Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

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wildspidee
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Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by wildspidee » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:03 am

Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

I’ve created an add-on to QCAD that I would like to share. It drafts sewing basic block patterns from a list of measurements. Sorry for the long post, but I think an explanation might prove helpful.

There are a few software products available that draft sewing patterns. Some are quite expensive (over $10,000 USD) and most are between $150 and $1000 depending on features and up-sells. Many perform very poorly. To my knowledge, there is not one single book on the topic that instructs how to draft using a CAD program from scratch. Every book on the topic is paper/pencil drafting, so your only computer option is proprietary software.

Sewing patterns start off as basic blocks. These are patterns that are very form fitting based on individual measurements. From there, you modify the patterns to create all the various styles you see in fashion. Originally, it was my intention to teach people how to draft the basic blocks with QCAD and then modify them (again with QCAD). However, the basic block drafts are somewhat complicated and I knew they would be very challenging for most people. That’s when I decided to create this add-on. It drafts the basic blocks automatically. From here, I hope to teach how to manipulate these basic patterns into real fashion designs.

The interesting thing about this is that my market is primarily 3D artists using a program called Marvelous Designer. This program simulates cloth on virtual avatars. It’s very popular, but missing one very important component. It doesn’t come with any patterns and everyone who uses the software needs them. I have a pretty good following over on YouTube, where I teach sewing and Marvelous Designer techniques and I’ve promised them this add-on.

I am giving away the add-on at no charge, but I am requiring QCAD Pro to use it. I’m using some components of Pro and I also want to support Andrew and everyone else at QCAD. I’ve been using the program for years now and really believe in it. Andrew has been instrumental in helping me with the programming, too. In the forum, Clive has helped me for years and Husky has been great.

There is a compressed file attached with all the needed directories and files. Simply place it in your QCAD scripts directory. It will add a top menu bar item called Fearless Makers.

This add-on has two distinct components that work in tandem. The first item in my menu is Measurements. There are three QT ui measurement forms to choose from; Adult Female, Adult Male and Child. Pattern drafts for each of these are different and require different measurements. You’ll also note that each form has a notation regarding dolls. If the measurements are for dolls, the doll’s scale needs to be noted (the default 1:1, if not). For example, Barbie dolls are 1:6 scale.

The forms are pretty self explanatory and I’ve included pop-up tool tips on each field to further define each one. The forms are persistent and the data will stay in the form until it is overwritten. Upon form completion, the OK button will prompt for a save location. The form is parsed to an XML file.

I realize that many of you are not interested in taking your measurements in order to work with the code. I’ve included three default XML files in the add-on. In the FMScripts directory you’ll find an xmlFiles directory. There are three files; a female, a male and a barbie doll. You can use any of these to run the drafts.

The next three items in the menu are categories for each type of measurements. The adult female tops (bodice) are drafted to accommodate a bust. The male and child tops are drafted completely different to accommodate the different body types. The female and child patterns include a top front, a top back, sleeve, pant and skirt. The male has a top draft (includes front and back), pant and sleeve.

Each draft is completely automated with no user interaction. You’ll want to open a new document and then select an item to draft from the menu. After selection, your file chooser will open and you need to select a measurement xml file. This is where you can use those samples I’ve included.

I’m a database programmer (PostgreSQL) primarily and have done quite a bit of work with Javascript on the web side. Using it here was very different. I have no C experience and didn’t even try my hand with that. This was also my first exposure to QT Creator and ui file development. I had a lot of trouble with QT and the forms are not ideal. I couldn’t figure out how to facilitate a vertical scroll bar so they wouldn’t be so long. Perhaps some of you have suggestions for that?

Feel free to poke and prod the code. I’m open to suggestions and opinions. I learned a lot along the way and I know there’s much more to learn with QCAD. Thank you for your time.

Lori Griffiths
Fearless Makers
Attachments
FMScripts.zip
Fearless Add-On
(85.85 KiB) Downloaded 309 times

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Husky
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Husky » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:23 am

Hello Lori,

thank you for this script!

As you already know - I'm not a professional in sewing pattern ... :oops: ... but I was curious enough to install your script. :wink:
wildspidee wrote:I couldn’t figure out how to facilitate a vertical scroll bar so they wouldn’t be so long. Perhaps some of you have suggestions for that?
I tried the first form but honestly I'm not able to handle the size of the dialog window on my 17" Monitor. I can't even reach the end of the form. I tried everything but after a few minutes I quit. I hope Andrew (or somebody else) can give you a hint how to implement at least the vertical scrollbar.

The Dialog window has also problems with the title font sizes. They are just to big (or the space for the text is to small?). My first idea to shrink the height of the form was:
- smaller title text fonts,
- less space between "Top" and "Bottom" form.
Husky-2015.03.09-01.png
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What do you think?



Edit: One thing more ....
The Titles of all Form Window are always "Enter position". I assume the form is self-explaining - I don't think the user needs a hint in this direction.
Commonly the window title is regarding the menu genus like "Drawing Preferences"
Husky-2015.03.10-03.png
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If you could replace "Enter position" with the menu genus like "Adult female measurements" and delete this Info at the top of the normal form ..... :wink:
Husky-2015.03.10-02.png
Husky-2015.03.10-02.png (25.55 KiB) Viewed 12374 times

.... that will benefit you again for the Form Window height.
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wildspidee
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by wildspidee » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:31 pm

Husky,

The forms look very different on your computer, which must be Windows or Linux. I'm on a Mac. My forms don't have that much blank space in them. You're right, the titles are ridiculously large and I should have addressed the dialog box title.

You can tell that I was really avoiding the QT work. I'll spend some time on this today and see if I can figure out the scrolling and fix those titles.

You can run the rest of the add-on without using those forms. By using the pre-loaded xml files, you can test the rest, if you want.

Thank you for checking it out.

Lori

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Husky
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Husky » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:37 pm

wildspidee wrote:Husky,

The forms look very different on your computer, which must be Windows or Linux.
Yep - I'm on a Win system. :D
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wildspidee
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by wildspidee » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:25 pm

Husky,

I think I've fixed the QT forms so they are more usable. I installed QCAD on my VMWare Windows to have a look.

They still look really different in Windows and Mac.
WindowsDialog.jpg
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MacDialog.jpg
MacDialog.jpg (28.22 KiB) Viewed 12355 times
I hard coded the font size to 12, but the OS's are interpreting it differently. I think it will be okay for now. I'm in the process of downloading Ubuntu to see how that looks (only 9 hours to go!).

Do you think this will work for Windows users? I've attached Version 1.1 of the plug-in with the fixes.

Thanks,
Lori
Attachments
FMScriptsV1-1.zip
FMScripts
(86.82 KiB) Downloaded 254 times

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Husky
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Husky » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:39 am

wildspidee wrote:I hard coded the font size to 12, but the OS's are interpreting it differently.
Yes I know. I personal would even prefer less than 12. Maybe 10 - it looks more professional - but that is just my personal opinion.
Husky-2015.03.10-03.png
Husky-2015.03.10-03.png (22.96 KiB) Viewed 12351 times
wildspidee wrote:I think it will be okay for now.
Yes - I agree. It's now much better and the function is given! :wink:



Question: What is the idea behind this menu?
Husky-2015.03.10-04.png
Husky-2015.03.10-04.png (8.38 KiB) Viewed 12351 times
What ever I choose I get only the "Import XML" Dialog and I have to search my hard-drive manually for - "I don't know" - xml file. I was expecting that this menu will point me to a preselected subdirectory with the appropriated files ... :oops:
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wildspidee
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by wildspidee » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:27 am

Husky,
You don't have any instructions, so I know this is pretty confusing.

The xml files are created by the user prior to drafting. I included some pre-made measurement files you can use and included them in the FMScripts directory. Locate the xmlFiles directory in FMScripts and there are three different files for you to choose from. Use the MDFemaleAvatar or Barbie for the Adult Female Patterns, the MDMaleAvatar for the Adult Male Patterns and either one for a Child Pattern to just watch it draft.

Lori

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Husky
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Husky » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:33 am

wildspidee wrote:Husky,
You don't have any instructions, so I know this is pretty confusing.
Ok, you are right ... I will wait and see. :wink:
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Couch Potato
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Couch Potato » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi,

Does anyone happen to know if this progressed any further than post 8?

I've downloaded Version 1-1 but it crashes QCAD after browsing/loading? a relevant xml file. :(

Is there any form of tracing I can use to try and figure out where/why?

I understand what the scripts are attempting to do but don't know how far the project has progressed, SWMBO would love to get her grubby hands on it if I can get it working, she's a historical costumier and would find it really useful as a starting point for creating a new voil.

Cheers!

Andy B.

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andrew
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by andrew » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:38 pm

Perhaps you better contact the author of this add-on about this. You can find the authors web site at:
https://www.fearlessmakers.com/

Couch Potato
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Re: Fearless Pattern Drafting with QCAD

Post by Couch Potato » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:47 am

OK, Thanks

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