FreeSewing version 3 — the new major version of FreeSewing that’s been more than a year in the making — was released at the end of September. But casual visitors of FreeSewing.org might not even have noticed, for the website was still running on v2, and even the announcement blog post was only available on the new site.
Since that initial release, I’ve been busy with putting the finishing touches on the new website, as well as migrating the data of the 50K+ FreeSewing users. The migration is complete, and while the website certainly is not, I feel I can work on this until the heath death of the universe and it might still not be done.
Nothing unless you ship. So I sort of set a hard deadline for myself that I will pull the trigger no later than the weekend after Haloween, so here we are. These things always feel like a gigantic anti-climax to me. You’re looking at something that took more than a year of work, and yet I’m not entirely certain what to write about it. How do you condense all of that into a post?
I don’t think I can do that. But I’ll try to touch upon some of the more important things.
FreeSewing has a bunch of advanced features that are loved by power users. But all of that functionality can overwhelm new users. This is not a new thing, but what’s new is that we now have something to help you adapt your user experience to your own needs or wished.
When you’re logged in to your FreeSewing account, you can head over to the User Experience setting where you can pick a setting from 1 to 5 for how advanced you want the user interface.
Not all areas are taking this setting into account (yet) but the goal is to allow people to dial up the complexity/power on-demand rather than us having to decide which features are perhaps a bit too advanced.
In version 2 of FreeSewing, the development environment had a pattern editor that came with a bunch of features aimed at designers and developers (and power users) that were not available on FreeSewing.org.
Because users can now dial down the complexity, we no longer have any reason to hide any of the more advanced tools. So the pattern editor that is part of FreeSewing.org has all of the features of the previous development environment. There is no longer any difference.
It also has an improved menu structure, inline documentation, better mobile support, and takes advantage of the new features in version 3 to provide you with the best possible experience.
We have renamed some of the terminology from version 2, specifically models are now measurements sets. I feel that a measurements set is a more accurate (and hopefully somewhat intuitive) description of what it is (a set of measurements).
As part of this change, we no longer make any distinction between people with breasts or without breasts. In version 2, this distinction meant that some designs were not available to people who had checked the without breasts box.
As of today, all measurements sets are the same, and all designs will be available to all.
We’ve added Ukrainian to our list of supported languages, bringing the total number to 6: English, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, and now Ukrainian.
The choice to support Ukrainian as a language is (perhaps obviously) linked to the ongoing conflict there. We could have put up one of those support Ukraine banners, but talk is cheap and this seemed more valuable.
Obviously, we rely on our translators for this. You can check out the translation dashboard (which is also new) to see who are those good souls, and even get involved or suggest a new language.
Speaking of suggesting things, the New… page (which lives at FreeSewing.org/new not only allows you to create a new pattern, but also a bunch of other things. Including creating/suggesting a new showcase post.
We’ve been wanting to make it easier for our users to submit their makes, and I’m happy to say that’s taken care of now.
There’s about a 100 other things that I could mention, but I feel a bit like giving a speech at the opening of a theme park. So rather than rambling on forever, I’ll shut up now so y’all can try the new rides.
Ah, perhaps one thing. If it breaks, the new FreeSewing.org/support page is the place to get help.