Is there any limit to the pattern sizes I can print with Dress Shop?
We have not found any individual to be too large for Dress Shop to generate patterns. Though built-in pattern sizes only go to size 40, most customers use our custom measuring options. We have customers successfully using Dress Shop software who have circumference measurements as large as 90 inches around, but even that doesn’t represent any known limits of the program. Height isn’t a problem for the program either, as users have been known to sew patterns from Dress shop, for individuals as tall as 6’6”.
On the other end of the scale, people have made patterns for dolls as small as 6” tall.
I've sewn for many years and I know how to take measurements.
Or, I have recently been measured by a professional. Will my known good
measurements produce fitting patterns with your products?
Possibly not. You really need to take your measurements using the procedures
described in the program, which may vary from what you have used elsewhere or in
the past. Your measurements may not be wrong, but they may be different from
what Dress Shop assumes in its pattern drafting rules.
Here is a sampling of reasons why the measurements you KNOW are correct might
not be right for use with Dress Shop:
Though they drafted a perfect garment in a previous version of Dress Shop, we
might have made a change to the program (usually our changes are intended to
further refine the fit and make it more accurate to measurements, and maybe the
program wasn't drafting to those measurements of yours as accurately before,
which created some slop in the draft which is now gone).
The measurements you "know" are correct may have been taken by an "expert"
but maybe she made a mistake (people sometimes do, even we "experts")
and if you didn't confirm it at the time with a Dress Shop sloper, there's no
way to know if they were ever really correct. Your
measurements may be "perfect" but maybe you're one of those people who
really need MORE measurements in order to get a great fit. More
measurements, you gasp? NO PROGRAM requires or uses more measurements than
Dress Shop. However, there are points between the points we measure to
that could affect fit. Sometimes we have to fudge "real"
measurements to compensate for that. Generally, if you have worked up
slopers and found that "perfect" or "real" measurements don't
give you a fit, but you make a small adjustment that makes your slopers fit well,
then you've probably found the adjustment that will correct your measurements
for all garments. Maybe that measurement set isn't "correct," but it
WORKS, and that's what's important.
This is the toughest one to stomach (ahem). Your measurements may have
changed since you had them taken. Sad, but it happens. And while
adding a bit to ease often deals with this, if it's more than a few pounds, you
may need to remeasure.
You might not have taken your measurements according to the directions in the
program. I've seen this happen time and time again, and generally it's the
MORE experienced sewers that fall into this trap. You see, they KNOW how
to take measurements. They either "don't need to read the directions"
or they read them and decide that they're wrong and they're way of taking a
particular measurement is better and the deliberately ignore the instructions.
Yes, this does happen.
We have Dress Shop patterns fine-tuned to a gnat's whisker as far as measurement
fit. Yes, bugs crop up now and again, but generally, if you measure the
patterns you'll find that they are drafting to the measurements you gave them.
If your patterns don't fit, you need to look to the measurements, however many
good reasons you have for believing in them.
Can I take my measurements by myself?
No. There are some measurements on the back side of your body that you just
cannot reach. Others would require you to bend to take and that bending would
distort the part of your body you meant to measure. You will need a helper. Your
helper need not be trained, but would need to follow directions precisely. You
MUST follow the guidelines in the program and in the user manual for taking
measurements or you will not get good results with your patterns.
How accurate do my measurements need
This is a matter of personal preference. Obviously, you are not completely
satisfied with off-the-shelf or ready-to-wear clothing or patterns. If you were,
you would not be looking for the better fit that Dress Shop products can give
you. But, that superior fit can only be obtained with precise measurements. If
you take shortcuts when measuring, estimate or approximate some values, the fit
of your garments will just not be as good as it could be. Spending a bit more
time and care taking measurements will be repaid a hundred times over as you use
them again and again to get great fitting clothes, first time and every time.
My body is not "typical". I
have unusual fit problems. Can Dress Shop accommodate these?
There are no
typical bodies. Everyone has some “abnormality,” lack of
symmetry. That was the whole point of a product like Dress Shop.
Dress Shop will draft patterns to your measurements, regardless of
what those may be. Dress Shop patterns have been used to
successfully fit very large people, very tall people, very short
people, stooped, bent back, twisted arms, and an incredible variety
of different shapes and sizes. Whatever your concern, there are
others with similar concerns and Livingsoft has been working with
them for 11 years now, solving the problems that you face when you
try to find clothes that fit. Dress Shop patterns can work for you.
If you still have
doubts, try the demo. If that looks promising, but you still have
doubts, you can order knowing that all Livingsoft software carries
an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee. So
you know that if the software doesn’t meet your requirements, you
have the option of returning it.
Is it really necessary to mark my
body to get good measurements?
Yes. If you think you can take 5 different measurements that are all supposed to
go to the same spot (with the other end of the tape at different spots), without
a mark to measure from, you are mistaken. On many, many occasions, complaints
about imperfect patterns were traced to this simple cause. If you take shortcuts
or make up your own rules, you may or may not succeed. If you follow the
measuring directions, you will succeed. It really is that simple.
What are the minimal system
System requirements for Dress Shop are a PC with 80 Meg of free space on the hard drive, and Win 98 / ME / NT / 2000 / XP
/ Vista / Win7 / Win10.
Will it run on my Mac?
Dress Shop software was not designed for Mac OS/X.
However, it will run on Mac computers using a Windows emulation software such as
Oracle's Virtual Box (free).
Be aware that since it's a Windows PC emulating a Mac, the Mac will need to be reasonably new and fast,
else the emulation may be too slow to be useful.
Before purchasing Dress Shop to run on a Mac, we would encourage any prospective purchaser to download the demo and run it,
to make sure the operating speed is satisfactory.
Why the Internet Explorer Browser
Unfortunately, there are differences between browsers,
particularly with regard to dynamic web pages, those that change in response to
user requests. Dress Shop relies heavily upon dynamic interaction with the user.
As you make selections, your choices are illustrated on the screen. The patterns
are generated interactively, altered to your direction, rescaled and reshaped to
your command. These dynamic features require the use of web page coding that is
not handled the same by different browser manufacturers. Since browsers are free
and since we chose to focus our resources on pattern making, rather than
supporting all the many browser variants, we do require the use of a particular
Why Internet Explorer, rather than another? Simply because more
users already have this browser than any other. Somewhere between 75% and 85% of
Internet traffic is by Internet Explorer compatible browsers. This includes AOL,
which uses IE internally. It's free. It works. And, if you prefer to use another
browser for web surfing, you are free to do so. IE can be used for Dress Shop
while another browser serves your web needs.
So, if you do not prefer IE for web browsing, then please just
consider it to be a part of Dress Shop, used for nothing else. And,
if you do already use IE, then you will find Dress Shop conveniently integrated
into your web surfing routines.
Why Adobe Acrobat?
The user manuals for all Livingsoft products are supplied in electronic format
in PDF format, viewable with Adobe Acrobat, which is a powerful document viewing
tool that is available free on the Internet. In electronic form, our manuals can
be downloaded when needed. Updates are available at no cost whenever they become
available. You can print them out if you wish, but accessing them within Acrobat
allows you to search for keywords, and hop from topic to topic quickly. A paper
form of the manual just cannot provide that quick access.
And, the electronic manual is ALWAYS available to you when you are running your
program. If a question comes up, you are a couple of mouse clicks away from the
answers. No need to find the paper manual and flip pages, searching for the
Using electronic manuals is not to everyone's taste, but we have found that the
ease of use, instant availability of replacements and updates, and low cost of
distribution (free download) outweigh the fondness for paper that so many of us
Can I make a backup copy of my program?
Absolutely. There are no restrictions at all on making extra copies of your
Can I put my program on another computer?
Can I give a copy of my program to a friend
Yes. When you give a copy of your software to another, it is exactly the
same as if they had downloaded the free evaluation copy from the web site.
long as it has not been enabled for printing, then it is just another demo and
all demos are free. You may not give them a keycode,
though. They must purchase there own.
Can I give my
keycodes to anyone
No. If you provide your keycode to anyone else, you will be violating
the copyright of your product.
I'm not exactly sure how to download and
activate the Dress Shop program I just purchased?
If you have downloaded the demo or are currently running the latest version
Dress Shop, there is no need to download anything. If you are not sure if you
are running the most current version, you can use the programs File/Check for updates
option within your Dress Shop program If you are indeed running the latest version go
the File menu within Dress Shop, select Enter Keycode, then enter the
keycode that was sent to you.
However, if you are running an earlier version, you will need to go to the web
site at Updates and get the current version
downloaded and installed. Then, again, simply enter the User Information issued.
If you have not yet downloaded Dress Shop, or have ordered Hat Shop or Home
Dec, you can get these downloads from Downloads and select the
product you have purchased.
Once you have installed the program, enter the User Information issued.
Any time you need to enter additional keycodes, use the programs File/Enter
keycodes option within your Livingsoft program.
What's the difference between an update and
Updates are program modifications that correct problems or add additional
patterns to the package you are using. In many cases, new options (necklines,
collars, sleeves, etc.) may be included FREE. Complete patterns generally must
be paid for by purchasing a keycode to enable them. Updates are
released every few months and are available free by download from the Livingsoft
An upgrade is a major change to the program, a completely new version with new
features, new options, new patterns, etc. Upgrades are not free.
What do updates cost?
Not a thing. Updates are available for download free of charge.
What do upgrades cost?
Upgrades are not free and the price varies depending on the new features
All Livingsoft products are available free by download from the Livingsoft web
site. These free downloads cannot print patterns. That allows anyone the
opportunity to try out the program and see how they like it before deciding to
buy or not. If you choose to purchase the product, you will be given a
keycode that will
convert your demo version into a fully functioning product. Enter your
keycode once and your program is enabled for printing thereafter. You should
keep all keycodes somewhere safe in case you ever wish to install your
product on another computer. Or, to reinstall after a system problem of some
Since all keycodes include a user identification number, any release
of a code to the public will make it obvious who the responsible party is and
that code will be disabled thereafter. Protect your codes and do not share or
you may lose your product.
Do I need more than one code?
Keycodes can be used to enable various Livingsoft programs or pattern
packets. If you purchase The Hat Shop and Ultimate Pants and Dress Shop, each
will require its own keycode. And, if you purchase additional pattern
packets, those, too, will require keycodes. One code may enable many
addons. But, if you purchase each individually, you may end up with many
keycodes. Keep them all safe, in case you should ever need to reinstall
and reactivate these items.
Why do activations go away sometimes?
Your keycodes are stored on your hard disk. If you should damage or
delete the file they are in, your codes are lost. If you should reformat your
hard drive, your codes will be lost. If you wish to install your program on
another computer, you will need your keycodes again at that time.
You can save your codes any way you wish. Print out the email that you received
with the codes in it and place that printout in your files. Or, you could copy
the codes into a text file and save it to a floppy disk for safe keeping.
How do I restore a keycode?
If you should ever lose some feature (addon patterns, ability to print, etc.)
that you have purchased, just re-enter your codes, as you did when you first
received them and that feature will be restored.
I lost my
keycode and need it
replaced. Will this cost anything?
No. You can get replacement codes for free. Use the "Your
Account" button at the top of each Livingsoft web site page to
go to your account. Enter your email address and password and all
keycodes you have ever received will be displayed.
How do I replace my
You can retrieve your keycodes from our secure web site.
If you are unable to retrieve your codes, you may email
and request new codes be generated for you. Please refrain from doing this
it requires manually verifying ownership and issuing new keycodes.
This is the most commonly asked question about Dress Shop. The answer is, that Dress Shop patterns will print, full sized, on any Windows-compatible printer. The program drafts the patterns, and then reads your printer settings and prints the patterns out in sections, on pages with match marks that you can easily tape together after they come off your printer. Most of our customers use ordinary single-sheet printers. Taping the pages together is quick and easy, and only takes a few minutes. Complete instructions for taping patterns together
appear in the user manual, available inside the program by selecting "Help -
Downloads and CDs
Can I download the software or is a CD available?
You can download the demo version of Dress Shop, or the full program, if you have DSL or a cable internet connection. (The demo is the same thing as the full program – the entry of a purchased keycode turns the demo into the full program.)
If you have a dial-up internet connection, it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully download our programs. Even if you can keep the connection open for long enough, the likelihood is that the install file will suffer a glitch during the long download process.
We no longer offer a CD of the product due to high production and maintenance costs.