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.
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.
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:
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.
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.