Dress Shop User Manual
DRESS SHOP™
Family of Products
Dress Shop
Computer Generated Clothing Patterns for Women, Men, Girls and Boys
Designed by Kaaren Hoback
and Robert Clardy
Programmed by Robert Clardy
with Craig Clayton and Greg Hightower
Illusions patterns and instructions by Kaaren Hoback
Abby Rose Doll and Art Designers:
Marian Jasper and Alice Leverett
Copyright © 2002 / 2009 by
NW Synergistic Software, Inc.
Published by NW Synergistic Software, Inc. dba
Livingsoft Northwest
DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
Dress Shop User Manual Table of Contents
Quick Start Guide to Dress Shop ................................................................................................... 6
Quick Start Guide to Doll Shop Deluxe......................................................................................... 6
Activating Products.............................................................................................................................................. 7
Setting User Preferences ...................................................................................................................................... 7
Page Set up - Setting up your printer ................................................................................................................. 7
Getting Started: .................................................................................................................................................... 8
The Top Menu Bar............................................................................................................................................... 9
The File Menu .................................................................................................................................................... 9
The Size Menu ................................................................................................................................................... 9
The Options Menu............................................................................................................................................ 10
The Design Tools Menu................................................................................................................................... 10
The Help Menu................................................................................................................................................. 10
Measurements ............................................................................................................................... 11
The Measurement Wizard................................................................................................................................. 12
The Easy Doll Chart........................................................................................................................................... 13
The Complete Measurement Chart .................................................................................................................. 14
Fit Test Garments............................................................................................................................................... 15
Loading a Pattern ......................................................................................................................... 16
Pattern Options ............................................................................................................................. 17
Pattern Settings .................................................................................................................................................. 17
Length Options ................................................................................................................................................... 17
Sleeve Options..................................................................................................................................................... 17
Neckline Options ................................................................................................................................................ 18
Closure Options .................................................................................................................................................. 18
Dart and Pleat Options ...................................................................................................................................... 19
Shaping and Finish Options .............................................................................................................................. 19
Vent, Pleat or Godet Options ........................................................................................................................... 19
Extra Pattern Pieces Options ............................................................................................................................ 20
Option Summary Report ................................................................................................................................... 20
Design Tools................................................................................................................................... 21
Empire Waist Customizer ................................................................................................................................. 21
Fit Customizer .................................................................................................................................................... 21
The Complete Pants Customizer ...................................................................................................................... 22
Ruffle, Flounce and Peplum Tool ..................................................................................................................... 23
Yoke Customizer ................................................................................................................................................ 23
Printing Patterns ........................................................................................................................... 24
Constructing Your Patterns......................................................................................................... 24
Pattern Diagrams .......................................................................................................................... 25
The Fabric Layout Tool................................................................................................................ 27
General Pattern Preparation ....................................................................................................... 29
Fabric Preparation ....................................................................................................................... 33
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
Taking Dress Shop Measurements.............................................................................................. 34
Marking and Measuring .................................................................................................................................... 34
Marking Your Body ......................................................................................................................................... 34
Measuring Your Body ...................................................................................................................................... 36
Common Measuring Mistakes.......................................................................................................................... 42
How to Adjust Your Measurements ................................................................................................................. 44
How to Make Your Bodice Sloper Fit .............................................................................................................. 44
Common fit problems and likely adjustments.................................................................................................. 45
How To Make Your Pants Sloper Fit ............................................................................................................... 46
Constructing .................................................................................................................................. 51
Constructing and Adjusting the Pant Fit Garment................................................................... 57
Constructing Necklines ................................................................................................................ 61
A Polo Neck......................................................................................................................................................... 61
A Funnel Neck .................................................................................................................................................... 66
A Turtleneck ....................................................................................................................................................... 70
A Cowl Neck ....................................................................................................................................................... 72
Constructing .................................................................................................................................. 74
The Darted Sleeve............................................................................................................................................... 75
The Two Piece Sleeve ......................................................................................................................................... 75
The Lantern Sleeve............................................................................................................................................. 76
Software License and Limited Warranty ................................................................................... 79
Index............................................................................................................................................... 82
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
Dress Shop ™
Welcome to the pattern-designing software created with discriminating sewers in mind. Dress Shop (DS) not only
includes patterns to get you started, but also lets you choose which additional patterns, design features and options you
want! Every pattern is custom drafted to your design choices and your body measurements.
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Design and purchase only the patterns you want.
Start with the Measurement Wizard or Standard Sizes charts.
All patterns work with all sizes.
The best way to learn the Dress Shop program is to play with it. Once you have activated your program, set your User
Preferences and have set up your printer, become familiar with the menus and icons in the program referring to the
instructions below. Instructions on using the many tools and features to further refine your garment designs, along
with detailed sewing instructions are provided in the Help menu and in the following pages of this User Manual.
Quick Start Guide to Dress Shop
Your Fit Test Garment is the most important step to getting that ‘perfect fit’. Please read through the following steps,
which are designed to get you up and sewing quickly.
1. From the Size menu, select the standard size closest to what you need. Use your bust and hip size to determine the
size to select. The upper and lower body sizes you select do not have to be the same. Don’t worry about getting that
‘perfect fit’ in the beginning. Start with a better than ‘ready-to-wear’ fit, then fine-tune after you have a good
starting point.
2. Once you have selected your size, return to the Size menu, select Fit Test Patterns, then “Casual Blouse”. There are
several other fit test patterns that you can get to later, but let’s start with this one to get the basics right.
3. Print your fit test pattern and make a fit test garment. (Instructions for printing and constructing your pattern are on
Page 23.) The Fit Test Patterns dialog box contains a HELP button that will take you to the instructions to walk you
through what fit test patterns are for, and how to use them to refine your measurements.
4. Once you have made your initial fit test garment and know where you need to fine-tune, do your adjustments to
your measurements and move on the next fit test pattern. Once you have a good set of measurements, you are ready
to start creating your custom fitting garments.
5. Dress Shop comes with a ddi t i on a l patterns included. To use these additional patterns, you must activate your
copy of Dress Shop. From the File menu, select “Activate Product”. Enter the email address and password that you
used when you purchased Dress Shop. Click on the “Activate Products” button. The program will check with the
Livingsoft Northwest web site and download activation codes for any product(s) or pattern collections that you own.
Your products and patterns will be activated. The patterns you own are now available to print.
6. To work with a pattern, use the File>Load Pattern menu, select the sub-folder for the garment style you wish to
work on: Blouse, Dress, Pants, etc. Every pattern in your patterns folder is yours to print, re-design using the Options
menu, save, and print again in any sizes and with any options, as often as you like.
Quick Start Guide to Doll Shop Deluxe
The Dress Shop patterns and features should all work for doll sized measurements. Standard doll charts can be found in
the Doll Charts folder when you use File – Load Measurements. To make your own Abby Rose doll, see File – Make
Your Own Doll. Select each feature and print the directions you need. Use the “Help” buttons there for additional
directions. Art for all facial features is provided for several hand sewing as well as for a number of automated embroidery
machines. The Make Your Own Doll help article provides additional directions.
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
Activating Products
When you run Doll Shop Deluxe, the first thing you
should do is activate it so it can print. From the File menu,
select Activate Products. Enter the email address and
password you used when you purchased. The program will
check your account on-line and activate whatever you
own. All owned patterns will be copied into the
“MyPatterns” folder. Those patterns may be printed. You
can also enter activation codes manually if your sewing
computer does not have an Internet connection.
Setting User Preferences
Use the File > Settings option to set your program for your
preferences. Here you will select measurement preferences,
printing and display options. Click in the boxes for your
choices, and all marked choices will be activated. You can
change your User Preferences at any time by using the File >
Settings option.
Page Set up - Setting up your printer
Use the File > Page Setup option to get your printer ready to print your
patterns. Here, you will verify that the correct paper size, margins, and
printer are selected.
Dress Shop uses your Windows default printer. If you have more than one
printer connected to your computer, verify that you will be using the
correct printer. Additionally, you will need to set your margins. Most
people have an easier time with this step if they use multiples of a quarter
inch or even numbers of centimeters. All entries in Page Setup should be
decimal (not fractional) values.
In order to insure that the entire pattern prints properly, each sheet must
draft to match what your printer is set up to print. If your printer is using
8.5" by 11" paper and has half-inch margins all around, then each sheet
can contain 7.5" by 10" of your pattern. Dress Shop needs to know these
numbers so it can draft properly. Use the controls on this page to instruct
Dress Shop about your printer setup.
Be sure that your printer will support the margins you set or you may end up missing your match targets or pieces of
your patterns. If you are missing your side targets
, increase your side margins. (Targets print on the sides only, not
top and bottom.) If you are not getting the full length of your pattern, increase the top and bottom margins.
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For complete information on printing, refer to the Printing section of this User Manual.
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
Getting Started:
Take some time to get familiar with the program screen and the functions of all of the buttons.
A. Printer Icon - The Printer icon takes you to the Print screen to print out an owned pattern. Patterns that are being
previewed may not be printed. The red X on the print icon indicates that printing is disabled for this pattern. The
red X will not display on patterns that have been purchased.
B. Set Scale – Clicking on the Scale icon will step through the scales of Auto (Fit to screen), 25%, 50%, and Full
Scale, and then back to ‘Auto’. Click on the down pointing arrow to display the Scale menu and select the size you
want.
C. Grid Icon -The 1-inch (or 2cm.) grid can be turned on or off using this icon. Use the grid to measure your pattern
on screen in any scale.
E. Measurement Display Icon - This icon will let you view the measurement reference lines and amounts on your
pattern. The “Reference Lines Only” will display where your measurements are in the pattern (bust, waist, ab,
hips, etc.). “Lines and Values” will display the reference lines along with your measurements, indicated with a
dashed Cyan line, plus ease that is in the garment, indicated with the Violet line. Each click on the “Meas” icon will
step through Measurements Off, Reference Lines Only, Lines and Values, and back to Measurements Off. Clicking
on the down pointing arrow will display the Measurement Display menu options.
F. Reference Pattern Icon - Toggle your sloper (Fit Test Garment) to display under the garment you are drafting to
compare ease. Clicking on the Reference pattern icon displays the following: Reference Off, Sloper with no
adjustments, Foundation Pattern, Pattern with zero ease. Clicking on the down pointing arrow will display the
Reference Pattern menu options.
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
G. View Pattern Icon – Clicking on the View icon will step through the views of Right side, Left side, Both sides
(unfolded), and then back to Right side. Clicking on the down pointing arrow will display the View Pattern menu
options.
H. Show All Pieces - Displays all of the pattern pieces for your garment.
I. Front - Only the front pattern pieces will display on the screen.
J. Back - Only the back pattern pieces will display on the screen.
K. Sleeve - Only the sleeve pattern pieces will display on the screen.
L. Facings - Only the facings will display on the screen.
M. Extras – Only your selected Extras, such as pockets, belt loops, waistband, etc. will display on the screen.
N. Pattern Name
O. The Body icon will change the body size of the model.
P. Use the solid colored icon
to display solid colors on the selected garment,
to display various fabrics on the garment.
Q. Use the fabric icon
R. Pattern Legend – Describes each of the various lines on the pattern along with the measurement set being used.
The Top Menu Bar
The File Menu:
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Start a new garment.
Load your included patterns and/or retrieve your purchased patterns.
Create and save several designs from one pattern.
Activate and set up the program to your preferences.
Setup your margins and paper size for printing your patterns.
Determine how much fabric you will need for your garments.
Preview a different DS version.
Close the program.
The Size Menu:
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Select a Standard size, from infant’s 3 months, up to Women’s size 40 & Men’s size 60.
Use the Measurement Wizard to get started quickly with just 5 measurements.
The Complete Measurement chart allows you to enter, display, or edit all 61 measurements
used to draft Dress Shop patterns.
Draft your Fit Test Patterns to verify or adjust your measurements.
Load saved measurements.
Import measurements from an earlier version of Dress Shop. If you own an earlier
version of Dress Shop, upon opening Dress Shop 8, your personal measurement files are
automatically imported. If you should ever need to repeat that, use the “Import
Measurements” option to get a fresh copy of your old charts.
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DRESS SHOP™ - GETTING STARTED
The Options Menu provides additional options for your patterns, allowing you to create multiple garments from a
single pattern. You will use the Options menu to edit the patterns that were included with your program, along
with any future patterns or collections you purchase. Select your garment length, options for sleeves such as style of
cuff or no cuff. Edit the shape and depth for your neckline, adjust the ease in your garment, add pleats, edit darts, or add
pockets.
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You can create many new looks from your purchased patterns by using the Options
menu.
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Set your preferred seam allowances, hems and facings widths in the Pattern Settings.
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Only the Options that work with the currently displayed garment will be
available.
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Review and print out your selected design changes using the Options Summary.
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Be sure to review the Options section of this manual to learn how to use these tools.
The Design Tools Menu provides more in-depth design tools that you
can use to customize your patterns even more. Each tool is specific to some
effect or type of garment and provides options, settings, and adjustments for that
feature
The Help Menu contains links to the web site and sewing sites, and i s where you can submit a problem
report. Join the Discussion Board for lots of friendly, experienced users’ advice, post questions, and perhaps locate
an Educator or User’s Group near you.
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Access the User Manual.
Review or print detailed sewing instructions for garment you are working on..
You can also see at a glance which patterns you own by selecting “What do
I own” from the Help menu.
Visit the Livingsoft Northwest website and check for updates, discounts, and special
offers.
Join the discussion board and get advice and ideas from other customers.
Help Central can answer many of your questions.
When submitting a Problem Report, be sure that you have the size, and garment
that you are encountering problems with, on the screen.
Quickly see which patterns and/or collections you own.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MEASUREMENTS
Measurements
There are several ways to use the measurements in Dress Shop.
Standard Sizes
Select Standard Sizes from the Size menu,
select your Body Shape. You can choose from Misses’, Women’s,
Men’s, Girl’s, Boy’s, or Children’s sizes. Then find the Upper and
Lower Body size that you would normally wear. Upper and lower
sizes do not have to be the same. Adjust the Height and Fullness
options that best describe your Build.
You can then save your measurement choices, or further edit your
selections by selecting the “Advanced” option.
In the Advanced window, you
can edit your selected sizes.
This is where you can edit
measurements that you know
are non-standard, such as
bicep, bust or hips. When you
change a measurement, it will
be marked with a 9. Once you
have made your adjustments
to your measurements, select
Save, and in the resulting
window, give them a unique
name, such as your name and
the date: Mary Feb. 2010.
You can review or change any
of these measurements at any
time by using Size>Load
Measurements.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MEASUREMENTS
Because the clothing industry’s “standard sizes” vary considerably, it is sometimes difficult to know which ‘standard
size’ to select. If you are not sure about which standard size to choose, use the Measurement Wizard for a quick start.
Just enter a few key body measurements, and the program will look up the nearest matching upper and lower body size
charts that match you, and adjust them to your height and inseam. You can then fine-tune the results in the advanced
window.
The Measurement Wizard: Select Size followed by Measurement Wizard from the top tool bar. In the
Wizard, your first option is to select a Body Shape. You can choose Misses’, Women’s, Men’s, Girl’s, Boy’s, or
Children’s.
Once you have selected the body shape, you will enter 5 basic measurements into the chart and DS will find the
standard size closest to the measurements you have entered.
Height
Bust
Waist
Hip
Inseam
Enter the total height measuring from the floor to the top of the head.
Measuring at the fullest part of the bust, enter the total circumference.
Enter the total circumference of the waist.
Measuring at the widest part of the hip, keeping the tape level to the floor, enter the total circumference.
Measure from the crotch to the floor.
You can then further edit the determined
measurement set by selecting the Advanced
button. Here, you can verify and / or edit any
measurements that you know need to be
changed. When you make a change to any
measurement, it will be marked with a 9.
Once you have your measurements adjusted,
select ‘Save’ to save your measurements,
giving them a distinct name.
You can change or review
measurements at any time by
Size>Load Measurements.
these
using
Be sure to refer to the Measurements section of this manual to learn how to take your measurements correctly. 12
DRESS SHOP ™ - MEASUREMENTS
The Easy Doll Chart
For Doll Shop Deluxe users, your doll measurements may be entered or adjusted using the Easy Doll Chart from the
Size menu. It looks like this:
If you adjust any of the values in this chart, select that entry box and click on the “Help” button at the bottom of the
chart for a detailed picture and directions for how to take that measurement. Section of this user manual titled
“Taking Doll Deluxe Measurements” also describes how to measure. Once you have done your best with the tape,
though, you may have to adjust a few values further, based on the fit of the Fit Test patterns. If the waist is loose,
reduce the waist measurement and try again. There really is not easier way to fine tune these numbers. Dolls are
small and the precise way that each person holds the tape and how close you can get to the proper location on your
doll just vary slightly from person to person and hand adjusting just cannot always be avoided.
If you have done all you can with this chart and still have some fit issues that you are not satisfied with, you can view
and edit every body measurement value that Doll Shop Deluxe uses using The Complete Measurement Chart.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MEASUREMENTS
The Complete Measurement Chart
When you are ready for more advanced control over your patterns, the Complete Measurement Chart allows you to
enter all of your personal measurements that Dress Shop uses, for a completely custom fit for all of your garments.
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Use the Size>Complete Chart option to access the measurement chart
For assistance in getting your measurements done properly, use the “Help on Measurements” link at the top of
the chart or refer to the Measurements section of the User Manual.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MEASUREMENTS
Fit Test Garments
Under the Size menu, you will also see the option for “Fit
Test Garments”. There are four test patterns (slopers),
drafted with almost no ease to verify your measurements. The
patterns used for Fit Test Garments (slopers) are:
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A Casual blouse (no waist darts) that drafts to hip level.
A fitted pant that drafts to waist level.
The Torso Garment is a fitted shirt that drafts to the hips.
The Bodice which is a fitted blouse that drafts to waist
level.
Select the garment you wish to use, followed by the ‘Done’
button.
Detailed information on Fit Test Garments, and how to use
these patterns, is available from the Help button. You can also
refer the Fit Test Garments section of this manual.
15
DRESS SHOP ™ - DESIGNING
Loading a Pattern
Dress Shop comes with patterns included. To load these patterns, use the File>Load Pattern menu. This will result in a
screen displaying sub-folders. Some of those include additional sub-folders (the Dress folder includes Fitted Dresses,
Princess Dresses, Formal Dresses, etc.). And, within them all are the patterns that you own.
* Never load your Fit Test Garments from the File>Load Pattern menu. Always use the Size>Fit Test Garments menu.
When you select the general garment type, you may
see sub-folders within it. For blouses, there are fitted,
halter, princess, and unfitted sub-types. Open the subtype you wish and all blouses of that sub-type will be
listed for you to select from.
When you see the pattern you want, click on it to load
it. Use the Options menu for all design editing
of included and purchased patterns. When you have
finished your design edits and want to save the
pattern, use the File>Save Pattern menu. Give
your edited garment a new name and select Save. The edited patterns will be saved in the appropriate subfolder for the category of garments, such as Blouse, Dress, or Pants folder. Use the File>Load Pattern> followed by
the appropriate folder to load your saved patterns.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - DESIGNING
Pattern Options
To edit or to see all the possible variations for your selected design, select the Options menu. Some examples are:
Pattern Settings
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Set your seam allowance, hem width, and facings
preferences here.
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Available pattern settings will be determined by the
garment selected.
Length Options
♦ The Length option will allow you to select the length of
your garment.
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The Length Selection window will have different
settings available depending on the garment you are
working on.
Sleeve Options
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Select the specific sleeve type you wish.
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Add design changes to your selected sleeve.
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Add a cuff style.
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Adjust the sleeve shape.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - DESIGNING
Neckline Options
♦ Select design options for the Neckline and Collars. Which neck types are available depends on the pattern.
♦ Raise, lower, or extend your neckline opening.
♦ Change the look of your neckline.
♦ Add a collar with the click of the mouse.
♦ Available options for Necklines will depend on the neckline selected.
Some of neckline styles provided by the Neckline Option dialog are only available with Dress Shop Pro. When
running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
Closure Options
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Select the closure you want, whether it’s a full
front button or short back teardrop placket.
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Set placket height or width.
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Available closure options will vary by
garment type.
Some of closure selections provided by the Closure Option dialog are only available with Dress Shop Pro. When
running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - DESIGNING
Dart and Pleat Options
♦ Change the Dart styles. Remove them or add how many
and where you want them.
♦ Add a Shoulder or Center Seam Dart.
♦ Edit the look of your garment with a Low French Dart.
♦ Enter the desired width, length, angle, and offset of your
darts.
♦ Available options for editing your darts and pleats will be
determined by the currently selected garment
Many of the dart adjustments provided by the Dart and Pleat Options dialog are only available with Dress Shop Pro.
When running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
Shaping and Finish Options
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Set or adjust the shape of the hemline – flat, curved,
shirt tail, with or without ribbing, and much more,
depending on the garment..
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Increase or reduce the flare of the skirt.
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Available options will be determined by the garment
selected.
Vent, Pleat or Godet Options
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Select the type of vent, pleat, or godet that
you wish from the drop list box.
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Set the width and height of your inserts.
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Decide where you want them placed –
outseam, center seam, gore seam, etc.
Several of the insert types provided by the Inserts Option dialog are only available with Dress Shop Pro. When
running Dress Shop Standard, those selections will be highlighted in red.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - DESIGNING
Extra Pattern Pieces Options (pockets, waistbands, flys, belt loops, etc.)
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Use the drop list boxes to select the extra pattern bits you want to add. Choose from Cargo, Patch or Inseam pockets.
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By selecting Advanced, you can change the width and height of your pockets and pocket entry, belts, and
fly.
Available options will be determined by the currently selected garment.
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Option Summary Report
Keep a record of the design changes you have made to your patterns by printing out the Options Summary, which is
under the Options menu. When you are happy with your design changes, select “ Options Summary”, add special
comments, and keep track of the changes made to each pattern.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
Design Tools
The Dress Shop design tools are much more advanced ways to customize your pattern. The notes here provide a brief
overview of each tool, but you should review the tool help provided with each tool for more detailed descriptions and
examples.
Empire Waist Customizer is only
available with Empire Waisted or Midriff Panel
patterns. For those patterns, it allows you to
adjust:
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The vertical location of the empire line.
Enter positive values to move that position
down or negative values to move it up.
Whether or not you have extra fabric
above the empire line, or below the
empire line for gathers.
Set an Empire Wrap amount, where the
bodice above the empire line overlaps at
the center, as showing in the photo at the
left.
Set the Center Rise amount, where the
empire line curves up at center for a
trendy look.
Many of the options and adjustments provided by Empire Waist Customizer are only available with Dress Shop Pro.
When running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
Fit Customizer allows you to adjust your
pattern for differing fabric types (knit stretch,
woven, slinky, etc.), for your intended use of this
pattern (dress occasion, casual occasion, relaxed
fit for lounging, etc.), and finally for specific fit
needs that you have (biceps or thighs that expand
more than typical, for instance).
First, select the general fit type – form-fitted,
standard fit, casual fit, comfort fit, or one of the
stretch fit types. All default ease amounts suitable
to that fit type are set for you.
Then, only if you need it, you can adjust the ease
at any particular body location that you believe
needs a bit more – or a bit less -- breathing space.
Many of the options and adjustments provided by Fit Customizer are only available with Dress Shop Pro. When
running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
The Complete Pants Customizer
The Complete Pants Customizer includes 57 pants foundation patterns, divided into Active, Casual, Career, Jeans, Shorts,
and Work pants categories. Clicking on the category tabs at the top will display the list of basic foundation patterns of that
type in the leftmost panel.
Owners of Dress Shop Standard will own 4 foundation patterns only. Dress Shop Pro owners receive an additional 4. With
purchase of the Complete Pants Customizer tool, you will own all 57 of the foundation patterns.
The Pants Customizer includes every setting and option available for pants pattern, including fit types, ease settings,
waistline levels, darts, pleats, yokes, waistbands, length, hem style, and vents. A wide assortment of pockets, including the
Slenderizer Pocket, an ingenious style that can comfortably flatten the tummy in addition to providing storage, is available.
At the top left are additional tabs that revise the right most panel to display options for ease, fit adjustments and pattern
settings such as pocket size, pocket openings, waistband size, dart size and more. Click on each to see what is there.
The Summary button at the bottom will display a complete summary of every pants setting selected that you can print out to
document just what was used with any of your projects.
Use the Tool Help button at the bottom for a more detailed discussion of this tool.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
Ruffle, Flounce and Peplum Tool
Ruffle, Flounce and Peplum Design
Tool allows you to add embellishments
to any of your patterns at the neck,
wrist, hemline, or closure.
When you run your mouse over the
“Types of Adornment”, photos
illustrating each option will appear in
the rightmost panel.
As you select any type, the center panel
will display all settings and adjustments
suitable for that option. Be sure to read
the reference article about ruffles,
flounces and peplums for a more
detailed, illustrated discussion.
Yoke Customizer
Yoke Customizer Tool allows you to
add a yoke to most blouse, dress, pants,
skirts, coat, jacket, or loungewear
patterns. Different yoke styles are
available for tops versus pants and
skirts.
The settings in the right panel allow
you to customize your yoke, varying
the basic placement as well as the shape
of the yoke line. You can widen the
pattern below the yoke to provide for
gathers.
Many of the options and adjustments provided by Yoke Customizer are only available with Dress Shop Pro. When
running Dress Shop Standard, those options will be highlighted in red.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
Printing Patterns
DS uses your default Windows printer for printing your patterns. Patterns can be printed on standard 8 ½ X 11 paper,
fanfold paper, or, if you have a plotter, the large sheets or rolls of paper. Use the File>Page Setup to configure your
printer and paper size accordingly.
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View and print either the right, left pieces or both sides (unfolded). Choose to display and print 1” grid
lines to easily measure your garment on screen or printed.
♦
Selecting Reference Lines, you can view and print your pattern with key body lines for easy reference:
high bust, bust, waist, ab, and so on.
♦
The measurement lines are in cyan, the measurement + ease lines are shown in purple.
When you are ready to print your pattern, select the Print icon. The following image shows the print window with the
pattern scale set to 25%, showing all pieces. The yellow grids indicate how many pages it will take to print the entire
pattern at the selected scale. The displaying page is highlighted in red in the grid box.
Left click in any grid box to view that section of the pattern.
Right click to select any grid box for printing.
All pages that are blue will be printed when the Print Selected Page(s) option is selected.
Print Selected Pages will print all selected pages of the displaying pattern piece, such as bodice front or sleeve, not
all patterns pieces in the garment, such as front, back, sleeve, etc.
Select All, or Clear All grid boxes with a click of the mouse. Click to view the Next Pattern Piece of the garment.
Use the Sewing Instructions button to view and/or print out the sewing instructions for the current pattern.
Select Done Printing to clear the print screen and return to the main window.
24
DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
When you select Full Scale, the grid will change to show how many pages will be
required to print the pattern.
Print all of the pages, or just the pages you want.
By using the Select All option, all pieces are highlighted in blue, selected, and ready to print by using Print Selected
Page(s). This will print all of the pages of the displaying pattern piece.
The page that is displaying on your screen will always be highlighted in red. You can click
through the grid to view the different sections of the currently displayed pattern piece.
Or select just the pages you want to print by single right-clicking on them to mark for
printing. When you have all your pages marked, select Print Selected Page(s).
Now that you have a pattern you are ready to print, you need to be sure that it will fill the page the way you wish it to.
You may want to print out a test page to verify that you have done the Page setup properly. If you are not satisfied with
the results, then go back to the Page Setup and correct the settings.
If you find that you are missing the very bottom edge or side of a pattern, increase your margins. This often happens
when printing pants. The back pattern may show five grids down while the front only shows four. This is because the
back pant pattern is generally longer than the front, even if only by ¼ inch. The program will think that all of the pattern
will fit within these pages, while your printer will not allow it. Increasing your margins will resolve this situation.
If you are going to be using Banner or Continuous Feed Printing, you will need to select the option “Print All - print
by columns, not rows" in Settings under the File menu. Because your default printer settings are used, go into your
Windows Printer Properties and set your paper for fanfold (8 ½ X 11 or USSF for wide carriage printers) and tractor
feed. In the File > Page Setup menu in your Dress Shop program, set your Top and Bottom margins to “0”. Set your
side margin to .50 or minimum allowed. (If you find that your targets do not print at this setting, increase your side
margins.)
♦
Be sure that you have the latest print drivers for printing banner or continuous feed in Windows XP.
23
DRESS SHOP ™ - PRINTING
Constructing Your Patterns
If you are printing on single sheets, it is easiest to work from left to right, matching the targets, then down to the second
row and again left to right. Targets will print on the right side of the first strip, left and right sides of remaining strips.
Targets should be exactly 3” apart. Top and bottom lines of the patterns butt up against each other. (Trim off the bottom
of the sheet just at the end of the line to make matching easier.)
If printing in continuous strips, overlay and match the targets printed on the pattern strips. Tape together, and you are
ready to go.
♦
♦
Working on a white or light colored tabletop will make it easier to see the pattern and targets underneath.
Post-it glue sticks allow for repositioning and work well when initially matching targets and line ends.
♦ When all targets and lines have been accurately matched, secure with tape.
Match and overlay targets from
left to right.
Lines of the top and bottom
patterns butt up against each
other. You can either trim off
the excess unprinted paper or
draw a cross line at the ends of
the lines to make matching
easier.
24
DRESS SHOP ™ - PATTERN DIAGRAMS
Pattern Diagrams
25
DRESS SHOP ™ - LAYOUT TOOL
26
DRESS SHOP ™ - LAYOUT TOOL
The Fabric Layout Tool
Once you have drafted and made the final design changes to your garment, you can calculate how much fabric you will
need by using the Fabric Layout option in the File menu.
With your garment on the screen, go to File>Fabric Layout. This will load your current garment into the yardage
calculator. To move your pattern pieces around to the layout that you want, single left-click on the piece that you want
to move. This will highlight the selected pattern piece in red. Holding the left mouse button down, drag the pattern
piece to where you want it. Continue dragging your pattern pieces around until you get them where you want them.
If your pattern pieces are laying in the wrong direction, use the Rotate and/or Flip options that are located in the upper
right of the screen to rotate the piece that is currently highlighted in red. When you have your pieces laid out, click on
the “Calculate Shortest Length” button at the top of the page.
Under Fabric Dimensions, you can change the width of the fabric to match what you are using. Simply enter the width
of your fabric followed by the Enter key.
27
DRESS SHOP ™ - LAYOUT TOOL
♦
You can lay out your patterns on
Unfolded or Folded fabric.
♦
Select Nap or Bias if needed
♦
If you are working with stripes,
plaids or border prints, enter the
height and width of the print and
select “Update” prior to laying out
your pattern pieces. Then manipulate
your patterns to the desired layout
for your fabrics.
Take some time and play with all of the options to see what they are for and how they work. Once you are familiar with
the tool, you‘ll use it for all of your designs, regardless of the fabric you are using.
•
•
•
•
•
•
Rotate – rotates the selected pattern 45 degrees with each click.
Copy - Copies the pattern piece that is highlighted in red.
Flip - Flips the piece that is highlighted to the opposite direction.
Delete – Removes the currently highlighted pattern piece.
Zoom in - Magnifies the fabric layout.
Zoom out - Reduces the fabric layout.
28
DRESS SHOP ™ - GENERAL PATTERN PREPARATION
General Pattern Preparation – by Kaaren Hoback
What is pattern preparation and why should I?
Pattern preparation is taking the pattern you have printed from your computer and preparing it for your fabric.
There are little things you can do that are quick and simple that will make the construction process easier and
will assure that your garment will fit properly.
Once you have proven your measurement chart, the program will add ease, fit and flare for the design or
silhouette you have chosen. This is your last chance to change your mind about the decisions you have made
as to neck depth, length, flare and ease before spending your fabric.
The very powerful tools you have at your disposal within the program allow you to try things you have never
seen in commercial patterns. You have many more options with any Dress Shop designs than you ever could
have with a commercial pattern. Some of the brightest ideas simply won’t work well for you. They are fine in
concept but fail the reality test.
Plan, plan, plan! Check and double check! You are designing and you are the one making the decisions. Plan
your decisions and keep track of them by using the pattern summary option found under file. Write text notes
in the free form text field.
Print all patterns with the reference Line and amounts on. This gives you landmarks to map your journey.
Tools and notions required:
Paper scissors
Colored pencils (You may find that all new cut lines can be done in red and all measurement lines in green
pencil, so you have consistency with all your patterns.)
A French curve
A seam gauge
An 18” clear ruler (I use one with very large numbers for ease in seeing”.)
Binder clips (also known as bull dog clips)
Another handy tool not mentioned in this article is blue low stick painters tape; I often use it to attach pattern
pieces to each other to build a pattern in the round to try on.
Additional copy paper, pattern paper, cheap interfacing to trace off pattern bits.
Regular tape
Single hole punch available from discount and office supply stores.
First take great care in taping your patterns together. My personal
favorite method is to tape on a large grid mat and use 18 inch ruler.
You may choose your own method.
Just make sure all pages are square, the A column pages from
A1-A4/5 or how ever many pages are set so all the registration
marks on the RIGHT hand side of the page are spaced exactly 3
inches apart at center. That all B, C and maybe D columns left
hand pages accurately overlap the right hand page of the previous column.
After getting all the pages taped is the time to do your preparation BEFORE cutting away excess paper.
Here is what I do to every pattern.
29
DRESS SHOP ™ - GENERAL PATTERN PREPARATION
Seam Gauge by Dritz
First, True the seam allowances:
IF there is any discrepancy between the stitch and cutlines, making the seam
allowance width not exact in some location, treat the stitch lines as correct. Using
a seam gauge, draw the cut line out the distance you have set as your seam
allowance width. The program uses 5/8th or 0.625 inches as default. Make sure
the gauge has a slider and is marked in 1/8th inch increments. The stitch lines are
generally correct on straight areas but sometimes vary at arm holes and necklines.
Set the slider to your seam allowance width and just run it along the stitch line
making dashed marks with your colored pencil to adjust.
Darts:
If the dart starts on a side seam or at a raw edge (waist, shoulder, etc.), fold out the dart as it will be sewn
and pressed.
Use a bull dog or binder clip to hold the dart closed so you have both hands free to cut at the
corrected CUT line.
For side seams, the side/elegant and French darts are all pressed so the fold of fabric on the wrong
side is down. Cut away excess paper starting at the underarm and cut downwards. Stop several inches above
the hem. (You will be folding the hem under in a minute.)
For pant waist darts, the books say fold the dart(s) at the waist towards center. (Frankly, I do mine towards
the out seam - better shaping for my body shape.) Start cutting at the out seam and in towards center to form
the proper dart cap. (If pressing towards the out seam start at center and cut towards out seam.)
When folding darts make sure the dart legs overlap each other perfectly even if that means the dart center or a
dart leg needs to be trued! Or use the midline of the dart as your presumptive start point and adjust the dart
legs. ONLY folding it out will accurately true a dart!
Hems: (including sleeves)
Turn under at the stitch line towards the wrong side and cut the excess paper UP from the bottom fold line.
This will create little triangular “pokeys” that may go in or out depending on the stitch line above it. You will
no longer need to ease in excess fabric when hemming, or try and stretch the hem to fit. By the way, this is
true of all patterns, not just patterns made with the Dress Shop software.
True the shoulders and necklines:
Place the back piece so the neck faces you and the hem is pointing up; overlap the front piece
shoulder stitch line so the piece faces hem down. Fold under seam allowances of the shoulder
seams and butt the pieces together. Smooth the back neck curve using a pencil by “eye” or use
a French curve as shown. This combo curve and square is my favorite, but you can also get a
set of French curves from art supply shops if this is difficult to find.
Match the seam lines so they are perfect. (If using a shoulder dart, clip the dart as it will be stitched and
pressed towards shoulder.) You now can take the front and back separately and cut away excess paper from
the cut line with the shoulder seam allowance folded under. This will again give you a perfect match as
“stitched” of the seam allowance, avoiding excess fabric triangles at the end of your seams. Keep the shoulder
dart “clipped closed”.
30
DRESS SHOP ™ - GENERAL PATTERN PREPARATION
Now match your side seam lines. Remember that any fitted garment or one that is derived from a fitted
garment such as Casual and Comfort fit levels will have some shaping at the waist.
With any side darts folded out, start at the underarm and overlay side seam stitch
lines together. Make sure you have a perfect match up, especially when you have
used the shaper tool for asymmetric hems. The princess and panel items should
also have the side to center panels matched up and smoothed as necessary.
The Sleeves:
Walk the sleeve stitch line (pattern print side down to the bodice print side up). Start at the underarm and
walk towards the shoulder point and cap apex. When you get to the arm hole markings on the pattern, hole
punch through BOTH bodice and sleeve so you have exactly identical marking points. Continue on up to
shoulder point. You should run out of arm hole before you run out of sleeve; make a pencil mark on the
sleeve. Repeat for back.
You now have a sleeve with the exact amount of cap ease easy to see! The numbers on the sleeve data which
show both armhole length and sleeve length front and back detail the cap ease, but this way is visual!
Facings:
Facings may be an issue, especially if you have adjusted the neckline or used the shaper or closure tools.
Lay the facing on the piece it is to face. Clone the neckline (armhole) of the fashion fabric to the facing!
You can adjust facings’ widths!! Use the options tool.
To make an interfacing for the facing, you can reprint it using a different seam allowance or none. Enter 0 to
eliminate seam allowances. Make sure to clearly mark the piece as interfacing. Clone the interfacing to the
facing.
You may also draw your interfacing lines on the base fashion fabric pattern and then trace it off onto pattern
paper, inexpensive sew in interfacing or something from carriff.com they call sewing fabric; I call it dynamite
inexpensive pattern paper.
When doing a lining back piece for a jacket, there is a default “action pleat” set for three inches, which you
can adjust. Make sure to fold this out as it will be stitched before doing any back neck facing piece.
True the lining to the facing which you may wish to gentle the curve on.
Remember any changes you make are at the STITCH LINE, then true the cut line for the seam allowance.
You have now completed the pattern preparation for any blouse, dress, pants or skirt.
If you find a mismatch on pattern pieces:
• Double check that your pages are taped correctly at precisely 3 “apart on the registration circles.
• Double check that your pages are aligned square at top and sides.
• Where we have consistent issues with seam allowances on curves, please double check they have all
been trued to your desired seam allowance width.
• Check you haven’t forgotten to fold out a dart such as the shoulder dart.
• You may find that when you change a neck depth or width the facings don’t necessarily change
accurately.
When you are doing a shawl or wing collar, match the collar extension to the back neck edge; it should be
1/8th inch longer for turn of cloth ease. Adjust as necessary for your fabric weight.
31
DRESS SHOP ™ - GENERAL PATTERN PREPARATION
If you prepare the pattern, take some key measurements against your known chart so that you will be able to
accurately establish the exact total garment ease, including collateral ease as well as design and wear ease, at
all points on the pattern.
You will also have a fully prepared pattern if you DO use hand drafting techniques to convert the straight of
grain pattern to a bias pattern or to adjust the shaping of a piece beyond what shapes are currently available.
Using the reference lines at key landmarks on your pattern, you can easily map button placement, embroidery
and other wearable art locations and sizes.
When you have completed your garment, you can staple the pattern summary, a scrap of the fabric, and any
notes you have created on your design sheet for an archival history of the garment to either repeat or modify
for future use.
Do check and see if there is a construction article in the Help menu - "Directions and Articles" that will make
your project easier to complete.
32
DRESS SHOP™ - FABRIC PREPARATION & LAYOUT
Fabric Preparation and Lay Out – by Kaaren Hoback
Use the layout tool found under File in Dress Shop to estimate your
required yardage.
Using the layout tool you may rotate, flip, copy and lay out the pattern
pieces for fabric with or without nap, stripes or borders. The layout can
be done on the fold or as a single layer. You may print the possible
layouts to keep with your Options Summary.
Prepare your fabric by either laundering or dry cleaning per the yardage
instructions to avoid shrinkage when the finished garment is cleaned.
Steam or Press flat, noting the ideal pressing temperature.
Lay out your fabric and allow it to relax before laying out your pattern pieces.
It is important that you find the true long and cross grain. Make sure to take the time to check the fabric grain
and line up the pattern grain line to the fabric grain line. The grain lines on the pattern should run the same
direction as the grain lines on the fabric. If you place your pattern piece on just a slight angle, the fabric may
“grow” and stretch. Long side seams may pucker.
Here I have marked the long vertical grain, the cross grain and even the true bias grain.
For most of the patterns you are creating, do not use bias for your main pattern pieces. Place your pattern
pieces down so the pattern grain line is along the true long or vertical grain. Avoid the possibility of a
permanent fold line on center seams by offsetting the fabric fold.
Do not attempt to use the selvage edge of your fabric as a finished seam edge. The fabric is more tightly
woven in the selvage and when you wear and clean the garment you may get some puckering or distortion.
Often it’s best to lay your fabric out and let it just relax a little while. If the fabric is very slippery, make a
sandwich with plain white tissue under and on top of the fabric. Place the pattern on top, either pinned or
weighted into position.
Once the pattern is laid out and secured, cut the fabric pieces. Cutting can be accomplished with a good pair
of dressmaker scissors or with a rotary cutter and mat.
Immediately transfer your notches and darts using chalk, dressmaker transfer paper, graphite paper, or hand
basting with a bright contrast thread. You may wish to use a dot of low stick painters tape to mark the right
side of each piece to avoid confusion later.
Tracing wheels come either smooth or with teeth. Smooth wheels are
less harsh on your pattern. Various brands and price levels are available.
Whatever method you use, make sure the marks are not permanent.
Now is the time to stay-stitch neck and armholes if you feel they may stretch out with normal handling. Keep
the fabric pieces with the pattern pieces until you are ready to use them. You are now ready to construct your
garment.
33
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Taking Dress Shop Measurements
Marking and Measuring
The following pages will walk you through the marking and measurement process for the “complete” chart of 62
measurements. Be sure to follow the instructions and take the measurements exactly as shown, to and from the same
measurement point.
First mark the body with a washable marker, then use a tape measure you are sure is accurate. Tape measures stretch
over time, and this can cause inaccurate measurements.
You will need an assistant to do the measuring. Your measurements will be taken front and back separately, not total
circumference. If order to get accurate measurements, you will need to stand straight and natural. It is not possible to
remain upright and erect and get accurate measurements.
Getting a chart:
Go to File, Settings and click “Show Complete Measurement Chart”. If using inches: set to inches and decimals. If
using metric set here. Go to Size and “Complete Chart”. When the complete measurement chart comes up you may
need to select Clear/New to remove any measurements that are in the chart. Then, print the blank chart so you can fill it
in.
Marking Your Body
The goal is to mark the primary seam lines, such as armholes, jewel neckline and side seam placements.
Equipment:
For marking your body, you will need the following items:
• Washable felt marking pens (two colors)
• Tape measure (3 if you have them)
• A notepad or scratch paper
• Marking and Measuring instructions
• Measurement chart
• A length of thin elastic to tie at the waistline.
What to wear?
Wear the foundation garments (bra and panties) you normally wear.
Do not wear a swim suit, leotard, camisole or other loose garment over the foundation garments. The looser the garment
the more the marks will “shift” and be inaccurate.
The person who is being measured should assume an erect stance and then relax, take a deep breath, let it out, and keep
the head up and chin pointing straight ahead.
34
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Neckline: The jewel neck is located at the base of the neck. A thin necklace worn at the base of the neck
helps in marking this point. The bump at the back of the neck is center back, the bone at the front of the
neck that’s “vee shaped” is the base neckline front point.
Don’t mark the side of the neck on the throat itself, but rather where the shoulder and neck intersect.
Shoulder Points & Armhole: Locate the joint between the shoulder and the arm. Most people can feel a
dimple or actually feel the joint move when the arm is in motion. This is the high true shoulder point,
where you want to measure. For garments that have an extended shoulder, the program will
automatically add to this dimension.
Draw a smooth armhole curve from the shoulder point to the bottom of the armhole on the front and back. The front
will be slightly more curved than the back. Draw along the intersection of arm and body.
Shoulder Lines: Draw a line from the neck /shoulder intersection along the shoulder ridge to the marked
shoulder point. This must bisect the shoulder where the seam will fall at the very top of the shoulder. It
should not angle, but be a very straight line.
Side Seams: Here a string with a weight (which can be a metal washer, or even a pencil tied at one end) is useful for
finding the correct mark. The string is held in the center of the armpit, slightly towards the back. Allow the weight to
drop to the floor without touching it. Gravity will have the string drop down straight. Alternatively, if you have a laser
level device, place the level flat on the floor and shoot a line to mid-armpit.
You are attempting to draw a straight side seam from the shoulder point at top to the middle of the ankle at floor level.
The idea is to split the torso in two, ignoring the bust and bottom. Mark a dashed line along the string line or the laser
red beam at mid thigh, upper thigh, hip, abdomen, waist, bust and underarm.
Bust: Find the bust apex. Make sure your bra is adjusted so breasts are near level. You may use a marker
dot or a piece of tape to mark the bust point.
Waist: Tie a length of thin elastic snugly at the waistline. Move around a little bit so the elastic slips into the natural
waistline. Place a marker dot on either edge of the elastic at center front, center back and both side seams in case the
elastic moves during the measuring process.
Abdomen: Find the largest part of the belly, below the waist. This is generally under the navel. (Viewing from the side
usually makes this easy to spot.) Mark a line at center front. The abdomen line will parallel the tilted waist, so you need
to first establish the abdomen depth at center front. Measure the abdomen back the same number of inches down from
the center back waist. Mark the back.
Hip Line: Find the highest part of the bend of the buttock on the back. This will most likely be where the bend if you
“start to sit” will be.
Check the measuring lines in the mirror and see that they please you. Adjust as needed. You are now ready to measure.
35
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Measuring Your Body
Measuring Tools:
Have a clean copy of a new chart to write down the measurements, a tape measure and pencil.
Check your tape measure against a grid or yardstick to make sure it is not stretched out.
Measure:
Measure to the nearest 1/8". Measure both sides of the body. Take the larger measurement and write it on the
measurement chart. Always measure to the larger side. Shoulders and the top of the hips, even arms and legs may be
different. It is very normal for the body to be asymmetric.
Upper Torso Measurements:
Neck Circumference – Measure around the base of the neck with the tape measure “on the edge” rather than flat. Do
not measure around the throat but along the marks you made for the jewel neck.
Shoulder Length -- Measure from the intersection of the jewel neck to the shoulder point. Measure
both shoulders and use the longer of the two numbers.
Shoulder Slope Front -- Measure from the marked shoulder point to the center front at the waist.
Measure both right and left and use the longer measure. Hold the tape taut as you measure.
Shoulder Slope Back -- Measure from the same shoulder point to the center back at the
waist.
Across Shoulder Front -- Measure from shoulder point to shoulder point making the tape taut.
Across Shoulder Back -- Measure from shoulder point to shoulder point across the back.
Across Chest – Divide the armhole depth number (the distance between shoulder point and armpit) in
half, and measure that distance down the armhole line from the shoulder point. Measure from that
marked halfway point on the armhole line across the upper chest to the matching point on the opposite
side.
Across Back -- Find the half way mark as above then add ½ inch to the result, so that the back
measurement is taken a bit lower than on the front. Measure from marked armhole to marked armhole
across the back.
36
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Full Length Front – Measure straight down the front from the neck/shoulder intersection to the elastic
at the waist, holding the tape slightly taut. Measure the right and left sides and chart the longer.
Full Length Back – Measure straight down the back from the neck/shoulder intersection to the elastic at
the waist. Measure both the left and right sides and chart the longer number.
Center Length Front – Measure from the base of the jewel neck to the center of the elastic at the waist.
Verify that the elastic is still sitting between the little marks you made.
Center Length Back -- Measure from the center back of the marked jewel neck to the center of the
elastic at back waist. Verify that the elastic is still between the marks.
High Bust Front -- Measure from side seam to side seam right under the arm keeping the tape level to
the floor.
Bust Front – Measure from side seam to side seam over the widest, largest part of the bust, across the
“apex” marks that you placed on the bra.
Bust Back -- Measure from the side seam to side seam right under the arm. This is not along the bra
band but above it.
Bust Depth -- Measure from the shoulder point to the bust point. Measure both the right and left sides
and use the longer measurement.
Bust Radius -- Measure from the bust point to the chest wall in a straight line down from the apex,
contouring to the breast.
Under Bust Front – Measure from side seam to side seam right under the breast. Take this measure
tightly.
37
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Bust Span -- Measure from bust apex to apex.
High Waist Offset -- Measure up from waist to the “high point” of the midriff. If you don’t have a high point, select
the bottom of the rib cage level.
High Waist – Measure from side seam to side seam at the “offset” level. Measure the back at the
same level.
Side Length -- Measure from the underarm down the side to the waist.
Waist Front – Using a snug tape, measure across the waist front, from side seam to side seam.
Waist Back -- Measure from side seam to side seam across the waist back.
Abdomen Depth -- Measure from the waist to the high point of the abdomen at the center front.
Abdomen Front -- Measure across the high point of the abdomen front from side seam to side seam.
This line is parallel to the waistline, so be sure to drop down the same number of inches from your
waist as your abdomen depth at each side seam as well as at the abdomen high point.
Abdomen Back -- Measure from side seam to side seam across the back. Drop down your abdomen
depth from the waistline all the way across so that you are parallel to the waistline.
Hip Front -- The hip line is placed level across the body, rather than paralleling the waistline.
Find the hip level back first, and then measure from side seam to side seam across the front.
Hip Back – Measure from side seam to side seam across the widest part of the hip.
38
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Crotch Length Front – Crotch Length Back- and Inseam.
First, take a total crotch length measurement from center waist front to center waist back. Note this
number, since it will serve as a double check of your separate numbers, in case the tape measure
slips when taking the front and back measurements.
The easiest way to obtain the separate crotch measurements is to tie (use a thin wire
or a small silk flower on a wire) three tape measures together all at the zero end. Flatten the join so
that one tape goes to the left, one tape goes to the right, and one hangs straight down the middle. Pass
the flower to the person being measured and have them place the join mid-crotch.
Then stand back up straight and erect and return the feet so they are side by side.
Pull the front tape up to the center front waist and note the measurement. Pull the
back tape up to center back waist and note the measurement. Now pull the center
tape to the floor. Make sure the feet are fairly close together and that the tape is
not caught between the thighs. (Give it a tug.) Use this tape to measure the
inseam.
Now add the front and back measurements and compare the sum to the total measurement you took first. If the total is
different, measure again, because the tape slipped in the process.
Arm Measurements:
Armhole Depth Front -- Measure the bicep circumference first, right under the arm. Start with this
simple formula: bicep + 3.35 then divide by 3.14 = front armhole depth. You may adjust this by
small fractions as needed.
Example: bicep circumference = 12. 12 plus 3.35 = 15.35. Divide 15.35 by 3.14 = 4.88. Round up
to nearest 1/8th, so armhole depth = 5.
Back Arm Hole Depth -- Start with a number 1 inch larger than the front armhole depth. Adjust as needed for a
rounded back or forward tilting shoulders.
Bicep -- Measure the total circumference of the upper arm at the bicep right under the armpit.
Over Arm Length -- Measure from the shoulder point to the wrist, with the arm slightly bent and the
palm of the hand facing the tummy.
Elbow Depth -- While the arm is in the same position as for the over arm length, measure from the
shoulder point to the bend of the elbow at the “point “of the elbow.
Around Hand -- Measure around the hand with the hand loosely fisted.
Wrist -- Measure around the wrist.
39
DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Lower Torso and Legs:
Floor to Waist Front (straight) – Measure from the floor to the waist at center front. Conform
the tape from the waist to the hip level, and then allow it to drop straight to the floor.
Floor to Waist Front (conformed) – Measure from floor to waist at center, conforming the tape
to the belly and thigh. This measurement will be longer than floor to waist straight.
Floor to Waist Back (straight) – Measure from floor to waist conforming the tape from waist to
hip, then allowing the tape to drop straight to the floor from the hip down.
Floor to Waist Back (conformed) -- Measure from the floor to the waist at the back, conforming
to the body along the buttock and back thigh. This measurement will be longer than floor to waist
straight.
Floor to Waist Side -- Measure from floor to waist side, conforming to the body from waist to hip
level.
Floor to Hip -- Measure a straight line up from floor to the marked hip line.
Floor to Knee -- Measure from the floor to the center of the kneecap.
Floor to Ankle -- Measure from the floor to the center of the ankle knob.
Upper Thigh – Measure the circumference of the top of the thigh, approximately 1 inch down
from the inseam level.
Mid Thigh -- Measure the mid-thigh circumference, halfway between upper thigh and knee.
Knee Straight -- Measure around the knee at the center of the kneecap.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Calf -- Measure the calf circumference at the fullest part of the lower leg.
Around Ankle/Heel – Point the toe to the floor with the heel slightly raised. Measure around the ankle
and heel.
Derived Measurements:
Front Crotch Extension, Back Crotch Extension and Center Back Waist Dart are all calculated for you by
the program. The default values may work fine. But, if you need to adjust these, you can enter any other values
that you choose and those will be saved with your chart and used thereafter. Adjusting these values is an
advanced sewer’s feature and should be done either based on your prior experience with other pants or from
discussion with and advice from someone experienced in adjusting the fit of pants.
Go to file, settings and show complete chart. If you are using inches, set to inches and decimals. If you are using metric,
set here. Go to size and bring up a new “complete chart.”
Carefully type in your measurements. Be sure to use decimals, not fractions. Take the time to proofread your numbers
for accuracy.
This is a conversion chart of fractions to decimals.
1/8th inch
¼ inch
3/8th inch
½ inch
5/8th inch
¾ inch
7/8th inch
0.125
0.25
0.375
0.50
0.625
0.75
0.875
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Common Measuring Mistakes
The following items represent the most common measuring mistakes. If you have problems with the fit of your pattern,
review the guidelines below. You should correct all measurement mistakes through the test garment process.
Across Shoulder
The across shoulder is measured from outside shoulder point to outside shoulder point. Frequently, it is placed too far
in on the shoulder. If the placements of the shoulder points are too far in on the shoulder, then the sleeves set in too
high, the sleeve pulls across the top of the arm and frequently the neck doesn’t fit properly. Just as often we see people
placing the shoulder marks too far out, trying to create the effect of drop shoulders.
Full Length
The full length measurement in the front should not be shorter than the back. The front of the body has the bust to
cover, while the back goes straight down. If the front is shorter, then the shoulder point at the neck is too far forward.
The shoulder seam will be very visible from the front of the garment. The possible exceptions to this would be men and
children.
Center Length
The center length is always shorter than the full length. The center length is measured from the base of the neck in the
center front and back. The side of the neck at the shoulder is always higher. This mistake is usually made at the center
back neck causing it to stick up.
Shoulder Slope
If the shoulder points are not in the proper position before measuring, the shoulder slope and the full length relationship
are not in balance with each other. The full length determines the top of your garment at the highest point of your
shoulder seam. The shoulder slope determines where the outside point of the shoulder seam will be. If they are not in
balance with each other, the result may be a distorted pattern which, when made up, will not run along the top of your
shoulder. It is “normal” for the shoulder slope to be within a ½” of the full length measurement. If your shoulders are
square, the shoulder slope measurement will be up to ½” larger than the full length. If your shoulders are sloped, the
shoulder slope will be up to ½” smaller than the full length. These are averages as a guideline only. If your garment fits
you, and you are happy with the placement of the shoulder seam and the drape of the garment, then we are happy,
too, even if it doesn’t fit into our example.
Across Chest
If the across chest measurement is taken too far in on the body, it will create a sleeve cap that extends into the body.
You will find the sleeve pulling and it will be difficult to raise your arms. The line that you measure from and to is
straight down from the outside shoulder tip to the crease formed where your arm meets your body. Do not curve this
line; the program will create the proper sleeve and armhole.
Side Length
The side length is one of the funny measurements. It is often difficult to tell exactly where to put the upper mark under
the arm. If you have this measurement too short, the pattern will pull up at the side seam. If you have it too long, the
program will either give you an error message, or will angle the side seam down away from the waistline. If it is too
long, the program will not have enough room to put in your armhole. Cap height plus side seam cannot exceed the full
length.
Abdomen
The front abdomen should not be smaller than the back. The front is almost always bigger, even on small children and
skinny people. If yours is not, you do not have the side seam in the correct location. You have it too far forward on
your body.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - MARKING & MEASURING
Crotch
The crotch length in the front should not be larger than the back. If you don’t have the crotch split in the correct
location, you will have the front bigger than the back. This will give you a pair of pants with a large front leg and a
small back leg. Normally, the only time this is appropriate is for pregnant women.
Inseam
The inseam is frequently taken too short. Make sure you follow the leg when measuring, not straight down to the floor.
The tape should touch the bottom of the crotch. Measurers cannot be shy. This is often the cause of a short crotch
measurement.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
How to Adjust Your Measurements
To get the best possible fit from the garments that you make with Dress Shop, it is critical that you adjust
your measurements here so that they are optimized for Dress Shop. In some cases, these may need to be
slightly different from the measurements that you use in your own sewing, or with other tailors or
seamstresses. That is not wrong. Measuring the human body is a subjective effort, with different ways to
reach the same end result. So, you need to be willing to change a measurement if it does not give you the
results you want in Dress Shop. This help file will offer some guidelines, but in the end, you must
adjust your measurements until they suit your taste. So, do not be afraid to change them.
The final means to determining whether your measurements are right for Dress Shop patterns is to make fit
test garments (slopers). The bodice sloper will confirm all of the upper body measurements, and the pants
sloper will confirm your lower body measurements. Please refer to some of the other articles for additional
instructions on adjusting measurements and working with your fit test garments.
If you are not able to resolve your fit concerns with the advice outlined here, visit the Dress Shop
discussion board for advice from other users, mentors, and company staffers. The discussion board can be
reached from your Dress Shop Help page, home page, or Help Central.
Good luck and happy sewing!
How to Make Your Bodice Sloper Fit
Your bodice sloper is intended to help you confirm that your upper body measurements are correct as Dress
Shop needs to know them. When your bodice sloper fits, all of the other blouse, dress, coat, and jacket
patterns in Dress Shop should fit also, with the expected differences that the pattern types might suggest.
To get the bodice sloper to fit correctly, you should adjust your measurements. Do not try to get a good fit by
playing with ease settings or other sewing options. The sloper should only be adjusted by changes to your
measurements. When those are right, you can use the other option settings in Dress Shop to vary your
individual garments' fit in a more creative fashion.
The Dress Shop bodice sloper will be drafted to as close an approximation of your entered
measurements as possible. When you assemble your bodice sloper, you should be checking:
Check the Shoulders:
• Do the seams lay flat?
• Do the seams hug the shoulders smoothly?
• Are the seams in a good place on the shoulder? Are they close to the physical top of the body
without going behind the anatomical center of the shoulder?
• Does the end of the shoulder seam that comes up against the neck leave a reasonable amount of
back neck curve and front neck curve?
• Is the outside shoulder point in the center of the arm?
• If you get down on eye level does the shoulder seam appear to be parallel with the top edge of the body?
Now look at the bust and waist:
• Is it too tight across the bust?
• Is it too tight across the back?
• Is it too tight at the waist?
• Is it too loose anywhere?
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
Check Across Chest:
If the arms curve too far into the body, the sleeves will be uncomfortable when set-in.
Check Bust Depth and Span:
Note where the bust point hits you, then answer the following questions:
Is the bust point in the correct location vertically? (You may have to move this mark if you made any
adjustments to the outside shoulder seam.)
Is the bust span correct? It should be centered in the middle of the breast. This is an important point, it sets
your darts on the pants and skirts as well as the tops. Make sure you are comfortable with the location. Remark and adjust measurements if necessary.
Here are a few of the more common problems and their solutions.
Common fit problems and likely adjustments
1. Too tight across shoulders - Most likely adjustment: The Across Shoulder in front, back, or both needs to
be wider. (It is possible that only one of the measurements is off, but since they are connected at the shoulder
seam, the other measurement may just seem like it may be too narrow - check both measurements before
arbitrarily moving both out.) The Across Shoulder measurements define how wide the garment gets to be in
the shoulder area, so increasing the shoulder length by itself will NOT correct for too narrow/tight shoulders.
Although, once the Across Shoulder in front, back, or both have been widened, it is possible that a longer
shoulder length will be appropriate, and so this area should also be adjusted. Other measurements to look at
for possible adjustment if you are changing the Across Shoulder measurements include front and back
Shoulder Slope, Bust Depth, Armhole Depth, Elbow Depth and Overarm length. In other words, when you
start moving the shoulder point (which is what happens when you change the Across Shoulder measurements
in front and/or back), all the points which are measured off that shoulder point need to be double-checked as
well.
2. Shoulder seam seems crooked - (one end of the seam swings back or forward on the shoulder). Most likely
adjustments: If the end of the shoulder seam at the neck edge is too far back (a very common measuring
mistake), you need to decide how much the seam needs to be moved forward, and subtract that amount from
the Front Full Length measurement and add the same amount to the Back Full Length measurement. If the
end of the shoulder seam at the neck edge is too far forward on the body (less common), you need to decide
how much the seam needs to be moved back, and add that amount to the Front Full Length measurement and
subtract the same amount from the Back Full Length measurement. If the end of the shoulder seam where it
intersects the armhole is too far forward or back, you need to similarly adjust the Front and Back Shoulder
Slope measurements - take away from the front measurement and add to the back measurement to move the
end of the shoulder seam forward, or add to the front and take away from the back to move the end of the
shoulder seam backward.
3. Bodice shifts back on the body - placing the shoulder seams too far back. There is no "most likely"
adjustment for this one. There are a number of different possibilities that might be causing this problem. The
simplest is that the front and back full length and shoulder slope measurements need to be adjusted to bring
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
the shoulder seam forward. However, this is the least common cause of the garment shifting problem. You
can tell if the measurement of the shoulder seam was off if you check the waistline on the bodice. If the
bodice waist is in place in front and back, the garment isn't really shifting back at all, the shoulder seam was
merely mis-marked or mis-measured (most likely both). If however, the front waistline is higher than it
should be and the back waistline is lower, then the shoulder seams may be correct and the problem may be
found in another part of the body. The most common cause of this fit problem is a too-tight measurement, and
the problem area can be in many places on the body. One possibility is a too-tight back underarm, which
could be caused by a too-short Armhole Depth measurement or a too-long side length measurement. Another
possibility is that the garment is too tight across the chest or across back area (check the mid-armhole area) or
too tight across the bust or bust back area (check bust, high bust and bust back). Yet a third possibility is that
tight shoulders (most often caused by a narrow Across Shoulder measurement, see #1 above, occasionally
caused by a too-short Shoulder Slope measurement). The slashing technique (making vertical slashes in
places that look tight in the garment) is invaluable in hunting down the problem area for this problem,
because otherwise it can be difficult to find. If you are able to slash and release pressure in the affected area,
you should be able to shift the bodice back to the correct position and it should stay there. Then you can
measure the gapes in the slashes to figure out where the garment needs to be changed.
4. Bodice too tight at the waist - This problem is caused when you have a wide place just above your waist.
Measure above the waist for all upper body garments giving yourself a "high waist" measurement, instead of
a regular measurement.
5. Mysterious other - Think about it, and don't be afraid to try different things. There are occurrences where
the program is hitting all given measurements accurately (it almost always does), where you have taken all
your body measurements accurately, and double-checked them to make sure and gotten the same results, and
something still doesn't fit. These occurrences usually happen because someone has some bumps or curves or
even dips in areas that are not covered by the many measurements we take in Dress Shop. If you have a
situation where, for instance, your pants are too tight even though you've triple-checked your ab and hip
measurements, it may be that your shape isn't quite as we had planned for in our curve shaping algorithms.
However, there is always a solution. You can insert vertical slashes along the bust or shoulder levels, front
and back, to see where the pattern needs to be wider to make it fit you snugly but not tightly. Then make the
adjustments to your measurements. Do not worry that these aren't your "true" measurements. Just know that
these are the measurements the program needs to make a good-fitting pattern for your unique body. And do
make up another test pattern from the adjusted measurements to confirm that you've made the right changes.
How To Make Your Pants Sloper Fit
Your pants sloper is intended to help you confirm that your lower body measurements are correct as Dress
Shop needs to know them. When you pants sloper fits, all of the other pants patterns should fit also, with
the expected differences that the pattern types might suggest.
To get the pants sloper to fit, you should adjust measurements. Do not try to get a good fit by playing with
ease settings or other sewing options. The sloper should only be adjusted by changes to your measurements.
When those are right, you can use the other option settings in Dress Shop to vary your garments’ fit in more
creative fashion.
Dress Shop pants will be drafted to as close an approximation of your entered measurements as possible.
When you assemble your pants sloper, you should be checking:
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
- The length (confirms floor to waist measurements)
- The tilt of the waist (confirms floor to waist front vs. side vs. back)
- Fit at waist, ab, and hip (to confirm each of those measurements, front and back)
- Fit in the crotch (confirms crotch length, inseam, and body depth (See below for a discussion of that setting.)
- Fit of the outseam at thigh, knee, calf, and ankle (confirms those measurements - these are less critical at
this stage as adjustments here are common for different fabrics and can be done with wear ease). The main
problem to look for here is saddle bags at the upper thigh area. Tighten up the thigh measurements.
- Fit of the inseam at upper thigh to knee (excess fabric here suggests body depth and thigh measurement
issues).
Definitions of some terms that we will use a lot here:
Crotch curve - the major curved part of your pants pattern, dropping from the center front waist to the top of
your inseam.
Crotch length - the length of the crotch curve. Your measurements include Crotch length front and back, and
the relative division of this curve will determine whether your pants are loose/tight in the front or the back.
Crotch depth - the vertical component of your crotch curve. Crotch depth is calculated by subtracting your
Inseam measurement from your Floor To Waist measurement.
Crotch extension - the horizontal component of your crotch curve. Remember, the crotch curve must fit in
the space provided by depth and extension. So, if the crotch length is long, this seam will be more curved. If
it is too long, you may get extreme curving, perhaps even a J-hook effect where the curve dips below the
crotch tip. Generally that is not good and you should either:
1. Reduce crotch length.
2. Increase crotch depth.
3. Increase crotch extension.
Major tools to get the right fit include:
Waistline tools for the front - you can have one dart, two darts, a princess line, or elastic in the front of your
pants. The default setting is elastic. If you choose waist darts, their width will be calculated for you, based on
the difference between your waist and hip measurements. Also, as the curvature of the out-seam is adjusted to
make it a smoothly sewable curve, the waist width may be extended in the flat pattern and the waist dart
width expanded to compensate.
The princess line is a flexible way to adjust the fit of the entire leg as you wish. The basic dart intake needed
at the waist is included in this split. But, you can also trim along the split to adjust the shaping of any part of
the leg as you wish.
Waistline tools for the back - you can have different choices for waist darts in the back if you like. Your
pants may have darts in the front for a fitted look, but with elastic in the back to keep the waistline snug, for
instance. Having no princess line in the back (so you do not have to sit on the seam) is another popular
variant.
Dart depth adjustment front and back - you can adjust the depth of the waist darts in the front, the back, or
both as you wish. The default depths are to the ab level in the front and to 75% of hip depth in the back. In
some cases (to adjust fit at ab level, for instance - see below), you might wish to make these darts longer or
shorter. If you have pants whose fit you are happy with, you might check the dart depth on them for an idea of
what your body needs here.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
Body Depth measurement - perhaps the most sensitive adjustments are required along the crotch seam. The
basic Dress Shop crotch curve is built using your Crotch Depth (Floor To Waist minus Inseam lengths) and
Crotch Length measurements. But, the relative split of the crotch curve from the front to the back is variable.
And, how tightly you measure the crotch length can cause very different curves. The best way we have found
to adjust this is to estimate the total amount of crotch extension (front and back) that you should need. The
Body Depth measurement helps us make that estimate.
To measure Body Depth, stand in a corner, with your back firmly against one wall. Place a yardstick across
your upper thighs, right at crotch level. The yardstick should be parallel with the wall at your back. Mark
where it touches the wall at your side. Then, measure from the wall at your back (yes, you can move now) to
the mark. This distance is the depth of your body at crotch level and will be used to set the "Body Depth".
Enter that value on the pants menu page and the crotch extension (the horizontal portion of the crotch curve)
will be limited to this amount, 25% in the front and 75% in the back. If that split is not appropriate for your
needs, visit the Advanced Options (Options button, then Advanced button). There, you can set the front and
back crotch extension limits separately as you wish. There are other adjustments there that you can use as
well if you need them. Their usage is described below.
What else can you do to address fit issues:
Does not fit right at the waist - If only the waistline is too tight or too loose, then you might want to adjust the
total dart intake for the pants waist darts. Visit Options - Advanced, and set "Override Standard Front
Pant/Skirt Waist Dart Intake" to whatever total amount of intake you feel you need from all darts in the front
of your pants. There is a similar setting for the back dart intake that can be set separately.
You may also wish to adjust ease at the waist. Under Options, you can find "Waist Ease". Enter positive
values for a looser fit and negative values for a tighter fit as desired
.
Does not fit right at the abdomen - If your pants are too loose or too tight in the abdomen, there are several
adjustments you can make. First, the "Abdomen Ease" on the Options page allows you to adjust the target ab
width of the pattern as you wish. Again, positive ease will make the pattern looser and negative ease will
make it tighter.
But, not always. If your ab measurement plus requested ease is less than the hip measurement plus ease, there
are cases where the pants will not snug up as you might wish. To see what is going on, click the "Ease" button
while looking at your pants pattern. You will see the hip and ab lines displayed. Those lines are the width of
your measurement plus requested ease. If the ab line does not reach the outseam, then that measurement is not
affecting the shaping of the outseam at all. In that case, making it smaller and smaller will not change the
pants. This happens when the outseam curve is smoothed out between hip and waist and the ab line is enough
inside the resulting curve that the outseam cannot hit your measurement without producing a snaky side seam
that would both be unattractive and hard to sew.
In this case, to tighten up the ab, you need to make the waist darts longer. That will make them wider at the ab
level. They will then take up more fabric at the ab level and help correct the loose fit. Look at your dart depth
and ab width in both front and back to determine whether you should adjust the dart depth in the front, the
back, or both.
Does not fit right at the hips - Hip Ease, as set on the Options page can make your pants tighter or looser in
the hips as you prefer.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
Does not fit right at the crotch - There are a number of ways to adjust the crotch fit. The easiest to use was
described above, the 'Total Crotch Extension Limit". If that is not appropriate for you, there is one setting on
the Options page (Crotch Ease adjusts the measured crotch length) and 6 settings on the Advanced page to let
you adjust this further. You can adjust the relative split of crotch length from front to back, shorten the crotch
length by a fixed amount, adjust the inseam length (shorter inseam causes a taller crotch depth, which in turn
reduces the crotch extension)
Excessive fabric in the front or back between the legs - this is the most common problem with pants and is a
generally caused by either taking too loose a measurement when you measured your crotch length, or from
the stretch that inevitably occurs with fabric on the bias. The first step in eliminating this is to set the "Total
Crotch Extension Limit". If you get too tight in just the front or the back, then you should go to Options Advanced - "Front Crotch Extension Limit" and "Back Crotch Extension Limit". Adjust the front and back
extensions separately.
Other adjustments that can affect front excess fabric include:
a. Removing some crotch length in the front. There is an adjustment in the Advanced Options just for this.
b. Shorten the inseam (see Advanced Options again). This makes for a taller crotch depth, producing a
shorter crotch extension and hence less fabric at that level of the pattern.
Excessive fabric in the outseam below the hip - This is generally not a crotch curve issue, but an outseam
shaping issue. Use the thigh ease settings on the Options page to adjust this. Positive values will move the
outseam outwards, and negative values will pull it inwards (snugger). You can set Mid-thigh ease or Upper
Thigh Ease, depending on where you need the adjustment. Only one form of thigh ease will be in effect at a
time, though. So, pick the one you need and just set it.
Excessive fabric in the inseam, but not in the crotch itself - The inseam shaping can be adjusted with the Knee
Ease setting on the Options page. As with all the ease settings, positive values make that area looser and
negative values make the measurement smaller and the fit tighter. So, if you enter a negative inch or two at
knee ease, the inseam will be snugger.
Crotch rides too low - Crotch depth is too tall. Making the inseam measurement larger will help. Or, making
the Floor To Waist lower. You should check your measurements here before you change either of these at
random.
Pants are too tight in the crotch - There are two possible causes for this problem. Either your crotch length
measurements are too snug. Or, you have specified a short crotch extension, and it was not possible to
generate that short a curve without sacrificing some of the specified crotch length. If you have set crotch
extension, try a larger number. If you have not set a crotch extension value, then you probably need to
increase your crotch length measurements or add Crotch Ease on the options page.
Crotch seam is too far forward - giving you an inseam which is also too far forward on the pants. The default
amount for the split of your Body Depth measurement into front and back crotch extensions is probably
incorrect for your body shape. You can adjust this by moving inches from Crotch Length Front to Crotch
Length Back to move the inseam forward or from back to front to move the inseam backwards.
Side seam is too far forward or back - Figure out how much the seam needs to move forward or back (if it is
off by ½ inch on each side, then the adjustment amount is a total of 1 inch) and add or subtract that amount
from the front and back waist measurements, front and back abdomen measurements, and front and back hip
measurements. If the side seam is too far back, add the adjustment amount to the back and take away from the
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DRESS SHOP ™ - HOW TO ADJUST MEASUREMENTS
front. If the side seam is too far forward, subtract from the back and add to the front. If the side seam is only
off in one of these areas, you can adjust one area without changing the others.
Pant legs too baggy - Body Depth measurement is probably too wide. Make sure you are taking the
measurement correctly. Stand in a corner (if you have no empty corners in your house, stand with your back
to a closed door, this effectively creates a corner with the length of wall that allows the door to open fully)
with your bottom pressed against one wall. Press back as hard as you can. Place a yardstick across the front
of your body at crotch level (where your body intersects your legs). Slide the yardstick over so it butts up
against the wall and mark. Hopefully someone is helping you take this measurement and can make sure the
yardstick isn't angling forward or back. Stand away from the wall and measure how far from the wall the
mark is. You should need a smaller measurement than the one previously taken (it's a tricky measurement to
take) if your pant legs are too baggy.
Pants don't come all the way up to the waist - You have probably not taken your Front Floor to Waist or Back
Floor to Waist measurement along the line of your body, encompassing your stomach or bottom body curve.
If the pants fit correctly otherwise, you should need a longer measurement between your crotch and your
waist (and this is controlled by the abovementioned Floor to Waist measurement (front and back only, not
side)).
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Constructing the Casual Blouse Fit Garment - by Kaaren Hoback
The casual blouse is not a snug fitting garment, but rather provides a relaxed fit and is a great starting point.
No options are available to this fit garment. The blouse has one side dart and a center front seam allowance which
you may leave open at center front to pin closed when you try it on.
The purpose of constructing the casual blouse fit garment is to check your across shoulder, armhole and side seams to
make sure they “fit” your body. In addition you can check your bust depth and “dart take up” by viewing the side dart
placement, angle and distance from the bust apex mark. The test garment is hip length.
Use a tightly woven fabric that is on grain. Pattern pieces consist of a front (cut 2), a back (cut one on the fold), and a
sleeve (cut 2).
Print a ¼ scale of each pattern piece, and then print a full scale. Retain the ¼ scale patterns to compare later. Prepare
and layout the pattern pieces on grain. Cut out, then transfer dart marks, as well as the waist reference line and the red
bust apex cross.
Hem allowances have already been removed from the blouse bottom and sleeve. Please remove the seam allowance
from the front and back neck as well.
To construct:
• Stitch the side bust darts along the transferred dart lines. Start at side seam and sew towards the point.
• Sew the front and back shoulders together.
• Set in the sleeves by first matching the notches, one in the front and two in the back. Then ease the sleeve into the
armhole, making sure that all of the easing is between the notches and the sleeve apex (shoulder point).
• Sew the front and back together at the side seams.
• Press a crease in the seam allowance line at the center front, so that you have a clear line to match when pinning
your test garment closed.
Now it is time to review the garment.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Check that the shoulder/armhole line is at the top of the shoulder point. It should extend less than ½ inch beyond the
shoulder point. (If your garment is incorrect, the measurement lines to look at are across shoulder front and back.)
Check that the shoulder drop or angle of the shoulder is correct. (If your garment is incorrect, check the full and slope
measurement lines.)
Check the neck depth. For the center front, the garment should hit at the base of the jewel neckline. In the back, the
edge of the garment should be at that bony knob at the base of the neck. (If the garment is wrong, check your
measurement lines for center front and center back lengths.)
Verify that the side seam runs straight from the underarm to waist and hip and does not angle.
(The measurement lines that may need correcting are high bust, bust and bust back, waist, and hip front and back.)
Check that the side dart points do not hit at the high point of the bust mound and are not too high or too low. (If the
dart lines are incorrect, look at your measurement line for bust depth.)
Check that the waist is at or near your natural waist, and that the length of the garment is at or near your hip.
Finally, check there are no large wrinkles, which indicate too much fabric, or puckers, which indicate that the
garment is too tight. Wrinkles point at the problem point, while puckers start at the problem.
How to adjust the pattern:
Using the test fit garment, pin out any excess “wrinkle” and measure the amount you pinned out. Adjust the affected
measurement line on the chart.
If the garment is too tight, cut a slash line in the opposite direction of the pucker line. The slash will allow the
garment to spread open. Measure how much it opens and add that number to the proper measurement line.
If the dart wears too high or too low on the body, mark where it should be and adjust the bust depth accordingly.
After adjusting the chart, click save and load, then done. Now print another ¼ scale set of pattern pieces. Overlay the
new printouts on the original ¼ scales to make sure that the changes you made result in what you expected.
Once you have a reasonable fit to the casual fit blouse, you can proceed to making casual fitting garments that will
provide a working wardrobe.
If you wish to make more fitted garments, we suggest that you also make the torso sloper, which has full waist darts
and is very snug.
A fit test garment is a non-garment whose sole purpose is to check the placement of the shoulder, side seam, darts, and
general fit.
While the bodice test garment depicted in the pictures below is our most fitted testing garment, we suggest you start
with the casual fit blouse garment, which is not as snug. There is some ease in the armhole and generous sleeve cap
ease.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
To make your fit test garment, make sure you have chosen a zipper front closure so that you can leave the center front
open and will be able to pin it closed. Trim off the seam allowance at front and back neck edge so that you can see
where your jewel neck actually lies.
I will review some pictures that show what’s wrong and which measurement line
corrects the issues.
The shoulder point is critical. When the shoulder point is off, almost everything
else is, too, so correct it first.
Here is a shoulder point that’s set too far out on the top of the arm, and a bust dart
whose bust depth is too short.
Mark on the test garment, while you are wearing it, where the shoulder point and
the dart should be. Then remove the test garment and measure how much deeper to
make the bust depth and how much less wide across shoulder should be. Changing
those measurements can quickly correct these problems.
In this photograph, we can see where the across chest back is too wide and the
bust back is too narrow.
The across chest is forcing the armhole of the blouse out onto the arm, which will
lead to a too narrow sleeve cap in the end. A high true underarm and shoulder
point will allow just the sleeve to move when you are in motion without dragging
half the blouse with it.
What’s important to note here are the asymmetric shoulder heights. Note the level
pencil line above the shoulders and the difference in air space between line and
shoulder left versus right. If you have a perfect test garment and an asymmetric body what happens? The test garment
will wrinkle or pucker on one side and not the other.
The goal is not a perfect fit test garment, but a good fitting garment pattern.
You can deal with your asymmetry when “mild” and normal such as this one in construction or through the use of
shoulder pads -- a mock thin shoulder pad on the high side and a thicker pad on the low side.
For most garments with wear ease this is simply not noticeable.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Side seams must be straight, not angled, and should bisect the torso skeleton from
shoulder point to waist.
If the seams are placed too far forward or back they must be corrected.
Depending on which way the seams angle, remove from the front and add to the back
measurement or vice versa.
Please note that at the bottom of the side seam there is a difference in length from front
to back. This is normal. The difference should be between ¼ and 3/8 inch. As this
“imperfect” design steals ease from the side seam for the armhole, a different amount is
stolen from the front versus back. Do not try and correct this.
This test bodice looks hopeless. One reason is the “material” used; it’s too soft, basically pattern paper. The bodice also
isn’t pinned quite correctly. Beyond that, it does indeed have problems.
All the back measurement lines are drawn on. The horizontal lines in order are:
across shoulder, across back (chest), back bust, and waist. The vertical line is the
full, and the angled line is the slope.
The key culprit is the shoulder point being too far out on the shoulder. This leads
to the slope being very long, which in turn causes the horizontal wrinkles.
The slope is the diagonal measure from shoulder point to center back waist. This
needs to be shortened. Once the shoulder point and slope are corrected, the entire
back falls into place.
In this test garment, the waist darts pointing at the bust apex are angled.
The bust span is off, leading to the angled darts. Reducing the span
straightens the waist dart.
When the span is correct, the dart length will be corrected.
Once again we see the shoulder asymmetry. One shoulder is more steeply
angled than the other, and one shoulder is actually longer than the other. In
fact, it is evident on most of these pictures. You must measure to the longer
shoulder; it is bone and isn’t going to compress.
It’s barely noticeable here, but most women also have one breast larger than the other. That can compress, but should
not. Deal with breast size differences in the construction of your garments. Simply shortening or lengthening a dart by
2-3 stitches on one side usually help.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Here we have a very slender lady with a large bust line. Note that the
shoulder angle is quite steep, and, because she is so slender, the shoulder line
actually dips in the middle. There is no straight ride line to support the
garment.
In order for the garment to fit the higher shoulder, it’s too long on the shorter
shoulder.
The shoulder angle does need to be decreased, but more importantly, the
shoulder line needs support. Shoulder pads are in order to give that shoulder
a straight line for the garment to rest on.
In addition, because of the shape of the bust line, the dart needs to be angled. That change cannot be done on a fit test
garment, but can be done on a real garment!
Even with the blouse unfinished, the lady clearly got here from there.
Shoulder pads have been added, and the fit is evident.
Even beautiful women have fit challenges!
The goal is not a perfect fit test garment, but good fitting garment patterns.
The fit test garment is the base block for good patterns. The
fit test garment will not look like a commercial pattern.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Here is a balanced test garment and a balanced fitted shirt from the same user.
You can see how ease is added, lengths are adjusted, and side seam shaping is developed.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Constructing and Adjusting the Pant Fit Garment
The key to great fitting pants is adjusting and balancing the crotch area.
The test pant is based on a slim fit pant model. The pattern consists of two pieces: front (cut 2) and back (cut 2).
Pant options are not included.
Prepare the pattern, lay out and grain up your fabric. Cut out the
pieces and transfer all marks and darts.
To Construct:
Simplified Version -- You may use other construction techniques as desired.
•
•
•
•
•
Carefully sew all darts.
Sew the center back seam.
Sew the center front seam starting 7-8 inches below the waist and extending through the crotch point. Fold back
the open seam allowance and press, so that you can pin the pants closed.
Sew the front and back together at the outer seams.
Sew the front and back together at the inseam, sewing from the hem up. Note that there is a ½ inch inseam ease
allowance, which makes the back inseam ½ inch shorter than the front. Ease this amount in the top 5-6 inches
of the inseam.
What to look for:
; The out seam (side seam) should run straight from waist to ankle. (If the garment is incorrect, adjust the front to back
splits of waist and hip measurements.)
; The pant should feel snug but comfortable.
; There should be no wrinkles, which indicate excess fabric, or puckers, which indicate that the pants are too tight,
around the body or in the crotch.
; You should not feel like you have a ‘wedgie’. (The measurement line that may need correcting is inseam length.)
; The pant should fit from floor to natural waist. (If your garment is incorrect, check the measurement line for floor to
waist (conformed). You need to adjust the overall length.)
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
You can refine your crotch shape, length and curve easily with Dress Shop. What follows is a brief introduction. If you
are using a wizard or standard measurement chart, you should be able to get a relaxed (dress pant) fit pant with just a
few adjustments. The closer the desired fit to your unique body shape, the more you may need to refine the chart.
The adjustments may be made on the Chart in this snap shot of the “complete chart” available in the Dress Shop Pro
Version.
Waist
27
Abdomen
34.5
Hip
37.5
.
Hip Front
21
Hip Back
19.62
Front Crotch Length
13.25
Back Crotch Length
15
Front Crotch Ext
2.31
Back Crotch Ext
3.925
Front Crotch Break
0
Back Crotch Break
0
Or study this snap shot of the standard version chart.
WAIST
27
Abdomen
34.5
Hip
37.5
Mid Thigh
21.75
Floor to Waist, Side
40
Floor to Waist, Front
40
Floor to Waist, Back
40
Inseam
29.5
Crotch Length Front
12.12
Crotch Length Back
15.12
Crotch Extension Front
2.021
Crotch Extension Back
3.825
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Adjusting the front and back crotch extensions: adjusts the width of the body as the
pant passes between the legs.
Adjusting the crotch length raises or lowers not only the curve break point, but
also the actual extension.
Adjusting where the curve starts on the crotch fork is adjusted using the curve
break point.
Finally, in the Dart Tool you can adjust the angle of the back crotch fork by making an entry in the center back waist
dart area. This is the ultimate refinement and must be reserved for when you have a real pattern on screen.
For an example, load a fitted pants pattern. Under Options, select dart and center back dart. As you change this angle
(increasing or decreasing), you will modify both the “darting effect” at the waist and the entire shape of the back crotch
fork.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - FIT TEST GARMENTS
Here are some photos showing what’s wrong with a pant fit garment and how to correct it.
The out seam must be straight. It is a continuation from the bodice side seam to the floor.
The waist level split front to back is okay. The abdomen and hip
splits are both off, leading to this rather extreme curve. Taking inches from the back and
adding them to the front will correct this problem.
This lady has a tilted waist, so her floor to waist back should be taller than the front. Here the
floor to waist front is okay, but the side is a little short, and the back is very short.
This is a mild example of skirting, where the crotch length front
is too long, allowing extra fabric to bunch or form wrinkles.
In this case, reducing the crotch length front by a fraction of an inch resolved the issue.
Small adjustments of only a fraction of an inch can turn a good fit into a wonderful fit.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Constructing Necklines
The articles below are samples taken from Help – Articles and Directions in the program.
A Polo Neck – by Janet Dean
Fabric Preparation:
Optional: interface the placket pieces with a lightweight fusible interfacing. Mark placket placement lines on
shirt front.
To mark the center front of the placket, fold the
fabric in half and lightly press in the center
front mark – center of placket between the
stitch lines.
Press seam allowances on long edges to the
wrong side.
Optional: lightly press fold lines in place.
Sewing the Applied Placket:
Stay stitch the front neck edge.
Mark placket stitching line on wrong side of placket.
Pin to garment – right side of placket to wrong side of garment.
Tailor’s chalk to mark placket seams
Freezer paper template the width
and length of the placket
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Stitch. Slash between the stitches forming a triangle at the end of the placket –
similar to the one on the pattern.
Turn placket through the slash. Press seam allowances and
triangle towards the placket.
Placket turned through and pinned in place. This is referred to
as the placket facing.
Working from right side, fold under lap along fold line
matching seam line on the wrong side. Fabric will extend
below the placket. Tuck the ends of the placket inside the
shirt.
Make sure you lap the placket in the right direction.
Men, boys
Left over right
Women, girls
Right over left
Prepare collar if applicable. Often this style of shirt uses a knitted collar which needs no preparation.
To construct collar, stitch right sides together around the three edges that do not have the shoulder match
point. Trim seam allowance, turn and press. Topstitch if desired.
Stitch open edge together 3/8” from the cut edge (inside the seam allowance).
Stitch shoulder seams.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
On the garment, mark the following points:
• Center back
• Center front on placket overlap
• Fold line placket overlap
• Center front on placket under lap
• Fold line placket under lap
The blue pins are marking the center fronts; the green pins are
marking the placket fold lines.
Pin the collar to the garment matching center back, shoulder T
marks and edges of collar to center front marks. Do not pin
through the placket facing.
Knitted collar:
Center back edges of collar to center front marks. Open out
placket facing.
Turn back at the fold line and pin over the collar.
Stitch seam.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Clip placket corners.
Finish the neck seam:
Over lock: Trimming the seam allowance back to about 3/8” (1cm).
From right side stitch seam allowance in place on the garment parallel to the neckline seam,
or twill tape. Edge stitch the twill tape to the trimmed collar seam allowance only.
(Keep free of the garment.)
Start and finish the twill tape within the placket so that the
ends are stitched in later.
Edge stitch the other edge of the twill tape to the garment,
enclosing the seam allowance.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
If twill tape isn’t available in the right size – I used ½” in this
sample – you can use any of the following: bias binding, self fabric
binding, grosgrain, petersham, or satin ribbon (although probably
not for men's wear).
Complete the placket:
Pin under lap back in place.
Stitch in the ditch or edge stitch on the placket to catch the placket facing on the wrong side. Pin the overlap
back in place. This can be fiddly. Edge stitch in place, duplicating the finish from the under lap side.
Topstitch if desired.
With the garment lying right side up on the table, fold the front
back on itself at the placket line.
You will see the triangle (from the original slash) and the rest of
the placket which needs to be stitched in place.
Pin through all layers.
Stitch and trim excess fabric. On the right side, stitch across the
placket about ¼” (6mm) (a presser foot’s width) away from the
base of the placket towards the neckline.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
A Funnel Neck - by Bobbi Jo Nichols
Pattern description:
The funnel neck has a fold over facing and usually does not
require a closure. It may be associated with many different
silhouettes, from a princess armhole dress-floor length, dress in
stretch velour, to a polar fleece jacket, a cardigan with a front
opening, or a blouse or shirt.
For a nice neckline, use fabrics with excellent “recovery” or
bounce back to original shape after being stretched. A funnel neck
can be constructed in a woven fabric but it will be cut on the bias
and requires a back zipper.
These tips will be for sewing a sweater knit funnel neckline.
Most sewing books have directions for the more advanced
technique of inserting a zipper in a bias cut neckline.
This Funnel Neck Knit shirt by Bobbi Nichols was made in a
medium weight stripe sweater knit.
Fabric choice:
Knits such as interlock, sweater, slinky, or any knit with Lycra etc. will work.
Woven fabrics: will need to be a medium weight and should be “CUT ON BIAS” to stand firmly.
NB Since knits vary greatly in the amount of stretch they have, it is important to be sure that the neck
opening you draft will go over your head.
Drafting your Funnel Neckline:
For this Funnel Neck; I selected a Casual Knit Shirt, and selected the funnel neck. The straight, un-tucked
hem was also chosen. Using the Options menu I changed the seam allowance to ¼”. To serge this shirt you
do not need the 5/8” seam allowance.
If you are using a knit that tends to “roll”, you will want to be sure and use a ¼” seam allowance.
Use the neck tool to select a lower neck depth, such as 2” below the jewel in the front and 1” below the
jewel in the back. If using a woven fabric please use the neck tool to widen the neck width and depth and
add a little more in the scoop width box.
Even with a knit, many people prefer to open up the neck a bit by using the neckline tool.
Please read the How to Use the Neckline Tool article for Funnel Necks.
For other design options, you can select your desired width for a soft “scrunchy” funnel using the scoop
neck values.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Cutting out your Casual Knit Shirt with Funnel Neck:
If you are making your funnel neck in a knit, cut with the greatest stretch going around the neck.
If using a woven it is advisable to cut on the bias in order to achieve a nice stand.
If you desire to have the front “on Bias” you must add a seam allowance to center front. You may elect a
“zipper closure” on the design menu or simply add a seam allowance after printing if you forgot it.
Check the fabric and mark for true bias grain.
The pattern pieces are placed on bias as a “single lay” (cutting through one layer). Place one piece on the
bias print side down, the other print side up, in opposing angles so the pattern, if any, will chevron down
the front.
When cutting out a striped fabric, I always fold both
selvage edges towards the center of the fabric, instead
of the folding down the center. This way I can see and
make sure that the stripes are going to line up at the
front and back seam lines.
I also use fabric weights when cutting out my
garment; this keeps slick fabrics from sliding or
being stretched by the use of straight pins.
Cutting is quicker if you use a rotary cutter and cutting
mat.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Constructing your Funnel Neck Shirt:
Serge or clean finish your neck facing.
When sewing knits on a conventional sewing
machine, use a longer stitch length for the seams and
a “stretch stitch “if it is available.
Using 9 stitches per inch is a good rule of thumb.
You can also double stitch ¼” seams by sewing a
second row of stitching 1/8” from the previous row
of stitching. Then press the seam to one side.
If you want a great deal of stretch in the seam allowance, use a zigzag stitch. Also, with knit fabrics, keep
the pressure light; this prevents the fabric from ruffling at the edge.
When serging be sure to test sew a fabric sample to set the correct differential feed setting.
2. Apply a stay tape over the shoulder seams to stabilize. I used “Design Plus Black Straight Stay Tape” by
L.J. Designs, which is a fusible product.
You may also topstitch the shoulder seam to hold the seam in place if you plan to launder it often.
If you sew with a regular sewing machine you will want to stretch the fabric, ever so slightly, to allow for
full stretch of fabric, around the head and neck, in wearing.
If you are unsure of the fit, you may wish to baste on a regular sewing machine and try it on over
your head before serging.
3. Pin the shoulder seam front and back, right
sides together. You can use silk dress pins, but
be very careful NOT to stretch or destroy any
of the fabric weave.
Press the shoulder seam flat over a seam roll
without stretching as you press the iron
straight down. Depending on your fabric type,
you may need to use a pressing cloth. Let the
fabric cool down before disturbing it; this will
prevent it from being stretched out of shape.
I have found that correct pressing can make
the difference in a “homemade” garment and a
professionally sewn garment.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
4. Fold along the dashed line to form the facing. Pin at the
“T” pin marking where the neck and shoulder meet, and
slipstitch to hold the facing in place. Press without stretching
the edge to have a nice finished neck edge.
5. Hand stitch the neck facing to the shoulder seam at the
seam line with a slipstitch or stitch “in the ditch”.
6. Serge finish the raw edge of the sleeves at the hem.
Attach the sleeves to the garment matching the front arm
notch with the front sleeve notch, and match the back arm
notch with the back sleeve notch, right sides together, and
sew.
Tip: To ease in the fullness of the sleeve cap, you can place
the sleeve, wrong side of the garment, against the feed dogs.
7. With right sides together, sew the front to the back at the side seams.
For hem finishes with a stretchy fabric that tends to “grow”, use a longer stitch length at the hemline and
sew the garment slightly narrower at the hemline side seams.
8. Serge or edge-finish the raw edge of the garment hem.
Sew the hem in using a blind-hem stitch either by hand or on your machine.
Nancy Nason's Funnel Neck
This “How To Article” is provided By Bobbi Jo Nichols of Missouri.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
A Turtleneck - by Nancy Nason
Pattern Description:
The turtleneck is a fold over collar that is inserted 'in the
round' and usually does not require a zipper.
A turtleneck collar in a woven fabric is cut on the bias and
requires a back zipper. It is known as a bias roll collar.
These tips will be for sewing a knit turtleneck collar.
Most sewing books have directions for the more advanced
technique of inserting a zipper in a bias roll turtleneck.
This turtleneck by Nancy Nason is made in a lightweight knit.
Fabric Choice:
Knits, such as interlock, sweater, slinky, or any knit with Lycra, etc., will work. Woven fabrics of a soft nature and
“good hand” cut on bias are also suitable. Ribbing that matches your garment body fabric is ideal when available.
If using sweatshirt fleece, use ribbing or other stretch material for the turtleneck.
NB Since knits vary greatly in the amount of stretch they have, it is important to be sure that the collar and the neck
opening you draft will go over your head.
Drafting Your Collar:
When you choose the turtleneck collar and the collar option tool, you can choose the width of your collar. (*See the
“How to Use the Collar Tool” article in the Dress Shop Help - Articles.) Neck choice: select the jewel neckline.
If using a woven fabric, please use the neck tool to widen the neck width and depth. Even with a knit, many people
prefer to open up the neck a bit by either trimming or using the neckline tool. It is up to you to make sure the neck
opening is wide enough to get over your head.
Cutting out Your Collar:
If you are making your collar in a knit, cut the collar out with the greatest stretch going around the neck. If using a
woven, be sure to cut on the bias in order to achieve a nice roll.
Constructing Your Collar:
To make your turtleneck, sew the shorter sides of the collar together with a regular sewing machine. Press the seam
open.
Fold the collar in half.
If you have never made a turtleneck before, you may wish to baste the neck edges of the collar together.
Divide the neck edge in quarters, and mark each quarter with a pin.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Sew the shoulder seams on your garment and divide the
neckline in quarters, marking each quarter with a pin.
Place the neck edge of the collar against the neck edge of
the shirt with right sides together and pin, matching the
quarter marks.
As you sew with the collar on top, stretch the collar to
match the garment. If you are unsure of the fit, you may
wish to baste this seam on a regular sewing machine and
try it over your head before serging.
If you prefer a facing finish, divide and sew only one edge
of the collar to the garment. Then fold the collar along the
dashed edge to have a nice finished, faced top edge.
Hand stitch the raw neck edge to the inside or stitch “in the ditch.” (See glossary.)
Jaylene's Turtleneck
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
A Cowl Neck - by Janet Dean and Kaaren Hoback
The cowl neckline changes the construction order for any blouse or dress.
After preparing your pattern and fabric, please review these directions before proceeding.
The cowl requires a "stay" which is an additional fabric piece applied to the inside of the fabric front to hold the neck
and shoulders in position. The cowl will then stay draped and won't move around. The stay may be made of any fabric,
but is often more comfortable if made with stretch fabrics or swimsuit lining.
The pattern piece on the right is for the front stay, which will be found under "facings."
•
There is a red T pin at the shoulder neck edge position.
Constructing Your Garment:
Do a trial of the pattern pieces to understand how the stay works. Overlay the stay piece on the front pattern piece.
Match the stay to the shoulder and armhole area; the stay shoulder represents the finished shoulder line.
Note how wide the blouse cowl front is compared to the stay. The
stay will “hold” the cowl drape towards the center, pushing the
excess width in towards center. The "extra" is what forms the cowl
or drape.
The raised neckline of the cowl will fold inwards to the inside of
the garment, creating the draped cowl effect when completed.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - NECKLINES
Layout: The front piece may be cut on the bias rather than true long grain.
You may add a center front seam allowance and layout the pattern as a
single lay, flipping the pattern over print side down. Cut each half of the
front separately and sew the two fronts together. This will create a chevron
effect (i.e. V), depending on your fabric's texture.
Alternatively, you can create a seamless front by folding the corner of the
fabric back on itself to provide a fold line on true bias. Use that fold to lay
the half front pattern piece on the fold line. This may have a noticeable one
way tilt to the bias grain of your front fabric.
The back is cut on true long grain on the fold.
Prepare and finish the lower edge of the stay by using an over lock, zigzag, or fold up single turn hem.
Prepare and finish the neck edge of the stay by stitching just inside the seam line. Turn a single fold hem. (Clip, if
necessary, to ensure that the neckline lies flat.)
Prepare and finish the cut edge of the cowl using an over lock, zigzag, or fold up single hem.
Attach the stay to the garment, wrong sides together. Line up the shoulders using the red T pin marks at the neck edge,
armholes, and side seams.
• Stitch just inside the seam allowance – shoulder, armhole and side seams -- taking care not to stretch.
• Stitch the back neck facing to the garment back.
• Stitch front to back at shoulder seams. Use whatever seam finish you prefer.
• Note: Keep the cowl and back facing clear of the shoulder seams.
• Stabilize the shoulder seam with clear elastic or stay tape.
• Complete the side seams, sleeves, and hems.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - SLEEVES
Constructing Sleeves - by Kaaren Hoback
The articles below are samples taken from Help – Articles and Directions in the program.
Select which method you desire to attach the sleeve -- flat or “in the round.”
Flat construction is generally done with more casual outfits. Raglan and stretch raglan sleeves are usually constructed
using the flat method. “In the round” is suggested for better dresses, blouses and jackets. Two piece and darted sleeves
are usually constructed in the round.
The sleeve cap is always slightly longer than the armhole it is to be stitched to. This provides cap ease which you can
adjust within the program. Unless you are using stretch fabric, you must have some cap ease or the sleeve may tear out
when being worn.
Make sure your notches for front, back and cap apex are well marked. I like to snip into the seam allowance about ¼ of
an inch. Stitch the dart and press, if using a darted sleeve.
If you are putting the sleeve in flat:
The shoulders are constructed first and you lay out the sleeve flat to the armhole. Stitch in the sleeve cap. Then sew
from wrist to underarm, matching the intersection precisely. Pivot, take a stitch, and start sewing down the side seam.
If you are putting the sleeve “in the round,” you construct the shoulders, then the underarm seam of the sleeve and the
side seam first.
Setting the cap:
Ease the sleeve cap:
Do not ease below the notch, and leave at least ¾ or 1 inch smooth on either side of the cap apex. There are several
ways to ease the sleeve to the armhole. Each method has the stitching in the seam allowance approximately 1/4 inch in
from the cut edge.
Basting stitch gathering:
One way to ease the sleeve is to leave a thread tail and stitch a long basting stitch from notch to apex on each side. The
stitching is approximately ¼ inch inside the seam allowance. Some people do a continuous stitch from notch to notch. I
find it better to stop before the apex, leaving a thread tail. Then start again on the other side of the cap apex mark. You
will have more control on pulling your thread to gather and put less strain on the gathering thread. Pull the bobbin
thread gently until you have gathered in the excess ease. Be careful or you may break your gathering thread.
Gathering over a nylon thread or fish line:
Using a very lightweight clear nylon thread (which has considerably more strength), zigzag or couch over the line again
just inside the seam allowance, not past the stitch line. Leave a thread tail on both ends of your zigzag stitching. Be
careful not to catch the nylon thread with the zigzag stitch.
Let the feed dogs do the work (as taught by Margaret Islander and Sandra Bettzina):
Place the sleeve down on the needle plate of your machine. Lengthen the stitch length to 4 or longer. Needle down.
Presser foot down and place the index finger of your left hand behind the presser foot. (Check to make sure your
machine will not pinch your finger!)
Take a small pleat in the fabric behind the presser foot. Push it against the back of the foot, impeding the flow of fabric.
Sew quickly for several inches. Stop and reposition your fingers. Continue until you are about an inch away from the
apex mark. Sew, without gathering, a smooth stitch for an inch on either side of the marked apex. Then again apply
pressure from behind the presser foot, stopping the fabric from traveling freely beyond it with your left hand index
finger.
Practice on scraps!
74
DRESS SHOP ™ - SLEEVES
Now the cap is eased or shortened to fit the armhole. Using your finger tips, tap, tap, tap the easing so it is smooth.
Use a dressmaker's ham or even a rolled up wash cloth or tea towel to create a “shoulder” to steam the cap into shape.
You do not want to iron this flat! You just spent all that time shaping it into a cap. Once you finish steaming and
pressing the cap, allow it to cool and dry before moving it.
Pin the sleeve to the armhole. First match the apex to shoulder point, then front and back notches, and then the
underarm position. Smooth the easing so the sleeve matches the armhole. Do not ease from underarm to notches; apply
evenly. All the easing is between the notches up to the cap apex.
Stitch in place by hand with a basting stitch in a contrast color thread or slowly machine stitch. Remove the basting
stitch or nylon thread from method 1 or 2.
If you are using a cuff, I suggest constructing the cuff first to the flat sleeve. Then sew the underarm sleeve and set the
sleeve "in the round.”
Prepare the cuff. If you are using a vent and button cuff, the vent will print on the shirt. You may use the vent placket,
which is often called a tower placket. Cuffs are interfaced on the side closest to the skin.
If you plan on using a sleeve head to fill in the top of the cap, prepare the head and hand catch stitch in place to the
armhole seam allowance.
The Darted Sleeve
The darted sleeve pattern piece must be prepared by first folding out the dart as it
will be stitched. Next true the underarm back seam line.
The dart is stitched first and pressed over a ham to shape. The underarm seam is
then stitched.
Ease the sleeve cap to the armhole. The sleeve is then inserted in the round.
For jackets and shirts, I would suggest adding a strip of interfacing in the hem area.
The Two Piece Sleeve
The Two Piece Sleeve is ideal for jackets and is inserted in the round, so the
sleeve and side seams are constructed first.
The under panel is stitched to the upper panel easing the back elbow seam as
needed between the notches.
Mark the notch of the underarm panel as side seam match point.
Ease the sleeve cap to the arm hole.
The sleeve will benefit from a sleeve head stitched to the seam allowance at
the same time the shoulder pad is added.
For jackets and shirts I would suggest adding a strip of interfacing in the hem
area.
75
DRESS SHOP ™ - SLEEVES
The Lantern Sleeve - by Autumn Couture of Florida.
What is a Lantern Sleeve?
A lantern sleeve can be used in patterns that range from formal bridal wear to casual elegance.
It is a sleeve that is gracefully full, has a “lantern” base and is gathered in at wrist.
There is an additional piece to the lantern that matches the fullness and gently brings it back to the arm. You
then can end it with a cuff or a simple elastic casing at the arm at whichever length you choose.
Fabric choices:
The graceful fullness of this sleeve lends itself to rayon, soft linens, silks, sheers and other softly woven
fabric with a nice drape. Knits may work as well, depending on how stable they are. This type of sleeve will
not drape well in a stiff woven.
How to Assemble a Lantern Sleeve:
One
For ease in identification we will refer
to the pieces as one, two and three.
Two
Three
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DRESS SHOP ™ - SLEEVES
Pattern Prep: True your seam allowances. Mark grain lines on all
pattern pieces. Decide if you will be using the cuff or ending it with
an elastic casing at the wrist. If using the casing method, you may
discard the cuff piece, then add the casing depth to the inside curve
of piece number 2.
Piece 1 may appear shorter than you are used to for a full length sleeve; this is because some of this length
will be made up with piece number 2.
Check that the cuff is the length you would like; the length up and down
the wrist, as well as around the wrist. You may select a French Cuff on
the Options / Sleeve menu.
Construction steps:
Elastic wrist sleeve:
If you will be making the elastic casing at wrist, you will begin by making
the casing now.
Fold up the hem edge, press, stitch and insert your elastic.
Now stitch the seam of piece 2.
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DRESS SHOP ™ - SLEEVES
Next you will attach piece 2 to piece 1. There will be some easing needed in attaching the round edge to a
straight edge.
It is recommended to put the rounded edge against the bed of the machine and let the feed dogs do the easing
for you.
Work in small sections and only line up the edges of fabric for
about 1-2 inches in front of the presser foot.
Your sleeve is done and ready to attach to the blouse!
Cuff at wrist: If you will be making the cuff at wrist, begin by
sewing the long curved seam to the bottom edge of piece number
one.
There will be some easing as you match a curved seam to a relatively
straight one, so try to put the one curved seam against the sewing
machine bed.
This allows the feed dogs to do some of the easing for you. Work in
small sections and only line up the edges of fabric for about 1-2 inches
in front of the presser foot.
Now sew the underarm seam from armscye to bottom of piece 1.
Match seams, needle down, lift presser foot, and pivot fabric; continue
on to cuff.
Sew the cuff seam closed, making sure it will fit around your hand!
Press, fold right side out, press again and attach cuff in the round to the
bottom of the sleeve.
Your sleeve is done and ready to attach to the blouse.
78
DRESS SHOP ™ -LICENSE & WARRANTY
Software License and Limited Warranty
This NW Synergistic Software, Inc. End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement for the Dress Shop
Software Product in which this EULA is contained, which includes computer software and may include associated
media, printed materials, and "online" or electronic documentation (collectively the "Software Product"), between you
and NW Synergistic Software, Inc., doing business as Livingsoft Northwest ("Livingsoft"). By installing, copying, or
otherwise using the Software Product, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. You must indicate your
agreement to be bound by the terms of this EULA by pressing the "I ACCEPT" button on the Software Product's
installation program, or else you will not be able to install the Software Product. If you do not agree to the terms of
this EULA, you may not install or use the Software Product; you may, however, within 30 days of your initial
purchase of a copy of the Software Product, return the entire copy of the Software Product (including all computer
media, packaging and documentation) either to Livingsoft's Customer Service department or to the retailer from which
you purchased the Software Product, for a refund of the amount indicated by your sales receipt for the Software
Product, in which event your rights under this EULA are immediately terminated. If you are installing the Software
Product on a computer that is not owned by you, you are bound to the terms of this EULA both in your individual
capacity and as an agent of the owner of the computer, and your actions will bind the owner of the computer. You
represent and warrant to Livingsoft that you have the capacity and authority to enter into this Agreement on your own
behalf as well as on behalf of the owner of the computer the Software Product is being installed upon. For purposes
of this EULA, the "owner" of a computer is the individual or entity that has legal title to the computer or that has the
possessory interest in the computer if it is leased or loaned by the actual title owner.
COPYRIGHT. The Software Product is protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties, as well as
other intellectual property laws and treaties. All title and copyrights in and to the Software Product (including but not
limited to any images, photographs, animations, video, audio, music, text, and "applets" incorporated into the Software
Product) are owned by Livingsoft or its suppliers.
GRANT OF LICENSE. The Software Product is licensed, not sold. Subject to the condition that you are in compliance
with the terms of this EULA: (a) you may install and use one copy of the Software Product, or any prior version for the
same operating system, on a single computer for use by a single simultaneous operator; and (b) you may install a single
copy of the Software Product, strictly for your own personal use, on one portable computer owned by you. No other
use, copying or distribution of the Software Product is permitted. You may not rent the Software Product, nor may you
offer use of it to others through a service bureau or application service provider. If you are installing this copy of the
Software Product as an upgrade, update, patch or enhancement of a prior release of the same Software Product which
was installed on the same computer, your rights under the prior license agreement for the Software Product are
terminated, and all of your use of the Software Product (including its prior versions) are solely under the terms of this
license agreement.
LIMITATIONS. Except to the extent such a restriction is unenforceable under local law, you may not reverse engineer,
decompile, or disassemble the Software Product. The Software Product is licensed as a single product, and its
component parts may not be separated for use on more than one computer. You may not modify, amend, or create
derivative works of the Software Product.
TERM. If the Software Product that was distributed to you was labeled as an EVALUATION VERSION or TRY &
BUY VERSION (or its functional equivalent) (an "Evaluation Version"), the license granted under this EULA
commences upon the installation of the Software Product and is effective for the longer of 30 days following the date
you install the Software Product or the first 20 uses (the "Evaluation Term"). Evaluation Version Software Products
may include software code intended to disable their functionality after the expiration of the Evaluation Term. You may
take no actions to circumvent the operation of such disabling code, and you accept all risks that might arise from such
disabling code. If the Software Product was not distributed as an Evaluation Version, or if you converted an Evaluation
Version installation of the Software Product to a non-Evaluation Version of the Software Product by authorized use of
the conversion mechanism provided with the Software Product (in each case either being or resulting in a "Full-License
Version"), the licenses granted under this EULA commence upon the installation of the Software Product and are
effective in perpetuity unless terminated per the terms of this Agreement.
79
DRESS SHOP ™ -LICENSE & WARRANTY
TERMINATION. Upon the expiration of the Evaluation Term (if any), your rights under this EULA terminate
automatically without notice from Livingsoft. Without prejudice to any other rights, Livingsoft may terminate this
EULA or your rights under this EULA at any time if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this
EULA. Upon termination of your rights under this EULA for any reason, or upon termination of the EULA itself, you
must destroy all copies of the Software Product and all of its component parts in your possession (including all
component parts, the media and printed materials, any prior versions, and this EULA). The terms of this paragraph
shall survive any termination of this EULA.
TRANSFER. You may permanently transfer all of your rights under this EULA (except if your rights are in an
Evaluation Version), provided you retain no copies, you transfer all copies of the Software Product (including all
component parts, the media and printed materials, any prior versions, and this EULA), and the recipient agrees to be
subject to the terms of this EULA and to re-register their product immediately with Livingsoft. The recipient must
report what Software Product they purchased and from whom so the seller’s account can be updated accordingly. You
may not transfer activation codes (sometimes referred to as keycodes) as those contain customer account
information and could result in personal liability to you for purchases made by the recipient. When a Software Product
is transferred, activation codes should be destroyed and new activation codes will be provided to the new owner when
they re-register. Upon the occurrence of such a transfer, your rights under this EULA terminate immediately.
LIMITED WARRANTY. The warranties and disclaimers described in this paragraph are collectively the "Limited
Warranty". Livingsoft warrants to you (and only you) that the Software Product will perform substantially in
accordance with the accompanying documentation (if any) for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of original
purchase of a license to the Software Product from an authorized retailer or directly from Livingsoft (or the date you
have obtained authorization from Livingsoft or an authorized retailer to convert an Evaluation Version to a FullLicense Version) (in each case the "Purchase Date"). Implied warranties on the Software Product, to the extent
required by applicable law, are limited to sixty (60) days from the Purchase Date. Some states do not allow limitations
on how long an implied warranty lasts, so the above limitation may not apply to you. To the maximum extent
permitted by applicable law, Livingsoft and its suppliers disclaim all other warranties and conditions with regard to
or arising out of the Software Product, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of
merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement and/or accuracy of information. The Limited
Warranty is void if failure of the Software Product has resulted from accident, abuse, misapplication, use of the
Software Product other than as described in the documentation issued by Livingsoft, use of the Software Product in
combination with other Software Products that are not described as compatible in the documentation issued by
Livingsoft, or your breach of the terms of this EULA. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also
have other rights which vary from State to State. No individual (except a duly authorized officer of Livingsoft) and no
reseller or retailer has any authority to amend or add to any of the above representations and disclaimers.
YOUR REMEDY. Your exclusive remedy for any breach of the Limited Warranty is for you to give us notice of the
breach by returning to Livingsoft, care of wherever you purchased from, a copy of your purchase receipt for your copy
of the Software Product and a description of the alleged breach, and then, at Livingsoft's option, Livingsoft shall
either: (a) return the price you paid (if any) for the Software Product (at which time your rights under this EULA are
deemed to have terminated); or (b) repair or replace the Software Product. The Limited Warranty period for any
replacement Software Product will be extended for the remainder of the original warranty period or thirty (30) days
after the replacement Software Product is delivered to you, whichever is longer. If your license is for an Evaluation
Version, your exclusive remedy for any breach of this EULA, including a breach of the Limited Warranty, shall be
to terminate your rights under this EULA. Your remedies described in this paragraph are your exclusive remedies,
and shall not be deemed to fail of their essential purpose so long as Livingsoft is willing to repair or replace the
Software Product or return the price you paid for the Software Product.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Livingsoft or
its suppliers be liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages whatsoever (including, without
limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or any other
pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use the Software Product, even if Livingsoft has been
80
DRESS SHOP ™ -LICENSE & WARRANTY
advised of the possibility of such damages. In any case, Livingsoft's entire liability under any provision of this EULA
shall be limited to the greater of the amount actually paid by you for the Software Product or US $5.00. Some states
do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion
may not apply to you.
SITE LICENSES. The owner of the computer that you are installing the Software Product upon may have entered into a
broad license agreement with Livingsoft governing the use of certain Livingsoft products including this Software
Product. To the extent that the owner of the computer has entered into such an agreement that specifically states that it
governs the use of the Software Product on computers owned by the owner, then any conflict between that agreement
and this EULA shall be resolved in favor of the terms of that agreement, but otherwise this EULA shall
simultaneously govern your license to the Software Product.
81
DRESS SHOP ™ -INDEX
Index
Abdomen.................................. 35, 38, 42, 48, 49, 60
Abdomen Depth .................................................... 38
Across Back ........................................................... 36
Across Chest .............................................. 36, 42, 45
Across Shoulder .................................. 36, 42, 45, 46
activate..................................................................... 6
Arm ........................................................................ 39
Armhole ............................................... 35, 39, 45, 46
Around Hand ........................................................ 39
Bicep................................................................. 11, 39
Body Shape ...................................................... 11, 12
Bust ................................................ 12, 35, 37, 38, 45
Center back ..... 35, 36, 37, 39, 42, 52, 54, 57, 59, 63
Center front.... 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 47, 51, 52, 53,
57, 61, 63, 67, 73
Center Length Back.............................................. 37
Center Length Front............................................. 37
Closure..................................... 18, 23, 31, 53, 66, 67
Closure Options .................................................... 18
Collars.................................................................... 18
Common Measuring Mistakes ............................. 42
Complete Pants Customizer ................................ 22
Constructing
Casual Blouse Fit Garment................................. 51
Necklines ............................................................ 61
Sleeves ................................................................ 74
The Pant Fit Garment ......................................... 57
Your Patterns ...................................................... 24
Crotch ........ 12, 39, 43, 47, 48, 49, 50, 57, 58, 59, 60
Crotch Length Front ............................................ 39
Dart ...................................................... 19, 47, 48, 59
Design Tools .......................................................... 21
Design Tools Menu ............................................... 10
ease .. 8, 10, 15, 21, 22, 24, 29, 30, 31, 32, 44, 46, 47,
48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 69, 74, 75, 76
Elbow Depth .......................................................... 39
Empire Waist Customizer.................................... 21
Extra Pattern Pieces Options............................... 20
Extras....................................................................... 9
Fabric Layout........................................................ 27
Fabric Preparation ............................................... 33
File menu ................................................. 6, 9, 23, 27
Fit Customizer....................................................... 21
Fit Test Garments ................................... 6, 8, 15, 16
Full Length Back................................................... 37
Full Length Front.................................................. 37
Getting Started ........................................................8
Grid ..........................................................................8
Help Menu .............................................................10
High Waist .............................................................38
High Waist Offset ..................................................38
Inseam ................................12, 20, 39, 43, 47, 48, 58
Lay Out ..................................................................33
Length Options......................................................17
Loading a Pattern..................................................16
Marking..................................................................34
Measurement Chart ........................................14, 34
Measurement Display Icon ....................................8
Measurement Wizard: ..........................................12
Measurements..................8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 34, 39, 44
Measuring ......................................12, 34, 36, 42, 44
Neckline Options ...................................................18
Option Summary...................................................20
Options Menu ........................................................10
Over Arm Length ..................................................39
Page Set up ...............................................................7
Pant Fit Garment ..................................................57
Pattern Diagrams ..................................................25
Pattern Options .....................................................17
Pattern Preparation ..............................................29
Pattern Settings .....................................................17
Printer ......................................................6, 7, 24, 23
Printer Icon..............................................................8
Printing Patterns ...................................................24
Quick Start Guide....................................................6
Reference Pattern ...................................................8
Ruffle, Flounce and Peplum Tool ........................23
Scale....................................................................8, 23
Shaping and Finish Options .................................19
Shoulder Length ....................................................36
Shoulder Slope .......................................................36
Side Length ......................................................38, 42
Size Menu.................................................................9
Sleeve Options .......................................................17
Slopers ..................................................15, 44, 44, 46
Standard Sizes .......................................................11
Upper Torso Measurements.................................36
User Preferences......................................................7
Vent, Pleat or Godet Options ...............................19
Wrist.......................................................................39
Yoke Customizer ...................................................23
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