After a year and a half salivating over the idea of getting patternmaking software, doing some research and reviews, I finally made a purchase about three weeks ago. After considering other products, I purchased Wild Ginger Cameo 5.
I thought I would be able to decide if I wanted to buy the software after downloading and playing with the demo. But, in the demo, all of the tutorials and help are either disabled or scaled down so that they were essentially useless. If that is all they had, I wouldn't have made a purchase. But the company offers a full money-back guarantee until 15 days after purchase, so I figured that would be the real demo.
I got three packages: the basic software, the grading tool, plus a women's pattern library.
There was a sale on Thanksgiving for 20% off and I got the whole suite
for about $2000.00 USD. Which is a lot of money, but there are three things this software can do that the other, less expensive packages don't seem to do (or don't seem to do well).
1. The ability to sell the items you create
Some patternmaking software has restrictions on selling the items you create from it. They are cheaper, but if I can't (eventually) sell what I make, it really defeats the purpose of creating anything in it. I wouldn't go through the trouble of creating something digital if it is just for personal use - that can be done on paper.
2. Editing and creating patterns from slopers (easily)
After following just a few tutorials, I was able to enter in my slopers, based on my own measurements.
When I was making the curved lines on the sleeve cap, I was able to easily segment the lines, put in points and make arcs fairly easily. I have tried to do that with other pattern-making software and found it difficult.
The next step is to take them and make some other patterns out of
them. For example, I'd like to make an empire waist out of the bodice
and attach it to the skirt just like you would for pen and paper pattern
drafting, but since I was able to draw the sleeve cap, I am not worried about that.
I have only gone through the tutorial project for grading on Cameo 5, but what little I saw of the grading had me dazzled. Here is the result of following the tutorials and grading a skirt. Different sizes!
To use the software, it is still essential have to know how to construct a pattern on paper. It doesn't replace that kind of skill, but it does make process easier. For example, I find that slashing a digital pattern piece is easier than doing the same thing with paper. Also, there tools for measuring lines and making sure pieces fit. I was able to click a few times to make sure I had enough ease in my sleeve cap. Measuring those curved lines is harder on paper.
The customer service seems good so far. I had one question about the purchase price, then again one about the
installation and they were both answered right away. Good customer
service is a big plus.
Bottom line: While I have yet to make my own graded pattern with this software (only the tutorial so far), I can see that I am not far from it. I am excited to keep using it and happy this is the software I chose. It is more expensive than PatternMaker Grading Studio, but this is already so much better and less clunky.
My next project is a clutch handbag that I will make into a PDF pattern and give away. I have some ideas and can't wait to try and make them into a pattern.
Read part two of the review.