News You Can Use
LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 16


    All About
Dress Shop 9!

The Dress Shop 9 Upgrade is so full of new tools, patterns and revised patterns I really don’t know where to start.

So I guess starting at the beginning would be best. We have been reviewing older patterns for some time and began a slow and deliberate review of them. Many were made a decade or more ago when the technology was limited. We improved many things, added many new features and the code kept changing on an annual basis; but, those older patterns remained in limbo. It was time to clean them up and rebuild them.

It took months of work but 294 of these “core” or default patterns were rebuilt- all with the same names so you don’t come up shy on your pattern count. The rebuilt patterns follow the intent of the original design lines but have the advantage of using the newer tools, collars, fit levels, stretch factors and sleeve types that have been developed since they were originally offered giving you many hundreds of additional variations. The new options are just “there” and available for you to use, expanding your pattern library immensely.

Next we created the DS9 Bonus collection, included FREE with your upgrade! This exciting new collection includes 23 designer patterns that show-case the newest Dress Shop features. This collection is not for sale and is only available with a Dress Shop upgrade. The patterns reflect new design elements and styles you haven’t seen before in Dress Shop such as shirred patterns, Grecian necklines and some swim suits that are more advanced than what was offered before. You can Load patterns from this collection from File>Load Patterns>DS9 Bonus.

Complete pattern instructions and additional articles have been added to the “How to” Library.

Dress Shop 9 also includes powerful new design tools to help you get more of what you want from your Dress Shop pattern library.

The Swimwear Customizer - creates an incredible array of swimsuits including one-piece, two-piece, bikini, Grecian, Tankini, swim dress, skirtini and more.
Now you can pick the front and back neck style from over a dozen classic selections from a Cami to Grecian or tube, and though we have selected a default or starting depth – you get to adjust it to your ideal placement.

You may also select the leg cut- from a full panty to a French Hikini and the backside coverage as well.
The tool has everything on a single page. As you pass your cursor over each selection you get to see a photo of what our terms mean making your selection much easier. Just start on the left and work towards the right to design a custom swim suit you know will fit!

To get started with this new design tool, click the "Tool Help" button to read an article on how to use the Tool.

The Collar Designer - with over 50 new collar types and settings to create your own unique designs. All existing collars were completely revised and enhanced. The new collars have an upper collar, under collar and interfacing pieces, they have improved shape, form and design lines. The fit has been greatly improved and notches have been added at shoulder, and on the front bodice.

The over collar is designed to be cut on the fold, while the under collar is designed to be cut 2 on the bias, and the interfacing is minus the seam allowance to reduce bulk. So you have good grain lines, notches and fit.

Further you can actually set the neck and collar seam allowances to a smaller value than the rest of your garment. You don’t have to stop and re-trim them.
Under File>Settings you can ‘always’ select a narrower neck/collar allowance on all patterns, or you can set them under Options> pattern settings on a pattern by pattern basis.

Grecian Halter Designer – Adds a new bodice style with tons of options. All these tools have photo graphics to give you an immediate visual aid to help you make your selection.

Add a Grecian Halter to blouses, dress, nightwear, or swim suits. Adjust the Cup size for better fit and shaping.

And raise or lower the back neck as desired. Tie the halter straps, or fasten with a button and slight overlap. Wrap the front “cups” for more coverage or expose as desired with a string style.

Ladies- I don’t care how many years are on your calendar – no woman outgrows the desire to be wrapped in a little silk now and then- think Nightgown in a silky stretch lingerie fabric in the privacy of your own home!! (It can be your little secret).

Shirring and Gathers Tool - turn any one-piece dress, two-piece dress, blouse, skirt or nightgown from ordinary to stylish with this added flourish.

This is an amazing tool - select where you want the shirr, gather, ruching, how much you want to pleat out in total and how many pleats you want click and show it. The pattern will adjust automatically by adding that pleated out fabric dimension into your pattern. Shirr just the front or front and back.

Now you are ready for a fabulous evening out or to make that fab dress your young relative needs for a prom or bridal party.

Dress Shop 9 also adds Caftan Sleeves, Pleated Necks, and Draping Turtleneck styles available now with most tops. Wander thru the new design tools and options to learn more about these new features and how you can use them in your own projects. Click here to learn more:


Special Offer
through May 30!

$30 off your purchase of the Spring and Summer 2011 Collection if you have upgraded to Dress Shop 9 at the same time or earlier.

Click here to learn more

The 2011
Spring and Summer Collection

The Spring and Summer 2011 Collection includes 32 unique custom patterns made, tested, and repeatedly refined by our design team to support the latest fashion trends of the season. This collection includes a number of new features never before available in Dress Shop.

One of the big new features included in this collection are jackets with trim. Carolyn made the lightweight Unlined Princess Jacket with fringed trim.

June also did a trimmed jacket, showing how a few easy embellishments can really dress up even a pattern as easy to make as this one.

The Vee Notch neckline is showing up everywhere this season, so we added one to this latest seasonal collection. Joyce came up with a light and airy Vee Notch Stretch Top.



Selma combined a raglan sleeve with the Vee Notch neckline to make the clever Raglan Vee Notch Top.

The new swimsuit tool included with the Dress Shop 9 upgrade, provided a number of new features that were incorporated into this seasons collection. The new swim dress design was Luz's choice.

Luz also made a Pleated Empire Swimsuit.

Nancy came up with the clever Faux Cowl blouse, using an oversized and floppy turtleneck to mimic the more difficult true cowl neckline.

Both June and Nancy made one of these cute tops and the faux cowl is as attention getting as a regular one.

Carolyn made The Modern Linen Jacket, another lightweight seasonal favorite.

Nany's Cascade Jacket also provides a dressy look without the weight of bulkier jacket.

The Spring and Summer 2011 Collection also includes a new Waisted Jacket, several Johnny Collar patterns, a Tennis Dress, pleated neck swimsuits, and many others. So, do come by the web site and see the full list and get your copy today!

Learn more or order yours now....




Customer Service Q&A

Q. Where did the Dress Shop pattern menu go and why did it change?

A. Over many years, Dress Shop added more and more patterns until the pattern menus just over-flowed. With over 700 patterns being created in code, as they were selected from that in-program menu, the program just got slower and more cumbersome with each new pattern added. With the current Dress Shop, we moved those patterns into saved pattern files, stored on disk where Windows could keep track of them for us. The program got faster and there are no longer any limitations regarding adding more patterns. To get your patterns now, use File - Load Pattern. Inside the folder named "MyPatterns" check the folders for blouses or dresses or whatever and you should find your patterns there. You will also see folders for each seasonal collections. Inside those are the patterns that came with each of those collections. The ones you own should load and print. The ones you do not own will not be printable, but you can look at them to see if you might find them interesting.

Q. Where are the option buttons and how have those changed?

A. As more options and more design tools were added, the column of buttons at the left side of the drafting window was getting too tall and crowded for many users' displays. We moved the options and design tools into drop down menus from the top menu bar. And, they were simplified so that only those options appropriate for a given pattern are shown. All the usable options are there and then some.

Q. How can I tell if it is worth upgrading from Standard to Pro?

A. When you run Dress Shop Standard, every dialog box will show you options that are available with Pro. These are disabled and highlighted in red. You can see them but not use them unless you upgrade to Pro. If you notice that a lot of interesting features are highlighted, then you might wish to upgrade.

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