As any dressmaker will tell you, designing clothes isn't easy because every body is different in size and shape. But LivingSoft Inc. in Ridgecrest, Calif., has developed Dress Shop, a $99 software program designed especially for women who don't conform to standard sizes.

Tailors punch 13 measurements into an IBM PC, and the program fits those numbers to a selection of 29 different patterns, including blazers, vests, dresses, skirts, and blouses. LivingSoft founder Annette Schofield says Dress Shop eliminates the guesswork and time-consuming calculations normally required when making patterns for custom-fitted clothes. She also says that even though users don't have to know a lot about PCs, they need to be fairly dexterous with a sewing machine to convert the printed-out patterns into wearable items.

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