated.  Why bother to put in a sewing guide if it doesn't explain things in detail?  Saying the same things twice doesn't make it easier to understand, obviously it needs to be said another way.  If only they had a few detailed drawings about the lapel collar it would have helped.  Enough from me.  Would I recommend this program?  Absolutely not!  Buyer Beware!


          3. MargieT | | #15

            Looking at the forum where you posted your problem to Karen, it looks as though she sent you a detailed answer.  Did you use it?

          4. User avater
            blingy | | #16

            This is the major problem with PMB.  I have already seen the stuff she posted on the forums, seeing it again is not enough for me, maybe I am stupid or slow I don't know.  If you people like the program use it, I still think it's been a waste of money.

          5. jjgg | | #14

            I don't have PMB 4, I have version 3 and it most definitely has notches. They are marked as either an X in a square or an X in a circle. Front and back differ by the circle or square. There are grain lines on each piece unless it is placed on the fold, and that is the grain line (the fold line) each piece is noted "center front, side front etc. Did all this stuff get left out of version 4?

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