Thursday, March 26, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Wendy, BJ, Gaylen, Faye Lewis, Gwen, SunnyQ, Celeste, Caity and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week! I confessed that I've never used any pattern drafting software.

I found it very interesting that, while some people have tried it and others haven't, no one who responded really raved about any of the pattern drafting software.

Based on the comments I got, it sounds like these programs present you with TWO learning challenges - first, you need to learn (or already know) something about pattern drafting in general and second, you need to learn the software interface.

Additional comments focused on the expense of the software, the technical hassles of getting it to run on anything other than a Windows platform (i.e., Mac or Linux), and the nuisance associated with taping together a bunch of 85. x 11 inch pieces of paper (although that doesn't bother everyone and there are other options - like going to a print shop, etc.).

(On a side note, when you consider pattern drafting software and this new trend of allowing you to download patterns from the internet, it does seem like there should be a market for some kind of specialized extra-wide printer for sewers...)

It seems to me that the software is supposed to serve two needs - pattern drafting and pattern fitting. It is certainly the case that everyone cares about fitting, but we have other ways to accomplish that (including BJ's recommendation of the Lutterloh system). And as for pattern drafting (on paper by hand), several people expressed a desire to learn how to do it and Wendy mentioned how much she loves it. So, we do care about those skills...

But as for the software itself, it doesn't sound like it has reached the status of indispensable tool for every sewer...

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to share your experiences and insights! :)

Good news - I just found out that a regular blog reader, Gwen of Gwensews, has started her own blog! If you haven't seen it yet, stop in and welcome her to the world of blogging! :)

Photo credit: (PatternMaker Drafting Software)


sewducky said...

They have large scale office printers that you can use for the home, that are on 60" x 500+' rolls.

Cost is largely prohibitive, but you can get them for $800+ if you look hard enough.

gwensews said...

I attended a lecture by the pattern drafting company ,Cochenille. Afterward, I determined I did not want to spend the time necessary to learn it. That company, and others as well offer a free demo to download if anyone wants to play around with the software and get an idea what is involved.

Webfrau said...

I was interested to go back and read BJs comment about her success with Lutterloh - I've had it for a couple of years and only last month finally got round to use it. I didn't have much success with a simple t-shirt pattern. I figure I probably did something stupid when I drafted it but hearing that someone else has had success gives me hope that I won't be wasting my time trying again.

meredithp said...

Someone already mentioned that there are already extra-wide printers...they're called "Plotters", and generally much expensive. Then...where to store the plotter, and fund the supplies. For now, I'm sticking with a roll of vellum and pencil :-)