A colleague of mind recommended that I try out CLO for patternmaking. I used the free trial to test it's pattern making capabilities. While I do appreciate the ability to create patterns in CLO rather than using another program to make the pattern (I'm familiar with Tukatech) and import it to CLO, the patternmaking in CLO is pretty cumbersome. Here are my suggestions in no particular order. If any of these suggestion already exist in the program and I missed them, let me know.
1. Rulers/guidelines would be nice. Being able to pull a guideline from the side (like in Adobe Illustrator), or selecting a line segments and creating a guideline parallel or perpendicular to said line segment is incredibly useful for accurately making 90 degree angles to make smooth transitions between seams (like the armhole and neckline).
2. The ability to make internal lines go outside of the pattern piece.
3. Ability to input measurements as fractions, like 1/8. More for convenience. I live in the US, so I typically work in fractions.
4. Fold option. Again, really a matter of convenience, but it is a bit of a pain to unfold a piece, find out you still need to make changes, delete half of it, and then unfold again. Simply mirroring the side would work, just like how you can copy mirrored pieces with and keep the sew line.
5. Ability to pivot around any point on the pattern piece. I need to check if seams walk and how the look flush together. Rotating the pattern piece was a pain.
6. Ability to edit curves without changing the anchors. Adding a point drastically changed the curve as well, be it a curve or a non-curve point.
7. Be able to see reference blocks. Lots of tiny changes are made to change the fit. It would be nice to see a snap shot or bookmark line to see where the line where previously before while I change the current lines. Also helpful if another patternmaker sends you the file and they made changes to it to see where and how those changes where made.
8. Ability to select multiple lines for setting seam allowance.
9. Ability to fold back the seam allowance when necessary. Like the hem of pants.
10. The dart system needs work. Currently only able to make fish eye/internal darts. However, more often than not, darts are on the edge of a pattern. And when using darts the dart edge isn't straight like the rest of the edge. There is a little "mountain" that is create and the shape depends on which way the dart is folded. This allow for the dart to be clean finished.
11. Couldn't sew the dart internally. Basically couldn't hide the dart. CLO would pinch the fabric and sew it so the dart was on the outside of the garment. I feel like there is a key I'm missing in the program.
12. Internal cut line tool is needed. While tracing is fine, cutting a pattern piece apart is quicker to me.
13. Exporting the pattern at least to AAMA DXF or ASTM DXF. I was told over and email that I could 1:1 print the pieces, but the industry uses 60"+ paper to print markers to lay on top of fabric flat. The widest commercial printers I found access to are around 36". Not nearly wide enough. Be able to export to one of those DXF files means I could send the file to be printed by a plotter. Normal DXF is highly inaccrurate when importing into different CAD programs, I have found.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out and send your suggestions! It's exciting that you've tried the program out extensively for pattern-making and have listed things that we can definitely improve upon. There are a couple of things you listed that can already be done in CLO, so I'll try to list a basic tutorial for each of them below and collect the rest for our development team. If anything is confusing, let me know!
1. Rulers/guidelines would be nice. Right now, there is no way to pull out guidelines (like the kind from Illustrator/other 2D CAD software), but Smart Guides should appear if you are curving out a segment to show how far out it is squared. For example:
Otherwise, you will have to draw an Internal Line as a reference. Your request is definitely noted as something to develop further, as these are super useful tools!
4. Fold option. Generally, we recommend that pattern makers make a Symmetric Clone of the half they are working on and then merge center fronts and center backs at the very end of the process. That way, any edits you make on one half will be reflected on the other half until you decide to merge your patterns. To make a Symmetric Clone, right click on a pattern piece and select Symmetric Pattern (with Sewing) under Clone Pattern with Linked Editing. Your halves will be connected until you decide to merge them or unlink them.
5. Ability to pivot around any point on the pattern piece. Use the Transform Pattern tool and select your pattern piece. Double click on the center little dot and it will turn orange. You can now move this point any where on the pattern piece and it will be your new pivot point.
6. Ability to edit curves without changing the anchors. I believe this may be happening because Bezier Curves (the curves with the handles like in Illustrator) can't be converted smoothly into curves made with curve points. So if you started out with a Bezier Curve and try to add curve points to it, it might lose its shape. You can edit your Bezier Curves with the Edit Pattern tool instead of adding curve points to it. While you're drawing your pattern, if you would like to place a curve point instead of using Bezier Curves or placing a segment point, hold down CTRL and the next point you click will be an orange curve point.
7. Be able to see reference blocks. Before making edits to your pattern pieces, select all of them and right click + Clone as Reference Line. Now when you edit your patterns, you'll see the original shape of them as black lines in the 2D Window.
8. Ability to select multiple lines for setting seam allowance. While you're on the Seam Allowance tool, if you click and drag a selection box around your pattern pieces all those segments will have seam allowance added to them.
9. Ability to fold back the seam allowance when necessary. Like the hem of pants. Please reference this guide on how to fold a collar to see how our Fold Arrangement tool works. You can use the Fold Arrangement tool on any internal line, so it can be useful for hems and styling. If you do not want to physically fold your hems back, you can also use top-stitching to express the visual of a hem.
10. The dart system needs work./11. Couldn't sew the dart internally. To add a dart to the edge of a pattern, first add a point to your pattern. Then use the Edit Pattern tool to right click and Add Dart at that point. Please reference this guide for more information. Before sewing darts, I suggest cutting them out of the pattern or converting them to holes so that that the extra fabric isn't there.
12. Internal cut line tool is needed. You can use the Transform Pattern or Edit Pattern tool to Cut or Cut & Sew any line, though at least one point of the line must touch a pattern edge for the cut to work.
13. Exporting the pattern at least to AAMA DXF or ASTM DXF. You can File > Export any CLO pattern to be a AAMA/ASTM DXF.
Please let me know if anything is confusing and I can explain in a different way. Thanks again for your insights!
Thx for the Official comments.
I am very exciting to use CLO4.1 at the moment, but with the similar issues for the question 13.
I can do ASTM/AAMA DXF export from CLO, however, the file is in DXF format, which is difficult to import to Gerber. There will be information lost and wired shapes on the 2D pattern piece.
Please help to advise, if it is possible to export to ASTM/ASTM in format? not in DXF, as ASTM and DXF are two different file type perform in CLO.
Thank you, cheers.0
It is gratifying to see the willingness of the developers to improve their software after receiving feedback from users.
WRT the answer to Q10 and darts above. Whilst some dart excess is cut away in the real world construction, a designer may wish to leave the dart excess in the garment and press it left, right or flat, i.e.symmetrically about the line of the dart, thus the suggestion to cut them out, or convert them to holes may not fit with the design intent.
I note in the latest software iteration that the dart excess at the seam edge has been modified so that it is caught in the seam, (refereed to as "a little mountain" in the original question); see Shape Dart Cap here https://support.clo3d.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001072227-Shape-Dart-Cap
I refer to my earlier point:
Using the Shape Dart Cap command, does this keep the dart excess in the garment?
Is it possible to 'press' the dart excess left, right or flat in 2D so that it appears this way in the 3D garment or would you have to manipulate the dart excess in the 3D window to achieve this?