This is your monthly roundup of the freesewing news of the last four weeks, and a look at what lies ahead in the next month.
November has been busy around here. While lot of the work has been happening behind the scenes -- more on that in December -- there's also a list of things that are already rolled out.
Here's the most important changes:
First up: a new pattern. The Benjamin Bow tie is now available in beta.
Benjamin is a bow tie, and as I explained in the announcement blog post this release is kind of a big deal.
That's because it's the first ever pattern to have been contributed by the community. More specifically, it was Wouter who designed and programmed the pattern.
So shout-out to him for being the first person to contribute a pattern. And if you hang around in the freesewing chat room, you know that he's already started working on his next pattern.
I've changed the sign-up flow a bit to help people discover all the options they can set in their account.
The change is two-fold. First you are now auto-magically logged in when you click the email confirmation link for your account.
Second, we send you to the welcome page and guide you through a few steps to finalize your account setup. Specifically:
(More on that last one later in this post)
All of these settings are available in your account, but people frequently don't realize that. With the new sign-up flow, that should no longer be the case.
At any time, you can go to the welcome page to check or update your account settings.
One of the issues that drove the changes to the on-boarding of new users was the issue of mixed units.
Mixed units is when your account is configured in metric, but your model is set to imperial (or vice-versa).
This is supported. If you make things for other people in other parts of the world, this flexibility is handy.
But it's a rather niche scenario, and more often than not it's due to the user not realizing their units are set as they are.
So now, when you draft a pattern with mixed units, we'll show you a warning box to make sure that you do actually intend to use mixed units.
The roll-out of Benjamin raised another issue: standard seam allowance.
For a bow tie, the current standard seam allowance (1cm for metric, 5/8" for imperial) is too large. So Wouter wanted some way to change the standard seam allowance.
So, that's what we implemented. Going forward, patterns can set the standard seam allowance (for both metric and imperial). If they don't, we revert to 1cm|5/8" as before.
Note that this is only the default seam allowance. When you draft a pattern you can still set the seam allowance to whatever you like.
If you clicked the link to the welcome page, or if you check out the settings in your profile you'll see that you can now enter your username for a few other sites:
![After Quentin added his Instagram and GitHub accounts to his settings, his comment now have links to those accounts])comments-social.png)
Links to your social media accounts will appear on your profile page and along your comments.
We've added a bunch of new showcases this month. Every maker that has one or more showcases here on the site has their own page that lists all their showcases.
This month, we've updated those pages with links to the blog and/or social media accounts of these makers. The idea is that people who feel you've made a cool thing can find out a bit more about you.
We've rolled out the strictest referral policy:
no-referrer. It blocks all referrer information.
This means that if you run Google analytics -- or some other website statistics tool -- on your blog or website, you won't see traffic from freesewing.org.
That doesn't mean that people aren't clicking links to your blog, but we simply block the referrer header from being set, so Google has no idea where people come from.
Why you ask? Because privacy.
When you draft a pattern here, you can download it in a number of formats, all neatly tiled so you can print them.
You can also download the SVG source code to make further changes to the patterns. But once you have made those changes, there's no easy way for you to get it as a printable PDF.
Well now there is. We've added an on-demand tiler to the site that does just that. Upload your SVG, pick the format of your choice, and we'll tile it for you.
I had hoped to release my winter coat pattern during November, but alas that didn't work out. I'm actually still making it, and when it's ready there will be a few tweaks required to the pattern before I can release it.
But that news will have to play second fiddle to our wrap up of the year (traditionally on December 10th here). It's not just about what happened over the last 12 months, we'll also be rolling out some changes to safeguard the future of this project.
10 more sleeps :)