Even though I had some success with Butterick Connie Crawford pattern as my first top in 4 years, 5538 -- LOVED the built in alterations -- I still want better. Life is more settled, but I am still busier than I was at one time. My ex or my Mom did all the cooking!! Now I have a husband who cannot boil an egg.
So, I thought about going back to Unique Patterns. Going to the website I see that they are now called "Fit Me Patterns". New owners! I saw that there were no new patterns added in quite a while. I had gotten a good fit right with the first dress, before the big life changes, and ordered 5 patterns. But, I never even sewed a muslin except for the fitted sheath dress.
So, I called and asked about the new company. I was told they would be rolling out a new website very soon, with new patterns. The measurements needed have increased, which is a good thing, and the patterns are now CAD drafted, and hand checked.
The convenience is that you don't have to print out patterns and tape them together. With the new measurements added, and the other body shape problems you can tell them about you should get a good fit. You can tell them what shape your seat is - flat, full, dropped. You can tell them you have a forward head or shoulders, round back, sway back, pendulous bust, knock knees, and a variety of other things. She said they absolutely take these things into account.
The problem is the expense. Each pattern is anywhere from $18 to $25. And all you get is one view. So, you really need to purchase a book on changing the styling. There are no variations whatsoever on any of the patterns.
Although at one time Unique had a deal with Simplicity/New Look, I don't look for that to continue. As I said, no new patterns in 3 years.
She told me there would be 3 new jackets at first, with embroidery (files included) and some other really neat features.
It does sound pretty exciting.
Then there is this new mystery custom pattern company coming soon. I signed up to recieve notification when it starts. I can't for the life of me find my email thanking me for signing up, or the thread on PatternReview talking about it. But, lots of folks are excited about it. I don't think it's Fit Me. I'll let you know when I do get the info on it via email. It promises patterns that fit you straight from the envelope. But, I'm sure that's after you tweak your measurements.
Then there is pattern software. There is Wild Ginger, My Pattern Designer, PMB, Bernina My Label to name just a few of the bigger companies.
I tried My Pattern Designer's demo. This company is the old Dress Shop. I seem to remember fooling with Dress Shop once before. Maybe I purchased it but it had to have been a download. So this time around with the demo, I didn't like it any better really. The patterns wouldn't print properly even with the recommended changes to the printer settings. The back bodice I drafted was way weird, even though I tried many measurement changes. And the wonkiness was in the armscye. I found the whole concept a little confusing - how you purchase and download, and how changes are made. I didn't find the forums very helpful. However, there were good features. You can print quarter size patterns, and there are literally hundreds of patterns to choose from. You can design your own pattern from all the choices and then purchase it. Or you can choose packages of patterns. I'm not sure how many come with the initial purchase. Pattern ordering seems like it would be slightly confusing at first.
You can choose regular pattern company sizing or input over 40 measurements in a basic program for $199, or input over 60 measurements in the larger program for $499. I agree that 60 something measurements should give an outstanding fit. But, that also opens the door to more complications. If something still doesn't fit properly, there are many interacting measurements to look at.
Many folks like this software, but it isn't for me.
I want something slightly simpler.
So, I'm going to try Bernina's My Label. Look for more postings on that. The 3D model simulation is what sold me. That and it's a bit simple. Not nearly as many garments as the other companies, but there are free new pattern downloads on the Bernina website. After registering you get free patterns and embroidery designs. I would imagine those are the ones included in the program.
Now, my goal is to do a shirt on that software, and compare the fit to one of my Unique Patterns I already own. I know my measurements have changed slightly since back when, but after taking a look at them and doing some quick re-checking, they haven't changed much. I was slighly smaller, but only slightly as I've gained but then lost some weight. So we shall see.