JoAnn’s Ditto Projector: The Pros and Cons

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I've had my eye on Joann's Ditto Projector for a while now. This is the first projector manufactured specifically for sewing patterns! I suspect this will significantly disrupt the sewing pattern industry…

The basic idea of ​​a sewing projector is that you set it up on your cutting table and project the image of a design onto your fabric. This completely eliminates the need for paper templates. How cool is this?

Of course, using projectors for sewing patterns is not a new idea: people have been installing mini-projectors and short-throw projectors in their sewing rooms for a while now. I did it too. Many independent pattern companies have also added projector files to their patterns to make using a projector for sewing even easier.

Curiosity got the best of me and I bought a Ditto projector from JoAnneit's this week. It's still in the box, but I hope to install it this weekend and try it out. I will be writing a review, so stay tuned!

I've seen a lot of reviews and mixed opinions about the Ditto Sewing Projector online, so I thought it would be helpful to create a list of pros and cons for any sewers who might be on the fence . Let me know in the comments below if you will buy a Ditto projector or not!

Disadvantage: the ditto has a high introductory price

The Ditto projector was launched in March 2023 with an introductory price of $799. This is prohibitively expensive for amateur seamstresses and unappealing to people who have already been using other projectors in their sewing rooms for some time.

For comparison purposes, you can pick up a used mini projector or ultra short throw projector for less than $200. You'll also need a stand and a cutting mat, the price of which may vary depending on your sewing room setup. The Ditto comes with everything you need (except the cutting table). You get the projector, a floor-to-ceiling stand, a cutting mat, and access to the app.

Note: In addition to Ditto's high price, you can only use the templates in their application with the projector and must purchase them individually or pay a monthly subscription to access them. I'll talk a little more about this later, but it's important to know that your costs don't end when you purchase the projector.

Pro: Setting up the Ditto projector is easy

The Ditto Projector aims to simplify setting up a projector for sewing. All you have to do is attach the frame to your cutting table, download the app, and set up the projector. This can be done in less than 30 minutes. This is a major victory!

Before Ditto, setting up a projector for sewing was complicated and took hours because you had to research the right type of projector for your sewing room, figure out what stand would work, spend time setting it up, learn a Complicated software to edit patterns. (if necessary), calibrate your projector, then hope the lines will be bright enough for you to see… Nothing was simple. I wrote a whole article about this, if you're interested: READ THIS before purchasing a sewing pattern projector.

A few years ago, Vankyo contacted me and asked if I wanted to try their mini projector in my sewing room. I've always been curious about how to sew patterns with projection files, so I agreed to give it a try. They sent me the projector and I spent several hours trying to set it up. It was complicated and the bracket they sent me didn't work, so I had to make my own mounting system with brackets. Eventually, I learned that a mini projector wouldn't work for me because my ceilings weren't high enough. It wasn't fun! I eventually bought a used short throw projector that could sit directly on my cutting table, but it was large and not easy to use.

Disadvantage: You cannot use independent models with the Ditto (Again…)

If you are looking for something easy to install, the Ditto projector is your best choice. However, you won't be able to use any of the templates you've already accumulated with it (yet). This includes any models you have from independent model companies that have projector files. I think it’s a real shame! However, Ditto announced the arrival of this feature.

Currently, the Ditto projector has an app with designs that you can use with the projector. You can access over 100 models and they claim to add more every month. At first glance, the templates are very basic. They come from Simplicity, Butterick, McCall's and other top pattern brands. I love that they also have Style Arc designs.

Pro: Idem models can be personalized according to your measurements

The biggest differentiator of the Ditto projector is that you can enter your measurements and the pattern will automatically adjust to fit. With other projectors used for sewing, you have to make adjustments to the pattern yourself in a program like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator. If you have no experience evaluating or modifying models, it's difficult.

Conclusion

Overall, I'm excited about the Ditto projector because it's very easy to use and I love the pattern customization features. However, I would like to be able to use the patterns I already have with the projector. I can't wait to try the Ditto projector! What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


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