*I have NO affiliation with either of these companies. I am just giving my opinions about each of these systems.*
As promised, I am going to tell you about the two pattern making systems I have used. One is a software, and one is to draft by hand (my personal preference). I am going to start with the software because there really isn't much explanation involved.
The software I used was Pattern Master from Wild Ginger . They have other options, but Pattern Master is, imho, the best option for most of us. It sounds simple in theory...You enter in the measurements, choose the garment type you want to make, then adjust options such as collar, neckline, pockets, hemline, etc. My problem was with the CAD aspect of it. I was thinking I could just type in that I wanted a dart here, or ruching there, but that is not the case, you have "draw" them in in the CAD section of the software. For me CAD is very difficult to work with. Wild Ginger does provide plenty of assistance, but after 2.5 months of working with it I finally just decided to return it.
I had been hesitant to return it because I do want to share my patterns, but I just hated to keep something I would never be able to use. Then, I came across this tutorial from Shwin & Shwin. Even if you dont have photoshop, you can use GIMP, which is a free download that is supposed to be almost identical to PS. (I have never used PS, but I have been told by multiple people that it is)
I was still sort of up in the air about it until I went to the pattern making class/infomerrcial. When I saw this system, I was in awe. The man literally made a pattern that fit my body perfectly in less than 5 minutes using only two measurements! It was absolutely amazing. Not to mention, with Pattern Master you have to buy different versions for men, women, children, etc and that adds up fast...to about $750, and you need about 7-10 different measurements.
The next system I am going to show you costs $140 for the basic system. To get, all the tools and extras you are looking at about $300 with tax and shipping. But most likely you will not need all the tools and extras...you may not need any. The extras you get will mostly be based on your personal preferences and how you are using the system, not neccesity.
Like I said Pattern Master really is a good software if, you have CAD expirience or are very computer savvy. Otherwise, I would go for the other one. But even if you just want to try your hand at it, they do have a 90 return policy (at least when I checked today they still did, but to cya, you might want to check before ordering).
I am working on a post about the other option, showing you how it works and all the different tools and will post it soon. Let me know if you have any questions about Pattern Master, and I will do my best to answer. Obviously, I am no expert, but I do know how the system works...I just can't use it! lol So, I should be able to answer most questions.
Hope that helps!