News You Can Use

LivingSoft Northwest Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 11

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Remember if you've missed an issue you can always view them from the archive.


General Pattern Preparation

by Kaaren Hoback

Many people wonder what pattern preparation is and why they should bother. Pattern preparation is taking the pattern you have printed from your computer and preparing it for your fabric. There are little things you can do, that are quick and simple, to both make the construction process easier and assure that your garment will fit properly.

Once you have proven your measurement chart, the program will add ease, fit and flare for the design or silhouette you have chosen. This is your last chance to change your mind about the decisions you have made as to neck depth, length, flare and ease before spending your fabric.

The very powerful tools you have at your disposal within the program allow you to try things you have never seen in commercial patterns. You have many more options with any Dress Shop design than you ever could have with a commercial pattern. Some of the brightest ideas simply won’t work well for you. They are fine in concept but fail the reality test.

Plan, plan, plan! Check and double check! You are designing, and you are the one making the decisions. Plan your decisions and keep track of them by using the pattern summary option found under file. Write text notes in the free form text field.


Coming in Late March!

The next Dress Shop update is scheduled for late March and will include fixes and enhancements based on user requests and reports of the past few months. And, this update will also include the "Spring 2006 Collection", a collection of the most popular topical patterns of the season. The Spring 2006 Collection will include:
    10 gore, 12 gore, and 14 gore skirts
    Trumpet skirts
    Empire waist blouses
    Hot new neck styles


25 patterns included for $49. Coming late March. No advance orders, please.


My Pattern Designer

The future of pattern drafting software has arrived : My Pattern Designer.


Upgrade your software now so that you get more of what you want in the best fit possible.  Discounts to customers that already own one of Livingsoft's Dress Shop Family programs are available AND through March 15th you get additional FREE patterns of your choice!  See:  /MPD/MPDPrices.htm


Hurry, special pricing ends soon

You can also view the new My Pattern Designer newsletter at /newsletter/vol1/newsletter.htm.  Check it out!


Q & A

Q. Where can I get directions or advice about sewing a neckline or closure type that I am unfamiliar with?

A. While Dress Shop does not include directions for every option in the product (you would need a substantial book for that and there are many such available), those most often requested have had articles written and added to the program. To see what is there, run Dress Shop and select Help - Help Index. You'll see a number of drop list boxes. You should visit them all, but the one labeled "How To Assemble Garments" has the most articles. You need to first select a category, then choose the article you are interested in.

Take a look at all of the categories and what articles are included. There are many, all with photos and step by step directions. Check it out.


Q: I'm never sure, when I run into a problem, if I should use the problem report function of ds/mpd, or if I should just post the question on the discussion board. Anyway, is there a rule of thumb or a preference?

A. Yes, there is a rule of thumb. Here's a list of problem types and how you can best get help for each:

1. You need to adjust the fit. For example, you have a wrinkle, or your garment does not hang right. You need to talk to somebody who sews. Sending in a problem report will not help, although the programmer can forward such reports to Kaaren. In this case it is best to post your concerns to the discussion board.

You are consistently getting a sloper that does not fit right. The pattern drafts properly. Others are using it without problem. But, yours does not fit. You need measuring advice. The discussion board could be useful, but a problem report would send in your measurements and anything that is obviously wrong can be spotted that way. Your best first step, however, would be to print out a full chart using a standard that is close to your size and see if any key measurement differs a lot while most differ a little. The differ-a-lot one should be looked at more. The most common issues are inseam and armhole depth (people tend to use garment measures, not body measures), side length (just hard to get right) and shoulder slopes (same).



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