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PatternMaker & PatternMaker Macros: Quick User Guide

User's Manual  | Applied tutorial |  Grading

This Quick Guide tells you the basics to get started with PatternMaker software and Macros. Try using the software and macros with the help of this guide first. When you feel you need to find out more, move on to PatternMaker User's Guide. This Quick Guide should contain all necessary information for using PatternMaker Basic version with macros.

You will find answers to frequently asked basic questions in this guide. If you have questions after reading this guide, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Launching PatternMaker

To launch (open) PatternMaker, go to Start - Programs - PatternMaker. Click the PatternMaker icon.

Measurement Units

PatternMaker and the macros allow you to use either centimetres or inches as measurement units. To set your personal preference, go to Settings - Units and choose your preferred option from the appearing list. The program will remember your choice, so you don't have to do this again unless you want to, for one reason or another.


Macros are mini programs, which are run (used) inside PatternMaker. They help you make pre-drawn garment patterns to any given measurements. Patterns are ready to be printed and made up as they are, but it is also possible to alter the patterns using PatternMaker's tools. (more on this below). To alter patterns you will need a Deluxe, Home, Expert or Marker version of PatternMaker. - Patterns cannot be altered in the Basic Version.

NOTE! Everyone gets two free macros, ladies' trousers and ladies collars, included even with PatternMaker Basic. These are called Lpants.mac ja Lcollar.mac. You will find them in the PatternMaker folder, inside 'Free macros' folder. (See image below). Once you locate this folder, PatternMaker will remember the location. The 'Demo macros' folder contains the sample macros you will be able to try for thirty days. Demo macro names are preceded by the letter 'D'. You may not enter your own measurements into demo macros, but you may use them to see what kind of patterns each macro produces. To read more about macros available please cick here. You may purchase more macros at any time.

When you purchase a macro collection, you will receive an installation password. You can download and/or install macro collections from this site using the installation password. If you require more information on purchasing macros, please contact the PM dealer from whom you have bought the macro collection.

Using Macros

To try out or use a macro: Go to File-menu at the top of the screen, and select Macros from the list, or click the Macro-icon.

First, a set of questions about the style you want to make will be asked. A Window (box) opens, asking e.g. the ease you would like for the garment. Choose one of the given options by high-lighting it and clicking 'OK'. The next question will appear. (Option: You may also double-click the option to select it, instead of a single-click and OK button.)

At the end of the questions you would normally see a measurement window:

Try the macros first with standard measurements. (Bust size 96 cm, 37 3/4"). When you want to make a pattern for your own measurements, enter your measurements into each box to replace the standard measurements. Press the Tab-key in the keyboard to move to the next measurement box.

Measurement Tables (moved)

PatternMaker allows you to store your measurements in a measurement table and use them with the macros. This way you don't have to enter your measurements every time you want to create a new pattern. Read more about using measurement tables.

NOTE! Decimals are always separated by a dot moved.

In measurement tables and everywhere in PatternMaker decimals are separated by a dot, never a comma.

Note to PatternMaker Basic users: moved

Measurement tables can be saved in all other versions of PatternMaker, except the free Basic version. Read about bypassing the measurement tables when you are using PatternMaker Basic version.

Seam Allowances

If you want to print your pattern with seam allowances, leave the seam allowance to 1 cm or 0.39", as given in the Measurements' Window, or enter another meaurement. If you want your patterns without seam allowance, type 0 (zero) into the seam allowance box.

If you want to add seam allowance at a later stage, go to Draw - Offset from the PatternMaker menu for equal seam allowance everywhere, or Draw - Seam Allowance to specify varying seam allowances. Read more about using these commands in PatternMaker User's Guide

Once you have answered each question and entered your measurements, the pattern will appear on the screen, based on the specifications you made. 


IMPORTANT Before you start using PatternMaker macros, please familiarise yourself with the measuring instructions, as you will need to take the measurements in correct places in order for the patterns to work properly. Please go to Measuring Tutorials to learn more. Even experienced pattern cutters should have a look at the measuring tutorial, as some PatternMaker measurements are taken differently to what you may be used to.


From time to time updates are available to download from our website. These include the latest versions and corrections to PatternMaker and the macros.

Arranging patterns for printing

Before printing your pattern, ensure that the pieces are close together and in a rectangular area, so that you don't end up wasting paper on blank areas.

Moving patterns on the screen

You may move pattern pieces by selecting Edit - Move or clicking the Move icon.

After selecting the move command, left-click the pattern piece you want to move to select it and then right-click to accept the selection.

Now left-click a point anywhere, e.g. on or within the selected piece to choose a move starting point, and move the mouse. You'll notice that the piece starts to move. Move it to the correct place, and left-click once again to finish the move. 

To move several pieces together, left-click each piece you want to move, then right-click to confirm the selection, as before.

Removing pattern pieces

If you don't want to print all pattern pieces, you may remove the unwanted pieces by selecting Edit - Erase or by clicking the Erase icon. An alternative for not to print all pattern pieces is to use command Print - Select or Print - Area.

After selecting the erase command, left-click the piece you want to remove to select it and then right-click to accept the selection.

To remove several pieces, left-click each piece you want to remove, then right-click to confirm the selection, as before.

Printing (moved)

When you have your pattern pieces on the screen as you want them, go to File - Print or click the Print icon.

Activating the print command opens a Print Preview Window. If all your pattern pieces are not visible, press F1-key in the keyboard to zoom in. Pressing the F1-key several times will zoom in closer.

If you want to look at a particular area press the F2-key once or more, and pan the screen using the appearing arrows.  

Small dots can be seen in the print preview. These are Alignment Marks , which will be printed into the corners of each sheet to be used as a guide for taping the pattern pieces together. By looking at the alignment marks, you can tell how many sheets of paper you will need to print out your pattern.

If the alignment marks are not visible, you may turn them on by selecting Settings - Alignment marks. Here you can also turn page numbering (Label pages) on or off. A tick indicates a function is on.

Show Print Area

By going to File - Print Area - Toggle you can see how your pattern will be printed on the sheets of paper. You may turn the Print Area view on/off also by pressing the F12 key.

Use the move tool (see above) to place your pattern pieces across as small number of sheets as possible.

The blue Print Area lines are visible only on the screen - they won't get printed.


When you make a mistake and want to return to the previous step, go to Edit -Undo to undo the last change, or click the Undo icon.

Normally you may stop a command before it is executed by pressing the Esc-key. As an exception, Erase command cannot be stopped by pressing Esc. Instead, pressing Esc while the Erase tool is on will complete the erase.

Grouping patterns

Pattern pieces in PatternMaker macros are grouped so that each pattern piece, its seam allowance and any text stays together when moving or resizing the pattern piece. Removing a grouped piece will remove all of its details.

If you want to ungroup a grouped piece, go to Symbol - Ungroup. After selecting the Ungroup command, left-click the piece you want to ungroup to select it, and right-click to confirm the selection. Ungrouping a piece allows you to move or remove each component independently.

If a command is grey

If a command is grey in a drop-down menu or its icon is not visible, the previous command is still active. The name of the command you are on is shown in green in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Press the Esc-key once or twice to exit a command.

A new command may be selected when the name of the command in the top right-hand corner appears in purple.

As long as the command name is showing in green, it can be repeated. E.g. after using the erase command, while the command is active ('erase' remains green), you may choose another piece to erase.

NOTE: Certain commands remain grey permanently in the Basic or Deluxe version, because they are not available to use with it.

Saving a Pattern

To save a pattern, go to File-Save as or click the Save icon. A Window appears for you to type a name for your pattern, and choose the folder where you want the pattern to be stored. Once you have typed a name and specified a folder, click 'Save'.

To open the same pattern later, go to File-Open. The same Window appears. Find the folder where you saved the pattern into. Click the pattern's name to high-light it, then click 'Open'. 

Emptying Drawing Area

If you want o empty the drawing area and get a new blank page, go to File-New. The progam will ask you whether you want to save the current page/pattern (Save Noname.pat?). Click 'Yes' to save, or 'No' to discard the page without saving.

PatternMaker Drawing and Manipulation tools

You may draw any kind of shape using PatternMaker CAD-tools available in PM Home, Expert and Marker versions. You may draw lines, curves, rectangles, polygons and circles. You may cut and join pieces, move individual points on any piece, and rotate pieces and points. All this can be done either visually (by eye) or numerically to an exact measurement by typing a distance or measurement using the keyboard.

You may resize pieces both proportionally or in one direction only. This function is extremely useful when making patterns for elastic fabrics and you want to take the stretch of the fabric into account.

The resize function is useful also when you want to print patterns in miniature size. It is a good idea to print a miniature pattern over a section of the actual pattern. When using the pattern later it is easy to see what kind of pattern is at hand.

Using the Drawing and Manipulation tools you may transform the existing macro patterns as you wish, and create your own designs from the basic patterns.

Quick Reference Guide

You may open a Quick Reference Guide on the PatternMaker screen by selecting Settings - Configure - Status Bar. The Quick Reference Guide allows you to read and learn basic functions in PatternMaker simultaneously.

You may move the Quick Guide Window on the screen by placing the mouse cursor over the title bar (usually blue) and dragging it (with you mouse-button pressed down) into a new position.

Take a look at PatternMaker other tutorials next!

To learn how to use the drawing and manipulation tools, move on to PatternMaker User's manual. On this site there also is available an applied tutorial with about 30 real-life design exercises. After you have learned to use the program-s CAD tools, please look at these design exercises.

Well done on finishing the Quick Guide!

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