One of my favorite classes from conference was titled Working with Your Pattterns for Fit and Creativity, taught by Susan Lazear, a teacher in the fashion program at Mesa College in San Diego. Contrary to many sewing instructors, Susan is not keen on using fitting muslins. Her approach is to measure clothing that you already have in your closet to learn the garment measurements you prefer, and then to use that information to modify commercial patterns.
For example, if you have a v-neck t-shirt that you really like, measure both the length and width of the neck opening. Use those numbers to help you tweak the fit on all shirts and dress patterns calling for a v-neck.
What a great idea! Simple, achievable, and a real time-saver (by eliminating making a test muslin). The only issue I can really forsee is if you do not have many clothes in your closet with a fit or proportion that you really like, which would be a bummer all around.
Susan also developed a software program named Garment Designer by Cochenille Design Studio to help sewists with fitting problems. I have not used this software program, tho I have to admit it looked rather intriguing. The main reason I have balked at all of the pattern-making software programs is the Scoth tape issue. The thought of taping up a million or so sheets of 8.5×11 inch paper and driving to the store every week for a new ink supply has no appeal. None whatsoever. Simply BOR-ring! But Garment Designer caught my eye, so I may have to investigate this one a bit.
What are your thoughts? Do you use any pattern-making software? What do you like and what do you dislike?