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Announcing FreeSewing v3.0

7 months ago

FreeSewing 3.0 is finally here.

FreeSewing is the leading open source platform for made-to-measure sewing patterns, loved by home sewers and fashion entrepreneurs alike.

The 3.0 release culminates more than a year of work, and comes just over four years after the v2.0 release. What I’m saying is: I don’t make announcements like this often, and it’s a big deal. You should get excited.

Breaking changes

Let’s start with the obvious: This is a major release so there are breaking changes. Listing all of them would be rather challenging, and probably not that useful. The first pre-release versions of FreeSewing 3 is almost a year old, and all of the people who contributed designs have either ported their designs, or I did it for them.

Still, I want to list three breaking changes that are super obviously going to break your stuff if you rely on FreeSewing code;

  • FreeSewing 3 is ESM only: Migrating a large Javascript project to ESM modules is enough to make even the most seasoned developers break down and cry, but it’s done.
  • FreeSewing 3 uses named exports: There are obviously some places where a default export is required (looking at you NextJS) but whereever we can, we now use named exports exclusively because we all know those are better.
  • FreeSewing 3 requires Node 18 or newer: I recommend lts/hydrogen

With that out of the way, let’s talk about what’s new. A lot of work went into this release, and I couldn’t possibly cover all of it. But allow me to name-check some of the more fundamental changes.

Designs are now JBOP

A big driver for the decision to freeze the v2 branch and start working on v3 was to make it easier to mix-and-match parts from various designs.

Design inheritance was already possible in v2, but because the configuration was handled on the design level, it required careful re-configuration of (required) measurements, options, part dependencies, and so on. It was possible but came with a lot of friction.

In v3, all configuration is moved to the part level, and a design is now not much more than just a bunch of parts (JBOP). It is the parts themselves that configure what they need. This includes anything from the measurements they require, the options they provide, the plugins they use, their dependencies, and so on.

This way, re-use parts from various designs, and all of their configuration, dependencies, plugins, and so on will follow.

Less boilerplate

Creating a design has also become a lot simpler, you essentially pass your list of parts to our Design constructor and you’re done:

import { Design } from '@freesewing/core'

export const MyDesign = new Design({ 
  parts: [ /* ... your parts here ... */ ]

Speaking of less boilerplate, in v2, the most common plugins were already bundled in the @freesewing/plugin-bundle package, but you still had to include them in your design. In v3, those plugins have moved to the @freesewing/core-plugins package, and will be loaded by FreeSewing’s core library by default (although you can opt out of that).

Plugins with more powers

In addition to providing macros, snippets, or tapping into FreeSewing’s lifecycle hooks, plugins can now also add methods to the store.

This is allows further extending FreeSewing with whatever exciting thing you can thing of. As an example, the way logging is handled in the core library was re-implemented based on this. Which means that if you would like a different logging solution, you can simple provide your own log handler in a plugin.

New development environment

With the version 3 release comes a new development environment that closely mimics what we will be providing at FreeSewing.org (more on that later).

The development environment ships with various templates that you can use to either start a design from scratch, or extend one of our blocks. You don’t have to choose one over the other either, you can use all of these at the same time, and if you want even add more.

Our new development environment now allows (optionally) integrates with the FreeSewing backend. You can authenticate with your FreeSewing account so you can (re)use your measurements while working on your designs.

Not everything is versioned

There’s a lot more I could talk about, but I need to address the elephant in the room: So we have 3.0 now, when do non-developers get to use this?

Well… I’m going to need a bit more time. Everything is sort of ready, but some things always a bit more time because you can’t really to them in advance. Things like translation, some more testing, not to mention migrating 50k users to a completely different infrastructure.

So as a regular user of FreeSewing.org who is not itching to spin up a development environment, you will need to hold on a little longer. But clearly, it’s going to be soon now. I’d say a matter of weeks, rather than months.

In the meanwhile, if you find a problem or bug, create an issue because FreeSewing 3 is now production-ready and fully supported.


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