In this day and age of technology, pattern making does not have to be hard. There are Computer Aided Designs (CAD) which you can get off the internet. They offer you generated patterns and you can still customize them to suit your needs.
The downside to this, they have a subscription fee which is not for the faint of heart. They are quite pricy and you may not be able to afford them. As a seamstress, you need a pattern making software that is not only free but flexible.
If you are just starting out, you may be trapped between expensive software you cannot afford and numerous generic CAD systems. In the long run, the software may not offer you the specific performance you need.
Best pattern making software
This guide will take you through the free pattern making software available. They are not just free but also reliable. They give you the opportunity to create your own basic patterns and build on it as you grow.
For you to actualize your creativity and design unique patterns, you need to find yourself good software. The pattern making software can be utilized by both beginners and those that deem themselves experts.
You will be in for a treat since programs on the software run depending on your skill set and needs. The software also gives you much control of your designs from the sketches to the final fit of the garment.
Types of Pattern Making Software
- Computer Aided Designs (CAD) based software
With the advancement in computer technology, CAD is both user-friendly and modern. It offers software for both the fashion industry and a custom seamstress. The software optimizes your sketches and transforms them into digital images.
The system enables you to make and grade patterns and measure out your designs. It comes with special visual effects that allows for 2D or 3D which justifies design efficiency.
The CAD system for fashion industry includes, Gerber, Optitex and Lectra. There are others scaled down CAD software designed for you. They form the pattern blocks for you with your measurements.
- Vector Drawing Software
This type of software enables you to draw the patterns you want. It is used for drafting with pen and ruler. It has programs that speed up the process. Such software includes, Inkscape.
Free Pattern Making Software
1. FREE Wild Things
This software enables you to easily design and print your patterns. They are customizable and can be used on garments, hats and footwear. Its features are;
- It is free and fully functional
- It offers a program for drafting different designs to suit your needs
- The software has patterns that you can print according to your own specifications
- Wild things have an embroidery design planning tool. This will aid you in creating unique embellishments for your project
- The software comes with a complete help file. It will guide you on how to use the tools provided by the program
- It provides you with detailed step-by-step instruction when sewing different styles
- The software can be downloaded from their website.
This is professional vector software specifically used for drafting. It enables you to draw patterns over paper. The program has numerous tools that speed up the process of designing. It is supported on MacOS, Linux and Windows.
Its Features include;
- It is free and an open source for all your needs
- It has flexible drawing tools. This enables you to create different designs as per your pattern
- The program provides tools for different shapes such as rectangles with rounded corners and ellipses. This are arcs and circles
- The pencil tool allows for free hand drawing while the pen tool creates both curves and straight lines
- It allows for object manipulation such as rotating, skewing scaling. This is achieved interactively or by specifying the exact values
- The objects can be layered
- The software has the distribution and alignment commands
- Its fill and stroke tool allows for color selection, color picking, copy and paste with pattern fills
- The program has a text support function. This allows for multi-line text, kerning, letter spacing and text in shape
- It uses installed outline fonts
Valentina is a relatively new pattern making software. It works on both Linux and Windows. The software supports both designing and grading of patterns. Its features include;
- It allows you to manually create layouts for exporting then cutting them on a plotter
- It supports folding lines in your pattern
- The program supports the undo and redo system
- The software was recently updated to include individual measurements in cm, mm and inches
- It also has improved drawing and construction tools
The software is still work in progress. Future upgrades include a 2D-to-3D visual effect. This will enable you to preview your designs on a simulated model. This will use body measurements you provide for your pattern.
The other expected upgrade includes printing large images across multiple small pages, seam allowance around a pattern. It will also support internal paths which include pockets and contour darts.
The GNU Image Manipulation Program is free software available for Linux, Windows, OS X, and other operating systems. As a seamstress, it offers you sophisticated and top-notch tools to make your project easier.
The software is customizable hence enhancing your productivity. Its features include;
- There is no limit to what you can achieve with GIMP. The photo manipulation feature allow you to retouch and restore your designs
- It is used in workflows due to its quality color features. It can be reproduced across printed and digital media
- It allows for integration with other programs. This will enable you to fully utilize its customization feature
- It has a photo enhancement feature which will compensate for any imperfections
- The software supports numerous file formats which are extended using plug-ins
- The virtual file system enables you to save files to remote locations
- It offers tutorials for beginners on how to navigate the software
5. COLOUR Lovers
This is software created for designers and artists. Here you get color inspiration for your patterns, ideas and also feedback for your project. It offers you seamless user-friendly patterns that you can customize or create your own. Its features include;
- The software offers over four million color palettes you can choose from
- The color palette maker allows you to combine colors and customize to suit your pattern
- It has different shapes perfect for your pattern and other projects. The tools enable you to create your own shapes
- The software supports a community of creative and interactive people. You won’t be alone and you can always get ideas on how to improve your pattern
For a seamstress, creativity begins as an idea. This free software will transform your sketches into refined art to fully realize your masterpiece. The software is user-friendly and can be customized to suit your individual creativity or needs.
These innovations still incorporate both the traditional practice of rulers and ellipses to more modern assisted computer generated software. Whichever works for you, you will develop a natural grit in your patterns.
This software ensures the clutter is gone and you can now carry your entire work station with you. The adoption of software will allow you to network with other designers where you can share your ideas. This will also enable you to sharpen your skills if you are a beginner.