Bernina My Label (BML) is pattern-making software that generates 20 different styles based on your measurements. You can change wearing ease and make slight design details, like making a skirt longer.
One unique thing about BML is the inclusion of heights. For example, my knee is 14.25 inches in circumference and it is 19.5 inches from the floor. Each girth, as BML calls the bust, waist hip, etc., also has a height associated with it.
Once the measurements are entered, a 3D model is generated using Optitex imaging software. Optitex is an exciting player in the world of CAD pattern-making. I have to admit, it was the Optitex component that lured me to buy Bernina My Label.
Once the model dimensions have been established and saved, garments may be selected and simulated on the model. It is fun to watch the fabric drape right before your eyes. It's like animation. If you see that the garment is too tight or too loose, you can vary the style properties. Style properties are the specific measurements of the garment. Wearing ease is included and it can be changed to your preference.
The simulation of the style saves you the trouble of cutting and sewing a muslin. The 3D draping has been consistent with actual garments I have sewn.
BML comes with a user manual that is very readable and there is plenty of help (just click through the main menu at the top of the screen to locate information. Having written help manuals and created software demos in my day job, I do look for good documentation. I think the BML documentation is excellent and it has answered my questions. Also, there is a free Yahoo group , open to anyone interested in BML, and I read those posts regularly. Lots of good questions and answers come up. I am running Windows XP on my laptop and it has worked fine for me. Folks running Vista are having some issues. Mac users are able to run BML if they use software that will simulate the Windows operating system.
A representative of Bernina participates in the Yahoo user group. That is helpful!
The first step is to sew a tunic. The user is instructed to "qualify the measurements". Step by step, you compare your garment with how it was meant to be. For example, the tunic is designed so that the finished neck edge is 3/4 in. from the side neck base. The bust dart position, shoulder width, armholes , etc are addressed. My first tunic turned out very well and I have sewn several other tops and skirts that fit very well.
Most recently I sewed my first pair of pants, using the "flared pant" style. The pattern prints on regular 8.5 x 11 paper and gets taped together:
I sewed a test garment using a nice wool menswear remnant from G Street Fabrics. I sewed with a long basting stitch. The pants fit very well right off the bat! But I picked them apart becuase I did not want a flare leg.
I wanted a straight legged pant to match the style of Vogue 8044 (my wardrobe pattern for the Timmel SWAP).
As you can see below, I established the vertical grainline and horizontal balance line at the crotch to compare the 2 patterns. The BML pattern gives me more fabric at the waist to accomodate my height, more at the center back seam, more in the inner thigh and less at the outer thigh. There are similar differences on the front piece. Now I can use this information to fit Vogue patterns to my measurements if I want to make more complex Vogue styles in the future. I would not normally wear this blouse with these pants, but I wanted you to see the fit.
I feel more comfortable in tops that are a little longer. At any rate, these pants were super comfortable when I wore them to work. I did not sew the pockets or the waistband in the BML version, I followed the Vogue 8044 style. Also, I made a pantliner- a separate pair of pants made from rayon lining. That way I can sew more pants from this pattern without the time-consuming construction of a lining every time.
And check out those shoes, baby! My feet have been killing me (too much running- had to give it up). I went to the podiatrist and got orthotics. Then, I picked up a pair of MENS shoes, because none of the womens shoes could accomodate my new orthotics. SO, I am comfortable on my feet now, and I have taken the menswear look to a whole new level!