PatternLab updates

PatternLab updates

What's new?

We’ve added some important updates to transform how you draft your basic blocks in the Lab. Check out the full list of changes below.

START DRAFTING

Updates to the Lab

It’s been a few days since we’ve added updates to the Lab and thought we’d give you a bit of a run-down on what has changed. It might not seem like we’ve changed much but there are some very powerful tools and updates that go into improving your drafting experience.

#1 Percentage eases

You can now add ease to your basic blocks as a percentage. Most people add static eases either in centimeters or inches, however, we’ve added this specifically to support our brand new range of ‘Style’ and ‘Design Element’ tutorials. 

Not all styles or garments use the same ease. This is part of the reason why they are classed as different styles. It’s important that our Style tutorials work for a range of sizes and body types, rather than just one size. Using a static ease like 6cm for the bust, 4cm for the waist and 6cm for the hips would only really work for one size – UK10. So what happens when we follow the tutorial for a UK24? Using the same static ease (6cm, 4cm, 6cm) would clearly not produce the same fit and the style would be far too tight. That’s where percentage eases come in. A percentage ease uses your personal measurements and changes the ease accordingly to your bust, waist or hip measurement, much in the same way the Lab’s automatic ease works. 

To add your ease as a percentage when drafting your block, simply select the “%” symbol from the Custom Ease drop-down list on the Fit tab. Or take a look at one of our style tutorials where we explain the process in depth.

Due to the introduction of percentage eases, we’ve had to change some of our minimum and maximum allowed values for a variety of blocks. You can view the new Minimum and Maximum changes on the Fit tab of each block.

#2 Changing your measurements post purchase

Originally, we restricted the number of times you could change your bust, waist and hip measurements for each order. This limited the number of different sizes that could be drafted from the same order. After reviewing this, we realised that mistakes can be made when entering your measurements, especially if you are new to measuring the body. To fix this, we now allow you to change these key measurements a maximum of three times, giving you a lot more flexibility and margin of error when editing your measurements.

Good news! This new functionality applies to all existing orders.

#3 My Library for registered users

We’ve made some subtle yet powerful changes to the existing “My Orders” area. We’ve renamed it “My Library” and added some substantial search features to the system. You can now search your purchased blocks by name, block, profile, order number, ease, or even a specific design element. This makes it far easier to keep track of your purchases, profiles and drafted blocks. Give it a whirl and see what you think!

This functionality only applies to registered user accounts. Basic blocks purchased using a Guest account are not saved in the library, instead, purchases or drafted blocks are sent directly to the email account used at checkout. Becoming a registered user is FREE and gives you access to all your purchases and drafted basic blocks anywhere, anytime. 

#4 Refined ePattern downloads

When we first launched PatternLab, we offered the bodice and matching sleeve block ePatterns as two separate items. Meaning they could be downloaded and previewed separately. We have now consolidated them into one download and preview. This prevents matching blocks such as the sleeve and bodice being lost after download. 

We have also made some small but very important changes to the blocks contained within your ePattern download:

 

  • We’ve thickened the pattern’s lines, to make them more visible when editing.
  • Removed the blocks fill (white) to make elements within the block easier to select and edit.
  • Reorganised the grouping of key elements within the blocks, making it easier to isolate and move elements when adapting your blocks using our tutorials.

New courses and tutorials

Possibly one of the most obvious additions to the Lab is our new range of tutorials and courses. We’ve spent a considerable time updating our existing tutorials, creating new ones and adding important tools and functionality to create a more fun, informative and understandable experience. Head over to the Courses page to see what’s changed.

#1 Pattern Making course

To start things off, we’ve scrapped the old ‘Pattern Making in Adobe Illustrator’ course. We’ve replaced this with a brand new series of tutorials, providing you with a much more comprehensive insight into pattern making with Adobe Illustrator. Customising your blocks is an important part of the PatternLab experience and we want to make sure you have the right knowledge and tools at your disposal. Why not take a look?

View the course…

#2 Style & Design Element tutorials

As part of our new structure, we’ve added ‘Style’ and ‘Design Element‘ tutorials. But what does this mean? Let’s imagine that a garment is made up of different design elements such as a sleeve, neckline, pocket, or even the body or style of the garment. Changing or swapping these elements will affect the finished look of the garment. We’ve created our tutorials to work in a similar way. A ‘Style Tutorial’ will show you step-by-step, how to transform your basic block to create the body (style) of your garment. A ‘Design Element Tutorial’ will show you how to then add a specific sleeve, neckline or pocket to that style. What’s more, each tutorial is designed to work with one another, allowing you to mix and match the tutorials to create a truly unique design or garment.

View Styles | View Design elements

#3 Star Ratings

To help you find the right tutorial for you, we’ve added star ratings. A tutorial with two or fewer stars will have a slower pace and is designed for people who have only just started using Adobe Illustrator as a pattern making platform. A tutorial with three stars or more will have a much faster pace and is designed for people that have a good knowledge of the tools used to pattern make in Adobe Illustrator. Whilst we haven’t explored 3 star and over tutorials yet, this will come in handy in the future as we release faster and more complicated tutorials. So stay tuned!

    Basic skirt blocks

    Basic skirt blocks

    Basic skirt block

    Start designing your next project with our brand-new basic skirt blocks. Customise the fit, skirt length, front and back dart positions and even add a yoke. Then choose from a range of different basic waistbands to finish the job.

    START DRAFTING

    Basic skirt blocks

    Start designing your next project with our brand-new basic skirt blocks.

    START DRAFTING

    Basic skirt blocks

    Welcome to the shiny new PatternLab site! It’s a few days after the relaunch and thought we’d introduce you to to some of our new blocks. That’s right, we have launched our collection of basic skirt blocks!

    We have created a comprehensive range for you to choose from, to start your next project. Why not head over to the updated Lab and start drafting.

    Oh wait… Have you made a new profile and added your new measurements yet? Now we have a new system, our measurements have changed which means existing measurements might longer be reliable when it comes to drafting your new blocks. Not to worry, you can either choose a size from our standard size charts or create a new profile and add your custom measurements. We’ve also created a brand-new measurement video tutorial to help you get started, which you can find on the profile page.

    What’s new?

    We have produced three new basic skirt blocks, but there are more blocks to follow in the coming months. Once you have selected the type of basic skirt block you need, you can customise the fit, skirt length, front and back dart positioning, add a yoke and choose from a range of different basic waistbands. This gives you the ability to design and draft a large range of different basic skirt blocks within minutes. Not only that but we’ve also added two additional full and semi-circle skirts for you to play with.

    Want to make a full-length dress? Great! You can now draft any of our basic skirt blocks to fit your bodice block, simply by ensuring your Waist Ease is the same for both. You can do this by using the custom fit feature on the Fit tab. 

     

    Looking for an all in one dress instead? Head over to the Lab, select the basic Torso block and customise the length. You can specify a custom length of choose from one of our pre-defined lengths: Hip, Thigh, Knee or Floor length.

    Visit the Lab and see what else is new?!

    Become a PatternLab Pro & adjust your measurements after purchase

    Become a PatternLab Pro & adjust your measurements after purchase

    Learn how to draft your basic blocks & adjust your measurements after purchase.

    Some of you might be new to PatternLab. You’re possibly wondering how to use the Lab to create a profile, enter your measurements, design your blocks, make a purchase and then what happens after you’ve made your purchase? Yeah, good question. Which is why we have created this handy and informative video tutorial to show you exactly that. The tutorial covers a range of different topics that should teach you how to use the Lab like a seasoned Pro. We’ve listed the points that are covered in the tutorial below.

    Also, please feel free to leave comments and questions about anything that is confusing. We’re here to help you get the very best from the Lab! 

     

    Creating a Profile & adding your custom measurements

    I take you through all the various elements on the profile page to make the whole process far simpler

    • Create, clone, remove and print a profile
    • Using the measurement sheet in combination with the measurement tutorial, to take your measurements
    • Adding measurements to a profile and fixing an error message
    • Selecting and editing existing profiles
    • How to display specific measurements for certain blocks

    Using a standard size chart

    • Where to find the standard size charts
    • The difference between Young and Mature women
    • How to select a standard size to draft your blocks

    Designing your block

    • How to select a type of basic block and where to find the new dress blocks
    • The difference between waist shaping and no waist shaping
    • The difference between automatic and custom fit, including ease.
    • Using automatic lengths or creating a custom length for your block
    • Designing the front and back of your basic block using darts
    • Understanding the sleeve block, sleeve head ease and how to customise your sleeve.
    • Adding seam allowance to elements of your blockT
    • The difference between an ePattern and a PDF pattern?

    Making your purchase

    • Adding an item to your cart
    • Terms and conditions and your rights, when it comes to using our blocks commercially
    • We use PayPal payments

    Your Personal Library

    • What happens after purchasing a basic block and completing an order
    • What is the personal library and where are orders and basic blocks stored (registered users)
    • How to edit measurements after purchase
    • Adding notes to an order to keep track of measurement adjustments

    Previewing your block and editing your measurements

    • An overview of the preview tool and where to find it
    • Downloading a basic block in a variety of different PDF paper sizes
    • Re-arranging pattern pieces to conserve paper when printing a PDF pattern
    • Downloading an ePattern including where to find our tutorials and how to customise it
    • Editing your measurements for a specific block, order or set of orders
    • Restrictions on the Bust, Waist and Hip measurements after purchase

    Using the troubleshooting guides

    • An overview of our troubleshooting guides and how to use them
    • Using the preview tool, in combination with the troubleshooting guides to spot issues with your basic blocks

    Questions and Answers

    If you have any question about the above topics or video, please feel free to leave a comment below. You can also join us on Reddit to view the community’s questions, comments, and our answers.

    What’s new in the Lab?

    What’s new in the Lab?

    Yup, that’s right! We are incredibly pleased to announce that PatternLab is back online with yet more blocks, updates to existing blocks and loads of new Lab functionality. It’s taken us almost two years of testing, developing and redesigning to create the new system. Not only that but we’ve been working on brand new blocks behind the scenes that we’ll start to roll out over the next few months.

    We would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of our testers for helping us over the past few months and years. We could not have done it without your support.

    So what’s new?

    We have spent considerable time over the past year redesigning PatternLab. This includes our drafting process, adding new basic blocks, design elements and some awesome new functionality. What follows is a list of important or note-worthy changes.

    Basic Bodice blocks & Torso blocks

    We have completely rebuilt our basic Bodice blocks and Torso blocks from the ground up to improve the fit for larger and smaller busts and size ranges. Originally our basic blocks were designed for a standard size B Cup. This has now been amended by using the Side Neck Point to Bust Apex and the Front Side Neck Point to Waist measurements. The basic blocks now change dynamically depending on how small or large these two measurements are.

    We have also added a few more dart iterations for the back panel of the basic Torso and basic Bodice blocks. Not all are currently available yet, but we will be making these live over the next few weeks. Please keep an eye on our social channels or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to access these new dart iterations.

    Torso block length

    Due to many requests, we have also added a basic Torso block “Length” Tab in the Lab. This means you can now turn your basic Torso block into a basic Dress block, simply by adding a custom length or choosing from one of our pre-defined lengths: Hip, Thigh, Knee, Floor length.

    No waist shaping

    We now give you the option to remove the waist shaping from our basic Bodice blocks and Torso blocks. This new feature is designed for customers who fall outside of our reliable size range. You can read more about this feature in our troubleshooting guides. Either way, this option is available to all as it also counts as a design feature.

    Sleeve block

    We have also spent considerable time redrafting the basic Sleeve block. Originally the Top Arm measurement was not operating in the way we had wished, causing the sleeve head to be tight for larger sizes. We are happy to say that this has now been resolved. Not only that, but we have reviewed the Sleeve Head Ease to produce a more fitted sleeve cap and armhole curve.

    Skirt Blocks

    We have now added a range of new skirt blocks to the Lab, which gives you yet more options to play with. We have created a separate article to explain the new blocks and what to expect. You can read the article here.

    Support and troubleshooting guides

    To help you spot issues with potentially incorrect measurements that could cause ill-fitting blocks, we have created a set of in-depth troubleshooting guides. Taking measurements and drafting basic blocks can be a tricky process, so we highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the guides before and after drafting your blocks. It will save you time in the long run! Most importantly take a look at:

    Troubleshooting the Basic Bodice blocks and Torso blocks

    Troubleshooting the Basic Skirt block

    Profile Page

    As we mentioned before, the Profile page features some newly, updated measurements and the removal of some existing measurements. Not only that but we have added some other features that will help you.

    Individual measurement tutorials

    Due to many requests, we now feature individual videos for each measurement, making it easier to isolate the information you need to take your measurements. You can find each individual video by clicking the button to the right of each measurement title. Please note, some measurements rely on the correct placement of other measurements or points. These points or measurements are not necessarily displayed in the individual measurement tutorials. We highly recommend watching the new tutorial in full to find the correct placement of these points or measurements.

    Measurement list order

    Due to many requests, we have now reordered our list of measurements to help speed up the measurement process. Instead of jumping around the body, we now start taking measurements at the top of the upper torso and work our way down the front and back until we reach the waist. We then proceed to take measurements from the lower half of the body. you can view the new measurement list order on the profile page.

    Measurements for specific blocks

    Now that we are increasing our range of blocks, it seems necessary for our clients to specify which blocks they would like to take measurements for. To remedy this, we have now added a tab selector on the profile page. By clicking the ONLY FOR SKIRT tab, the Profile page only displays the measurements required to draft the skirt block and removes any unnecessary measurements. Similarly, clicking the ONLY FOR BODICE tab displays only the measurements required to draft the basic Bodice block. The only drawback is not being able to draft some other blocks as they might have incomplete measurements. We highly recommend taking all of your measurements in full, so you have the option to draft all of our blocks without having to go back and re-enter measurements.

    Lab functionality

    My Orders

    Now that we have monetized the site we have created an order system that allows you to view, edit and redownload all your existing drafts. Think of it as your own personal library. This means you can now keep track of all your basic blocks in one handy easy to use space. You can view all of your orders by clicking “My Orders” which can be found by navigating the “My Account” menu. Once you are on the orders page, select the order you wish to preview, edit, re-download or add notes and images.

    Please note; The My Orders section of the site is not available to Guest Users. It is only available for Registered Users that are logged in. 

    Previewing an existing order

    You now have the option to preview your patterns (PDF and ePattern versions) in real-time before downloading and printing them. This is an awesome feature in more ways than one. For a start it allows you to see any major issues with your draft that will cause a very ill-fitting block. Take a look at our troubleshooting guides to help you understand how to spot these issues using the preview tool, especially Troubleshooting the Basic Bodice and Torso blocks and Troubleshooting the Basic Skirt block. 

    The preview tool also allows you to be conservative with your PDF pattern paper consumption. You can now rotate and rearrange your individual pattern pieces by dragging them around the board. The number of PDF pages increases or decreases, depending on how your pattern pieces are arranged on the board. This feature is not available for ePatterns, since they are purely designed for digitally editing or customising your basic block in an SVG editing suite such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

    Editing an existing order’s measurements

    You can now edit the measurements that are used to draft a specific order. This is incredibly handy if you need to either amend an order/ basic block using our troubleshooting guides or update your personal measurements.

    The Edit measurements function allows you to change all of your measurements except the Bust, Waist and Hip. We have capped this to prevent multiple sizes being drafted using one order.

    Adding notes to your order

    Taking measurements and drafting basic blocks can be a bit tricky especially if you are new to PatternLab. Sometimes a few alterations to your measurements and eases will need to be made before getting that perfect fit! To help with this process, we now allow you to add notes each of your orders or basic block drafts. You can write notes and upload images of your toiles. This not only helps you keep track of your adjustments but gives us the information we need to analyse your drafts and make adjustment suggestions.

    Re-downloading an existing Order

    The My Orders now page acts like your own personal library, holding all your existing orders and the basic blocks they contain. This means, you no longer have to worry about ever losing your patterns.

    Keep an eye out

    We have changed a great deal more, but it would take us days to list them all. Either way, we are sure you’ll have fun discovering all the little changes and updates the new Lab has to offer.

    Relaunch

    Relaunch

    The long-anticipated PatternLab Relaunch is coming!

    We are very excited to announce that we will be relaunching PatternLab with new products and updates to existing blocks. This will take effect at 6am GMT on the 8th August.  The current site will be temporarily offline at 6am GMT on the 5th August. It is very possible that this update might take longer than expected, so please keep an eye out for further notifications. Please be patient with us while we make these important changes to the site.

     

    Will there be changes to my account?

    We are implementing an update to the existing site. This means all of your existing usernames, passwords, profiles, and measurements will still be available and accessible in the new system.  Also, if you signed up for our newsletter then you will still receive email updates and offers as usual.

    What happens to my existing profiles & measurements?

    We’ve completely redesigned our drafting process from the ground up to produce far superior blocks! To do this, we’ve had to add some brand-new measurements and removed some existing ones. This change should only have a minor impact on your existing profiles. The new measurements we have added will show up as missing measurements or blank input fields on the profile page. These new measurements must be entered to draft our updated blocks. Any required measurements that are not entered will display an error message.

    New measurements:

    • Side Neck Point to Bust Apex
    • Front Side Neck Point to Waist (replaces Shoulder to Waist)
    • Back Side Neck Point to Waist (replaces Nape to Waist)
    • Bust Span
    • Ribcage
    • Thigh
    • Height

    Removed existing measurements:

    • Nape to Waist (replaced by Back Side Neck Point to Waist)
    • Shoulder to Waist (replaced by Side Neck Point to Waist)

    Although your existing profiles and measurements remain mostly intact, we highly recommend watching our NEW measurement tutorial and retaking them in full! Using existing measurements might not produce accurately fitting basic blocks in the new system. We have created a new measurement tutorial featuring the updated measurements and more in-depth instructions.

     

    New measurement tutorial

    We’ve even created a polished new measurement tutorial that will help you take far more accurate measurements. Why not get one step ahead and start taking your new measurements ready for the relaunch? We have also created a new measurement sheet that will help you quickly record your measurements.

     

    How much will the new blocks cost?

    Due to the relaunch of our site, we will no longer be operating a free service. All of our existing and new basic blocks will be priced individually. The price for each individual block will be displayed in the Lab on the downloads tab once the block has been designed. We have decided upon a simple pricing system; therefore, it does not cost extra to customise your block with design elements such as dart iterations and waistbands, etc. Our prices range from £5 to £8 depending on the block draft. Once purchased you can use the My Orders page to download, edit and adjust your purchased basic block as much as you wish.

    Don’t forget to check out the new site on the 8th of August and find out exactly what has changed and how it will benefit you!

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