Hello from Canada

Hello everyone, I am a patternmaker of 30 plus years, theatrical men’s wear cutter and tailor, new to using software like this. I am trying to expand my horizons, trying new things and a search for pattern making software and a comment from Luca on the Cutter and Tailor site brought me here. If I can answer specific traditional patternmaking type questions I will try. I appreciate the work that has gone into developing this.


Welcome @Ttailor! We’d definitely love to have your input on pattern cutting!

Please feel free to ask us about how to render any of those effects in Seamly!


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Welcome to a kindred spirit. :slight_smile:

I too have been in theatre for 40+ years, and have co-owned and operated a costume shop in Buffalo NY for what will be 40 years in 2 months. Besides all the usual show rentals, we now specialize in period mens clothing… which is where my pattern making / cutting skills are put to use.

Please feel free to offer any suggestions here for the app development as I’m interested in hearing from someone in the same field as myself.


Thanks, Hello to a fellow costumer! I am out of work atm, unless I go over to the film and tv side of things, which means living in Toronto during the week. We shall see how long I can hold out! Anyway I do have a blog, that I have been getting back to, again just to keep myself occupied and engaged at this time.

I am finding that it takes some getting used to working on the computer. its a different beast for sure and I realize that it cannot function in the same way as manual drafting, much as I wish it could. I intend to spend a bit more time wrangling the function of it before I start asking what might be obvious questions :smile: The blog is herehttps://atailormadeit.blogspot.com/if you are interested in taking a look. Cheers


Hi @Ttailor! I am not a pro like you or @Douglas, but I did costumes for high school and community theater. Also I was Costume Track Director for a steampunk convention in Atlanta for several years. We developed this program for costume designers like you!!!


I’m curious whether, if Seamly were to be optimized for touch-screen use, it would be closer to the manual drafting experience? Or would a table-size screen help more?

Also, I only recently discovered that there’s a difference between Costuming & Halloween costumes, & regret not doing more to pursue it when I had a decent opportunity.


Different for sure. And Seamly2D being even more different than other commercial CAD systems like Optitex or Symmetry - 2 systems we have used at my shop. The difference being that with Seamly2D you’re able to draft a pattern, vs digitizing an existing pattern - then using standard grading practices. I found the Seamly2D app when I was looking for a way to draft period patterns from old books like the Men’s Blue Book. Thing is right now I can draft a pattern on paper quicker… that’s why I started to work on the program to speed up the work flow to make it more usuable in my shop.

So yes, feel free to ask questions or provide feedback of any suggestions.


I don’t think I have enough experience with the drafting on screen to be able to say. I think at this early stage of me learning the software capabilities, it is more about changing my mind and shifting a point here or there. The ease of closing out a dart to correct the run of a line, then returning the dart to its open position, and the ability to quickly put two sections together to check the smooth run of a seam. I might look at what I have on paper, and decided to redraw the lapel which takes moments on paper but isn’t as quick with a “system”. I think a computer system is easier when following some rule but it will take some trial and error in areas where I am used to free handing lines because I think they look good by eye.


Hey @Ttailor, Take a look at Elizabeth Friendship’s or R.I.Davis’ books. They translate easily to Seamly2D drafting. We created Seamly2D specifically to follow their simple “from pointA do X with measurement Y” instructions. And also to enable patternmakers to reuse their previous work so that they don’t have to redo their work for each client (or actor).


I completely understand. It’s quite easy to change things with an eraser and pencil. Where having a pattern on the computer is invaluable - especially given Seamly2D’s parametric behavior- is once you have a pattern drafted you can instantly create that pattern to measure. To me it’s an investment of time up front, hoping there’s a payoff in the future. Right now the only patterns I’ve really done in Seamly2D are ones I use all the time. Plus I’m sure you’re use to theater deadlines where you simply might not have the luxury of time to draft on the computer, and have to do it the old way with pencil and paper.


Hi Ttailor and Douglas, I am not that far from you. I live not far from Kitchener/ Paris area in Ontario.

A few years ago, I discovered Seamly (Valentina) when I was researching a better way of using commercial patterns to make custom dance and skating costumes. I am not educated in pattern making or fashion design, but I have been sewing since grade 7.

I managed to make the changes on paper for custom costumes that I was commissioned to make by skaters and dance studios. As you can imagine, this was time consuming, and I could not re-use these patterns - they were 1-offs. But I enjoyed doing them. It was a challenge and the end result was very rewarding.

As I learned more about Seamly, I decided it was time to figure out the multi-sizing feature and get serious at getting more efficient. At the time, I had 3 or 4 sources that helped me get to where I am today, but I am continually looking to learn and improve. I am very thankful for these contributions:

  1. Patternmaking for Fashion Design - Helen Joseph Armstrong 5th Edition
  2. Minimalist Machinist - YouTube
  3. SeamlyMe Manual
  4. Bodysuit tutorials

I did all of my analysis of the sizes in a spreadsheet as I believe the SeamlyMe manual suggests. I found it easier to understand the inputs vs the Armstrong sizes, and to also incorporate additional measurements.

I developed bodysuit slopers in multiple child and womens sizes. I cross check them against a commercial pattern. From there, I create my own custom patterns starting from the sloper files. To validate the output pattern pieces, I export as a SVG to Inkscape (free). I can overlay each size over top of one another within the software. This way if I’ve tested the printed base size against a commercial pattern, it is easier to visually see that the other sizes in the group are aligned correctly w/o printing them. So far this method is working pretty good. I wonder if this process is close to what others do…

In addition, I found this resource helpful with making circle skirts:

Creating Smooth Curves: The Kolson Method (seamly.net)

I am currently making an Edwardian costume for a lady who is part of a chorus that is competing regionally and nationally. However, this costume is a custom of a couple of commercial patterns, and it didn’t make sense for me to use Seamly.

There is much more for me to learn, such as the custom variable feature Grace told me about. I hope delve into this soon.

Have a great evening,



Hi Sanda… and welcome.

Yes. The major part of my business (before we had a fire 2 months ago that destroyed the whole building and everything in it :frowning: ) was making costumes to custom sizes. Which is how I came to Valenetina / Seamly2D years ago. I was toying around with the idea of writing an Extension to Corel Draw for drafting patterns to custom sizes, when my partner mentioned a program he came across - Valentina. I proceeded to learn Qt / C++ and the rest is history.

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Douglas, how awful for you. What an ordeal you must be going through. You will persevere. I’m glad you found Seamly and have become such a valuable resource.


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Douglas, I’m so sorry for what happened :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

I hope everyone is ok ? Is everything lost ? Costumes and machines ?

I whish you the best to get on, I hope I could do more…

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No one was in the building. Pretty much everything. The only thing I have is a few patterns, books, and tools that I had taken home. We did have a couple shows out, and some machines and costumes we had to move out of the back warehouse. The city tore the building down.

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Ai, @Douglas. I’m still in shock. Just a week or so before, I was telling my daughter that if we go to USA, I definitely want to visit your shop. It’s really sad and the loss of all your amazing machines, some of which were museum pieces… Words fail me. I can only send you prayers of comfort and strength.

We always joked we could open a sewing machine museum. But it wasn’t just the machines… I had patterns that dated back to the late 30’s. We had costumes from the Latin Quarters that were designed by Erte. All kinds of costumes from movies - like the Gangs of New York. Fabrics, books, tools, trims, notions, findings… 42 years of stuff.