Update: Hmm, perhaps there is a catch to this, if anyone looks into this, let me know. I keep reading that you may or may not need a CS2 license. Still, it might be worth looking into it if you're interested in Illustrator.
Hey readers, I'm popping in real quick between sewing projects to tell all you budding pattern makers something you may find useful...
I don't use software specifically designed for pattern making to create my patterns. I mainly use Adobe Illustrator along with Adobe Photoshop for graphics and supplemental things.
The current versions of those programs are very expensive (unless you can get a student discount) but right now Adobe seems to be offering the CS2 version (the current is CS6, CS2 is about 8 years old but it is still totally functional and contains most of the features I use in my version of the programs) free for download on both Mac and PC.
There's some confusion about why Adobe is doing this but from what I gather Adobe doesn't want to keep running servers for old software support. Basically you can download it for free and get a free serial number but don't expect any updates or support or cloud services or anything.
I'm not sure how long Adobe will do this but if you want an opportunity to try out Illustrator or Photoshop or InDesign (another program some indie pattern developers use, I don't have it, though) go ahead to the Adobe site and download it for free!
I haven't downloaded any of this CS2 software so I can't guarantee anything or vouch that it will work on your computer. If you do download it let me know how it goes! From what I read it's legit and may be worth it to you if you're interested in learning a program like this for pattern drafting.
You can google "Adobe CS2 free" and find more info on what the deal is and if you might have any issues with loading old software on more recent operating systems.