Free garment design software Valentina 0.3 released

New version of Valentina, free/libre pattern making software for fashion designers features improved output for cutting and design tools enhancements.

We already introduced you to this project about a year ago, so for the background of the project you can check this article.

The major new feature in this release is automatic layout of patterns for printing (e.g. on a plotter). Here’s a quick demo from Roman Telezhinskyi, project’s lead developer:

Most of the other changes are fixes and improvements, such as newly supported folding lines in patterns. However, if you missed the previous release from January 1, it’s chock-full of new features: undo/redo system, support for individual measurements, support for cm, mm, and inches in patterns, new drawing/construction tools and improvements in existing ones, and the list goes on (and on, and on).

A pattern in the making

The project is now well into its second year of existence, and, interestingly enough, for Roman it’s very nearly a full-time employment, even though a public fundraiser at OpenFunding failed last year. Susan Spencer, community manager of the project, explains:

We didn’t yet have a community to support a funding effort. When we’re at the point to develop the 3D patterns, then a fundraising effort will be very effective. For now, Roman has some private sponsoring which keeps him occupied.

As for 2D-to-3D workflow, Valentina already supports basic exporting of Wavefront OBJ files. Going further is likely to be a challenging, yet quite rewarding enterprise. Imagine previewing the clothes in MakeHuman on a model that uses body measurements you made with a tape measure, or using clothes simulation in Blender.

Another planned huge change is support for a library of patterns which should make Valentina more suitable for mass production of clothes. This might have to wait till v1.0, when design tools and overall workflow are rock-solid.

Of course, Valentina still has some design issues, and there’s also the cultural aspect of body measurements naming. Over to Susan again:

Names of body measurements used in patternmaking are based on idioms and are difficult to remember and select in a picklist. We’ve worked out a naming convention scheme which makes more sense and lends itself to translation between languages.

We’ve reviewed many different patternmaking systems to ensure that we have included the measurements required for each system. And we’ve created graphics to let users look up the measurement, which should also assist with translations. The new measurement system will be available in the next release, v0.4.0.

Some of the other changes you can expect in the next releases of Valentina are printing a large images across multiple smaller pages, variable seam allowance widths around a pattern piece, support for internal paths such as contour darts and pockets, etc.

The team provides builds of Valentina for Windows, Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE), and OSX. Source code is available under terms of GPLv3+.