Thursday, June 2, 2011

5 Pattern Drafting Software for Sewing

One of the classes I took in College while I was getting my Degree in Fashion Design was a Software Evaluation class. We worked with 4 pattern drafting software in the class. Garment Designer by Cochenille Design Studio, Fittingly Sew by Knit Craft, Pattern Master Boutique by Wild Ginger Software and Dress Shop Pro by Living Soft. I'm going to add My Label by Bernina to make it a total of 5.

1. Garment Designer - Comes with all Standard Measurements built in, including infants, toddlers, children, juniors, petites, misses, women's and men's so you can design for the whole family it also includes some doll measurements. It thinks in pattern pieces and has all the pattern pieces you would need to create just about any design. You can easily click on the pattern points and bezier curves and do further pattern drafting of your pattern pieces. It has pattern intelligence built in, when you move the front hem it moves the back when you move the underarm point it automatically updates the sleeve cap. I enjoyed working with this program so much I now work for them.

2. Fittingly Sew - It took me a while to get a good fit out of this program. It had a fair amount of style options to choose from. Once I got the hand of it I was able to print out a pattern that worked. It gives you the ability to cut piece into sections and join pieces together so you could really get some weird shapes going on. It didn't have pattern intelligence so you needed to be really careful what pieces you were altering and make sure you went and updated the corresponding pieces.

3. Pattern Master Boutique - This program thinks in Designs. For example the Women's Wardrobe has blouses, dresses, jackets, coats, jumpsuits, pants, sheaths, and skirt Designs for Women. There are 5 individual packages. So the men taking the class had to design an outfit for one of the girls in the class because the college computer labs didn't have the Men's Wardrobe. You choose one of the designs in the category you want. You do have the ability to change the design by changing the neckline, adding darts, choosing different sleeves or collars and adding pockets. It was easy to use I would recommend this software to those that are just starting out with sewing and want to sew basic styles.

4. Dress Shop Pro - The teacher actually excused me from this assignment because no matter how I tweaked my measurements the software would not print out a pattern for me. The teacher and I work for 3 weeks on my measurements and never got a pattern. At least the other programs took the measurements no matter what they were and generated something. Not always perfect but never nothing. There are some reviews that had better results with the program. Like this one from Threads Magazine. There is also this one that has some really good comments.

5. My Label - If I were to ever cheat on my Garment Designer this is on I would try. The only reason I haven't is because of the price and the limited designs when they first came out. I see now on there website that the offer free design styles to add to your software. Why I would cheat on my Garment Designer: It just looks so cool, the 3D model of you, the ability to see the clothes on your figure (this is why the program is limited in styles it takes a long time to program Illustrate and write up each design). You also have the ability to embellish right on the screen, because Bernina does Embroidery software and Embroidery Machines this was the perfect addition to the program. If they ever come out with a Wedding dress Collection, I'm so there.


Jennifer said...

I had no idea there was pattern-making software. Then again, I don't know why that should surprise me, there's software for just about anything these days.

Great breakdown of the different types of software available. Another reason to make me want to learn to sew. :)

Ann @CreativeBoomer said...

Thanks for your review of these software. I hadn't heard of them in my searching. Garment Designer looks interesting and not expensive compared to others I’ve looked at.

Have you looked at WildGinger? I have their Curves (women’s bodywear). (

I also have the Women’s and Lingerie from PatternMaker ( though I haven’t used it much. Have you tried that one?

I make custom bras ( and was looking at software for this. But I haven’t been very pleased with what I’ve seen yet.

PatSloan said...

i started a 31 days craft team.. come join us!

Unknown said...


There are lots of great tools out there, to help you learn to sew, and to help make the Designing and the sewing easier.

Unknown said...


The Pattern Master Boutique is from Wild Ginger. The only thing I don't like about the software is that you have to buy all kinds of modules in order to be able to design everything for everyone. It is easy to use, and from what I understand it's a lot easier to edit in the newer versions. I was torture in the old versions.

To be honest there really isn't any good software out there for Bra's.

Unknown said...


I'm so there!

Kerry_Kid Giddy said...

Are these for PC only or MAC's too? I'm looking to start designing apparel - your list come at just the right time! Thanks, k
(I'm also doing the 31 days to a BBB! - I'm not used to writing lists - but my new post will be up tomorrow).

Keiko Zoll said...

Swinging by from SITS31DBB - I love your blog! Really lovely design and I love your blog title and what it means - so clever :) I'm not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, but these pattern software are really neat! Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Kerry, I totally forgot to mention that - Garment Designer is the only sewing software that is Mac Native the others require a windows emulator of some kind.

Unknown said...


Thank you for coming to visit. Your to kind.

Maria@BubblegumandDuctTape said...

wow, that's super cool. Love that you can customize patterns, a sewer's dream!

Angie Padilla said...

Hi, Sonia. I used to sew garments, until quilting took over. But I did invest in some of the Wild Ginger packages and really like them.

I'm in the SITS31DBB craft group, and wanted to pop in and say hi. I hope we will be able to share more on that forum.

shelley said...

Hi Sonia,
I wanted to stop by and say "hi" to all of our 31 day challenge ladies! I love hosting this as it is such a wonderful way to meet so many ladies who each have amazing and different stories to share! love your list here!!! Stunning pictures in your headed! Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter too!
shelley :)

Unknown said...


Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. That's a lot of people to visit. Yes, now I'm hoping my content becomes stunning - I figured I'd start from the Top down. hahaha.

Unknown said...


Wild Ginder has some good sewing packages. Quilting can take over a sewing room quickly.

Unknown said...


Thanks for coming by. All I do is change patters so I had to go find something to make it faster and easier.

Jody Pearl said...

Hi, thankyou for this post! I have been getting my patterns digitized by some else for a while and am now thinking (slow learner) that I should and probably can do it myself. I wonder if you could email me as I have a few questions regarding this program due to the fact that I work with a Mac. Thankyou for your time. Jody.

Ching Makes Things! said...

Hi Sonia, I was searching for Mac sewing pattern software and am so glad to read your post! Years before this I remember searching for pattern making software and most of them were made for PCs. Am really impressed with Garment Designer's video, it must be really fun for you to work for them. Thanks for sharing!! :)

Meg M. said...

Hi Sonia,
What a great post! I know it is several years old (sorry to revive an old thread!) but I am trying to make my final decision on software purchase and I have questions I couldn't answer anywhere else. Can you help, maybe?

The situation: I'm trying to choose between PatternMaster and Garment Designer. I was leaning toward Garment Designer because of PMB's higher a-la-carte module purchasing costs (adding PMK, for example), but I'm a little intimidated by having to KNOW HOW to make a pattern and that makes me lean back toward PatternMaker, where I can choose styles. Cuz, I've never been to design school. :(

My questions:
1) Does Garment Designer have anyt features to help with knits? (Because PatternMaster separates into two modules...)
2) Can you make coats and jackets in Garment Designer?

Thanks in advance if you can help with these questions.
Happy stitching, and kind regards!
Meg Martin

Unknown said...

Hi MK,
Choosing software all depends on what you want from it. You just have to make a list of the pro's and con's of each software and determine which will do what you want.

For instance, yes you will need to know what a pattern is supposed to look like when you use Garment Designer. Garment Designer does have over half a million different slopers to start with (by changing the necklines, armholes, style options and so forth is where that number comes from.) But that is the beauty of Garment Designer you are only held back by what you can pattern draft. Or you can buy set collections of styles that have been finalized as far as pattern drafting is concerned, but you are limited to the number or designs you buy.
Most people that have sewn for any long period of time knows how to alter patterns which essentially is pattern drafting.
1) No Garment Designer doesn't take the type of fabric into consideration, you need to know how you need the pattern drafted in order to use the fabric you want. (ie. for most knits you need to figure out the amount of negative ease that you need to build into a garment in order for it to fit correctly.
2) Yes, Garment Designer can do anything you can pattern draft, you start with a sloper that is close to what you want - for jackets coats - a relaxed fit, chose a collar you like from the drop down menu, sleeve style you want choose a style from the drop down menu and then draft by moving points around, how long you want it, how fitted you want it, how long you want the sleeves and so forth.
Hope this helps.


Related Posts with Thumbnails