Using PatternMaker

What is CAD?

CAD stands for “computer-aided design.” CAD programs are most commonly found in fields that require drafting a blueprint, such as engineering and architecture. PatternMaker’s CAD program contains drawing and measuring tools to do the same things you would do on paper with pencil, ruler, French curve, etc. but with the speed and precision of a computer and without the time-consuming labor of drawing, measuring, and redrawing.

Why does PatternMaker not come with a 3-D model?

It was mostly was an issue of cost. PatternMaker’s goal is to develop software specifically with the independent fashion designer in mind. A large part of which means making sure the products are something he or she can actually afford. The amount of programming work that would have gone into creating a 3-D modeling feature would have been enormous and left us no choice, but to raise our prices. Rather than have that happen, we decided not to include it at this time. But later on, who knows?

Can I use PatternMaker to create specialized patterns?

Yes. There are no built-in limitations on the kinds of patterns or number of items you can draw with PatternMaker Professional Studio or higher. Where most sewing programs only allow one to create variations of a preprogrammed set of patterns, with PatternMaker the only limit is what you can dream up.

MacroGen allows pattern designers to translate their designs from their simple formulas based on measurements to a macro which can be read by PatternMaker.
MacroGen not only is used to create a macro, but illustrations, fitting rules and user style choices are added in. When a PatternMaker user runs the macro, it drafts a complete custom-fit garment pattern with designer created style options, ready to print.

Can I use PatternMaker for doll clothes and animal clothes?

Yes, with PatternMaker you can draw any pattern you like, the only limits are your imagination. However, when it comes to dolls, keep in mind the patterns we currently have are for adult proportions and will not work for doll clothes automatically. However, it is possible to create the pattern using adult measurements and then selectively scale it down to fit a doll.

Can I use PatternMaker with a fabric-cutting machine?

PatternMaker’s proprietary file format is not readable by cutting-machine software. We do support AutoCAD ™ DXF format . We are developing features to export patterns in DWG and DXF AAMA or DXF ASTM formats which are common exchange formats readable by cutting-machine software. Our DXF files can be manually edited in a CAD program to make them compatible but it takes some knowledge of the formats. Please contact us for detailed status.

How can I make my own macros and sell them?

PatternMaker offers two products that will help you make your own macros. MacroGen allows you to make “made to measure macros” and the Project Editor allows you to make “fixed size macros.” And the Collection Creator (soon to be released) will help you to bundle everything up into an .exe file that will install into PatternMaker.

We will offer more macro sets by other designers as they became available. However, be aware when purchasing a macro by another designer that they could be based on other fitting method system. The default fitting system in PatternMaker is the Scandinavian one.

What is the policy on refunds and exchanges?

PatternMaker software is NOT returnable once the unlock codes have been issued. We offer a free program and a free bodice macro just to make sure things will work before you have to spend any money! If something happens, please feel free to contact us at

What can I do with PatternMaker?

With PatternMaker you can:

use the computer-aided design (CAD) features to make your own patterns.

use our add-in patterns to let the program make custom-fit patterns for you.

begin with one of the add-in patterns and then use PatternMaker to modify it.

draw or draft a pattern for yourself with PatternMaker Professional Studio or higher. You can draw any shape you’d use in patternmaking, including all the dotted lines, arrows, lettering etc. Built-in measuring functions make your work very precise.
use our optional patterns to let the program make custom-fit patterns for you. (ALL versions of PatternMaker)

begin with one of our optional patterns and then use PatternMaker to modify it. (PatternMaker Deluxe Editor or higher)
print your pattern out and start cutting fabric. (ALL versions of PatternMaker)

Can I print to my large marker plotter?

If it has a Windows printer driver capability, yes. Details of implementation vary with plotter model. For specific help with your system, contact us.

Can I try a pattern before I buy PatternMaker?

We would suggest entering your own measurements into one of our free macros and then sew yourself a muslin version. Creating a pair of fitted women’s trousers is a fairly rigorous test for a computer program to perform, and we’re confident that you’ll like the results. The patterns are free for as long as you want them on your computer. You don’t have to take them off in 30 days. Only the CAD tools programs have a 30-day limit.

How can PatternMaker be used?

You can:

use the computer-aided design (CAD) features to make your own patterns.

use our add-in patterns to let the program make custom-fit patterns for you.

begin with one of the add-in patterns and then use PatternMaker to modify it.

What can I not do with PatternMaker?

PatternMaker is strictly a 2-D CAD program, designed for flat pattern work. It’s not intended for 3-D fitting or draping. You won’t see a 3-D image of the pattern. It does not show a finished garment while you’re working. Despite the similar-sounding names, it is not for designing fabric patterns either.